V8 Supercars has revealed several tweaks to its race format for the 2016 Championship season, with more soft tyres and a single 120km race at Saturday’s SuperSprint event the headline changes.
The V8 Supercars Commission has confirmed that soft-compound tyres will now be used for all rounds except the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint and the F1 Grand Prix event at Albert Park, which all retain the hard tyre.
Teams will also receive a larger allocation of tyres for each car over the season, increasing from the 324 they received this year to 400 in 2016.
Saturday’s much criticised two 60km races will be replaced by a single 120km race featuring a compulsory pit stop and a minimum four-tyre change.
“I want to thank the members of the Commission for the work they have done to help develop these formats for 2016,” said V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton.
“We recently announced our calendar for 2016 and believe these formats will further enhance our events and make for even more exciting racing.
“The move to soft tyres for the majority of events will mean better racing and this can only be good for teams, drivers and the fans.”
In other changes, the Coates Hire Sydney 500 will see a return to the two 250km format after the Saturday race was split into two 125km races last year, while Darwin’s SKYCITY Triple Crown will add a Top Ten Shootout to its format.
The inaugural Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix and the ITM Auckland International SuperSprint rounds will each comprise four 100km races.
“Changes to our sprint formats will also make for more absorbing racing and four separate races in each of Auckland and Kuala Lumpur will showcase V8 Supercars on the international stage.”
Following a mid-season modification to the tyre formats this year, current championship leader Mark Winterbottom welcomed the changes.
“Next year’s race formats are great for both drivers and fans – V8 Supercars have listened and I think we will all be better off for the changes,” said Winterbottom.
“The soft tyre generates great racing and the challenge of trying to make it last as long as possible will be greater next year given it is going to be used everywhere but Bathurst, Phillip Island and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.”
“The single race format on Saturday at the SuperSprint events is also going to spice things up as with a compulsory stop it brings strategy back into the first day of racing.
“The bigger bank of tyres is also a boost so on paper it looks like we are all in for a great year of racing in 2016 no matter the format.”