Australian Grand Prix round set to gain Championship status

The recent news that Albert Park will host the opening round of the Formula One World Championship until 2020 has increased the likelihood of V8 Supercars racing for points there in the coming years.

Local support for the Australian grand prix has been provided by V8 Supercars and the preceding Group A category for 29 of the 30 Formula One races held in Australia since 1985.

The likelihood of V8 Supercars holding championship races at the grand prix next in 2015 is helped by the new media deal starting next year which will see both V8 Supercars and Formula One broadcast on Network Ten.

Holding a V8 Supercars championship event at Albert Park beyond 2015 will depend on Network Ten renewing its deal with Formula One which expires at the end of next year.

“There’s no impediment whatsoever to trying to make that happen,” AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott told Fairfax of making the V8 Supercars AGP appearance a championship event next year.

“We’re desirous of it being a championship event for the V8s and I’m looking forward to 2015 with a very positive intent.

“We’ve asked V8s to come up with ideas for race formats and scheduling, both of which have to fit in with F1’s strict requirements.

“Beyond that depends on a continuing alignment of the respective F1 and V8 broadcasters.

“But if the V8 races can remain a part of their championship, it would be a great thing, adding more weight to the event.”

The addition of Albert Park would mean the 2015 season will be contested over 15 championship events, still in the ideal range specified by V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton.

“What I’ve consistently said is 14 to 16 championship rounds is ideal, 16 is the absolute cap, 14 is about right,” Warburton told recently.