New night race, enduro schedule for Supercars in 2019
Supercars has revealed its 2019 calendar, complete with a new night race in Perth and a revamped enduro schedule that kicks off with the Bathurst 1000.
The new-look calendar will see the SuperNight format – successfully debuted at Sydney Motorsport Park this year – used at the Barbagallo Raceway round in Perth, as SMP falls off the schedule entirely thanks to a desire from series chiefs to stick to 15 events.
The Perth night race will kick off with practice on the Thursday and races on Friday and Saturday, with an evening-into-night time slot likely given the two-hour time difference to the East Coast.
Sydney Motorsport Park, meanwhile, is set to be reintroduced to the schedule in the early part of the 2020 season. According to Supercars, discussions with the New South Wales government about permanent lighting at SMP are ongoing, and could lead to a long-term night race deal at the track.
If the trial under lights in Perth goes well, the two rounds could become regular prime time fixtures on the schedule.
Another major change is the order of the long-distance races.
As revealed by Motorsport.com, the Bathurst 1000 will be shifted back a weekend to avoid a clash with the National Rugby League Grand Final. That means there will, however, be a clash between the Gold Coast Supercars event and the Phillip Island MotoGP round at the end of October.
In order to relieve the congestion in October/November caused by the Bathurst shift, the New Zealand round will be moved into the middle of September, right before the business end of the Australian Rules Football finals series.
That means the Sandown 500 – traditionally the Bathurst warm-up – will become the final enduro of the season, slotting in on the second weekend in November, a fortnight before the season finale in Newcastle.
The format for the Gold Coast is also up for discussion, with the Supercars Commission set to meet next week to discuss turning it from a pair of 300-kilometre races into a single-race 500-kilometre event, like Sandown, to give the Season of Endurance more consistency.
Phillip Island and Winton have both been spared as part of a new deal with the Victorian government, Winton’s format also up for discussion by the commission with plans to slim it down to a two-day race meeting.
The Phillip Island circuit will get two hit-outs in 2019, hosting the Victorian teams for the pre-season test on February 13-14.
Unlike the last two years there will be no all-in test, with Queensland-based teams set to run at Queensland Raceway over the same two days.
Phillip Island and QR are joined by Sydney Motorsport Park and Winton as nominated tracks for in-season testing.
|February 13-14||Pre-season test||Phillip Island/Queensland Raceway|
|Feb 28-March 3||Adelaide 500*||Adelaide Parklands|
|March 14-17||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park|
|April 5-7||Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains|
|April 12-14||Phillip Island SuperSprint||Phillip Island|
|May 2-4||Perth SuperNight*||Barbagallo Raceway|
|May 24-26||Winton SuperSprint**||Winton Raceway|
|June 14-16||Darwin SuperSprint||Hidden Valley|
|July 5-7||Townsville 400*||Townsville Street Circuit|
|July 26-28||Ipswich SuperSprint*||Queensland Raceway|
|August 23-25||The Bend SuperSprint||The Bend Motorsport Park|
|September 13-15||ITM SuperSprint||Pukekohe|
|October 10-13||Bathurst 1000*||Mount Panorama|
|October 25-27||Gold Coast 500**||Surfers Paradise|
|November 8-10||Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway|
|November 23-24||Newcastle 500*||Newcastle Street Circuit|
* Round of the Super2 Series
** Format yet to be confirmed
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