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HomeNewsPaddock weighs in on Sydney SuperNight schedule

Paddock weighs in on Sydney SuperNight schedule

THERE were two key criticisms of Supercars’ Sydney SuperNight schedule among teams and drivers.

One was the short turnaround created by having a Saturday night race followed by daylight action on Sunday.

That was especially problematic for Grove Racing, whose crew did not leave Sydney Motorsport Park until 6:30am on Sunday following a mammoth repair job on its #26 Penrite Mustang which had crashed heavily due to a mechanical failure.

It wasn’t long before they had to return to prepare for Sunday qualifying starting 12:35pm.

“The issue we have got is when you have got a night race and you have got very limited turnaround and you have a shunt like that, which was big, it really affects you to get going again for the next day,” team owner Stephen Grove told V8 Sleuth.

“There needs to be a bigger gap; you either need to have two late races or they need to work through that because it’s really important that every car is on the grid.”

Echoing that line of thought more broadly was Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Chaz Mostert, who called for night events to be run across multiple nights.

“I feel still that we haven’t quite got the night racing correct. We should really be racing on a Friday night and a Saturday night,” he said.

“If we can’t do that, then we really should be racing on Saturday night and Sunday night. It’s just super hard on the crew.

“The guys are going to be banging doors all night (Saturday) and the guys have got to basically stay the next three or four hours, fix the cars and service them, come back out (Sunday) and ask them to perform in the lane. It’s a bit tough.

“If we’re going to do night racing, do two night races.”

Saturday night podium celebrations. Pic: Supplied

The second common gripe was the need to arrive so far in advance for what was a two-day Supercars event.

Teams were forced to set up on the Thursday and then meander around on Friday, when the track was dedicated to support categories.

“It’s something that certainly Supercars need to have a look at,” said Brad Jones.

“The idea is for us to be able to turn up, pack everything down on the Friday and race Saturday, Sunday.

“The racing has been great, we have had some fantastic races, plenty of action, controversy, everything that we need, so we can do it in a two-day period.

“But turning up here on a Wednesday or a Thursday because you can’t put the trailer back down, there’s got to be a better way… it is the longest race meeting I have been to where we haven’t done anything.”

Round 8 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will take place at The Bend Motorsport Park across August 18-20.

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