Fuel concerns prompted Sandown lap reduction

Fuel range concerns prompted Supercars to reduce the lap count for the three sprint races at Sandown this weekend.

Fuel concerns prompted Sandown lap reduction
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The three heats that will make up the first SuperSprint event of the 2021 season were initially listed as 38 laps, equal to around 118 kilometres.

However that was changed earlier this week, the further supplementary confirming that each race will be 36 laps, or around 112 kilometres.

According to Supercars the decision was made to rule out any scope for fuel saving to play a role in any of the races, the shorter distance meaning drivers can go flat out from lights to flag.

"The initial lap count at Sandown was only generated as a guide for us to work from," said a Supercars spokesperson.

"The last time we were there we weren’t running the latest lambda control rule and teams were running their engines a lot leaner, thus getting slightly longer race distance.

"Now they are running them a bit richer, and we don’t want anyone saying that they couldn’t challenge for a position on track because they were being forced to fuel save.

"The safest course of action was to slightly reduce the lap count, so that they could all race flat out."

The Sandown SuperSprint will see a number of firsts, including the first competitive use of the season for the soft compound Dunlop tyre.

The tweaked three-part qualifying system, modelled off Formula 1, will also be in action on Saturday for the first time, while another new initiative, the five-point bonus for fastest lap, will also make its debut.

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