Date set for 2016 ITM 500 in Auckland

Auckland will host the penultimate stop in the expanded 2016 V8 Supercars calendar released today.

Next year’s ITM 500 Auckland event at Pukekohe Park Raceway will be on 4-6 November 2016 and will be an integral part of the calendar that features the first-ever championship event in Malaysia and more regular racing throughout the season.

V8 Supercars Chief Executive James Warburton said the calendar would be “the most exciting the sport had seen and a major win for fans.”

While attention focuses on this year’s ITM 500 Auckland, set for 6-8 November, V8 Supercars is thrilled to be returning to Auckland for another year.

“V8 Supercars is really excited to be returning to Auckland as part of our expanded 2016 calendar, said Warburton.

“It’s one of the critical events at the climax of the season and we see it as key part of the calendar which now includes two international events in Auckland and Kuala Lumpur.”

Highlights for 2016 include:

· Clipsal 500 Adelaide to open the season on March 3-6

· WD40 Phillip Island Super Sprint moved from November to April to follow the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

· A debut championship event in Kuala Lumpur from August 12-14

· Shorter breaks between events with a four week winter break

· The Coates Hire Sydney 500 to close the season a week earlier on November 25-27

“We have a taken a close look at the calendar and come up with something that will be great for the teams, drivers and fans across Australia,” Warburton said.

“This more compact calendar delivers consistent and regular events throughout the season and expands the championship into Asia in what is a truly exciting development for the sport.

“We believe it will result in an even bigger following for our sport both locally and overseas with bigger crowds and our expanded television coverage on Fox Sports and Network Ten.

“A more condensed calendar will help build even more momentum and still provide adequate breaks for the teams and drivers.

“We have also moved the Coates Hire Sydney 500 forward to the end of November in what we expect will be a massive grand finale to the season.”

Warburton said the formats for the events would be announced later in the year but would again be focused on delivering the best entertainment for fans across the country.

“Whether they be sprint races or endurances events, we are committed to delivering first class entertainment and unprecedented access for fans to their heroes,” he said.

V8 Supercars held a demonstration event in Kuala Lumpur last month and will return to the Malaysian capital next August in the first championship event

“Malaysians were genuinely excited to see our five cars race through the streets of KL and we can only imagine their reaction when the full field is on the grid next year,” Warburton said.

“We expect up to 10,000 Australians to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the event which will also build exposure for V8 Supercars across Asia.”

Traditionally held in November, the WD40 Phillip Island Super Sprint will now be held from April 15-17 and is one of three championship events in Victoria as well as the Australian Grand Prix.

“2016 will be a year like no other for V8 Supercars in what is an action packed calendar for fans who will once again enjoy high octane entertainment on and off the track,” Warburton said.

The calendar, which is subject to FIA approval, is attached.

Details: www.v8supercars.com.au

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