DRIVERS will gain bonus points for setting the fastest lap of the race under a new rule for the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.
Five points will be awarded to the driver that sets the fastest lap of the race across the championship’s sprint rounds, comprising eight of the 12 events on this year’s calendar.
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The five-point bounty marks five percent of the 100-points on offer for winning each sprint race.
The incentive won’t apply at the ‘500’ format rounds at Mount Panorama, Townsville and Surfers Paradise, nor at the Bathurst 1000.
With a total of 24 sprint races on the calendar, that means a total of 120 bonus points are up for grabs across the 2021 season.
Supercars’ push to reward the driver that sets the fastest lap of the race follows in the footsteps of Formula 1’s move to do the same in 2019.
In F1’s case it was resurrecting an old rule: a single point for the fastest lap of the race was awarded from the inaugural world championship season in 1950 through to the end of 1959.
The bonus point’s reintroduction to F1 has added an extra element of strategy and entertainment, particularly in the tail end of races as drivers battle over the fastest lap.
Unlike F1’s past history, 2021 will mark the first time the Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship has awarded points for the fastest lap of the race across its 61-year history.