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Telling takeaways from 2024 Supercars calendar

SUPERCARS has got tongues wagging with its 2024 championship calendar and all there is to unpack.

Outside of The Bend’s status for 2024 and 2025, formats and television arrangements, there is plenty more to the story as V8 Sleuth investigates here.

Tassie chills

The August trip to The Bend is gone, replaced by perhaps an even colder winter destination: Symmons Plains.

Per the Bureau of Meteorology, August historically is the wettest month for the Launceston region.

More than 50 years on since the ATCC/Supercars’ first visit to Symmons Plains, there has only once been a round held between June and October, inclusive.

That was 1999 – oh and it rained heavily.

Next year will be the second time.

Supercars at Symmons Plains in 1999. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Number of races

The shift away from three-race SuperSprint events is a double-edged sword.

There’ll be fewer short races, but there’ll also be fewer races full stop.

In fact, 24 races marks the least in a calendar year since 2003.

But is less more?

Assessing this needs to be done in three stages, the first of which is to discount Albert Park given the exact total distances for the four Supercars races there next year have yet to be confirmed.

Next up, compare the other eight continuing or equivalent rounds that will remain without timed races. For clarity, those are the Newcastle/Bathurst season-opener, The Bend/Taupo, Townsville, Sydney, Sandown, Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast and Adelaide.

In 2023, the combined race distance of those came to 4100km, give or take. In 2024, that figure will rise to 4300km.

So, a provisional tick.

Now, for the rounds where there’ll be a shift from 3x 100km races to two 60-minute encounters: namely Perth, Darwin and Tasmania.

The total race time from those rounds this year came in at roughly 359 minutes. Next year, it will be 360 guaranteed.

So all in all, there’ll be a slight increase in the quantity of racing in 2024, even if there’s less actual race starts.

Timed races

On this front, it’s worth digging a little deeper into the numbers to show how new this actually will be for the category.

As of now, just 27 of 1146 ATCC/Supercars Championship in history have been proper timed races, as opposed to being run to a prescribed lap count (with a cut-off finish). So, 2.35 percent.

The last occasion was the 2000 season-opener at Phillip Island.

Before that pair of 45-minute races, you have to go back to 1991 for the previous such time.

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