SUPERCARS has revealed its race formats for the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship seasons.
Next year’s champion will be crowned at the end of a 32-race season, with over 4,300 kilometres of racing scheduled over the calendar’s 12 events.
Here are the main takeaways from it:
NEW SPLIT QUALIFYING FORMAT
Supercars has adopted a new qualifying format for the Tasmania SuperSprint and Perth SuperNight events.
The qualifying sessions at Symmons Plains and Barbagallo Wanneroo will be split into two groups, made up of alternate pit lane order – meaning one car per team (or pit boom, in the case of one-car squads) qualifies in each group.
It’s another move aimed at reducing the number of cars on track at one time during qualifying sessions, decreasing the chance of a car on a flying lap tripping over one that is cruising back to or out of the pits.
Full details on the sessions’ duration and how their results will determine the grid are yet to be released.
THREE TYRE COMPOUNDS: HARD, SOFT, SUPERSOFT
The new SuperSoft compound trialled at Queensland Raceway by Triple Eight and Dick Johnson Racing last month will be used in 2021.
The Winton and Darwin races will feature the new tyres owing to those circuits causing less tyre degradation than others on the calendar.
All other events will retain the existing Soft and Hard compounds used in recent years.
2020’S NEW RACE FORMAT RETURNS
The ‘three sprint races’ format adopted by Supercars out of necessity when the 2020 season resumed will be used during the 2021 season.
The ‘SuperSprint’ format will be used at Symmons Plains, The Bend, Winton, Hidden Valley, Sydney Motorsport Park, Barbagallo Wanneroo and the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
The Melbourne 400 will also retain the format it was scheduled to use in 2020 prior to its mid-event cancellation due to COVID-19, with four 100-kilometre races across three days at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
BATHURST 1000 WILL BE THE ONLY ENDURO
As expected and as it was in 2020, the Bathurst 1000 will be the only two-driver endurance race held in 2021.
The season-ending Gold Coast 600 will become the Gold Coast 500 as it adopts the ‘Adelaide’ format of two, single driver, 250-kilometre races held across its race weekend.
“As we did prior to 2020, we will finish with two 250km single-driver races to decide the Championship,” Shane Howard, Supercars COO, said.
“For fans around the world it will be thrilling to see a new Champion crowned in December, 30 years since racing first began on the Gold Coast street circuit.”
Townsville will also adopt the same format, as will the season-opening Mount Panorama 500.
BATHURST GETS THREE TOP 10 SHOOTOUTS
Following on from that, all of the 500s will feature a Top 10 Shootout for each race.
That means two more Top 10 Shootouts at Mount Panorama this year, with each 250-kilometre race getting its own one-lap session for the 10 fastest drivers in addition to traditional Bathurst 1000 shootout.
A total of nine Top 10 Shootouts will be held in 2021 with the Hidden Valley and Sydney Motorsport Park events also hosting shootouts.
RACE FORMATS: 2021 Repco Supercars Championship
|1||Mount Panorama 500||2 x 250km|
|2||Melbourne 400||4 x 100km|
|3||Tasmania SuperSprint||3 x 110km|
|4||OTR SuperSprint (The Bend)||3 x 115km|
|5||Winton SuperSprint||3 x 120km|
|6||Darwin Triple Crown||3 x 110km|
|7||NTI Townsville 500||2 x 250km|
|8||Sydney SuperNight||3 x 125km|
|9||Perth SuperNight||3 x 110km|
|10||Repco Bathurst 1000||1 x 1000km|
|11||ITM Auckland SuperSprint||3 x 115km|
|12||Gold Coast 500||2 x 250km|