Some surprises in store for next year’s schedule …
STORY: AARON NOONAN
IMAGES: AN1 IMAGES (DIRK KLYNSMITH)
THE 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship calendar has been revealed today – and there’s quite a few differences from this year’s schedule.
The number of events has dropped by one with Sydney Motorsport Park removed from the 2019 schedule and its night race format to instead be utilised at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.
Supercars intend to return to SMP in early 2020 in a better time of year after holding a night race there this August. It’s also part of a shift towards a summer-focused schedule.
SMP is in discussions with the NSW Government to secure permanent lighting of the circuit, which, if successful, may lead to a long-term agreement to keep the event under lights.
In other changes for next year:
– The Sandown 500 moves to November to become the final round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup to move away from the AFL and NRL Final Series with the thought of better weather more likely too.
– Pukekohe now moves to the middle of September on the traditional middle of the month weekend previously occupied by Sandown.
– Bathurst becomes the opening round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
– The pre-season test day will be split across Phillip Island and Queensland Raceway in two days in mid-February.
– Formats for Winton and Gold Coast will be finalised next week with Winton potentially a two day meeting with supports running on Friday.
– The Commission is to discuss the Gold Coast becoming a one-race, 500km format in line with Sandown.
– The Dunlop Super2 Series makes a return to Queensland Raceway.
The 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship calendar:
Feb 13-14: Test Day, Queensland Raceway/Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Feb 28-Mar 3: Adelaide 500, Adelaide (DS2)
Mar 14-17: Melbourne 400, Formula One Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park
April 5-7: Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint, Launceston
April 12-14: WD-40 Phillip Island 500; Phillip Island
May 2-4: Perth SuperNight, Barbagallo Raceway, Perth (DS2)
May 24-26: Winton SuperSprint, Winton Raceway, Winton
June 14-16: CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown, Darwin
July 5-7: Watpac Townsville 400, Townsville (DS2)
July 26-28: Ipswich SuperSprint, Ipswich (DS2)
Aug 23-25: The Bend SuperSprint, Tailem Bend
Sept 13-15: ITM SuperSprint, Auckland
Oct 10-13: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Bathurst (DS2)
Oct 25-27: Vodafone Gold Coast 500, Gold Coast
Nov 8-10: Sandown 500, Sandown
Nov 22-24: Coates Hire Newcastle 500 (DS2)
NB: DS2 – denotes Dunlop Super2 Series.