New race format at ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars for 2016

With the ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars set for Pukekohe Park Raceway in two weeks, a new format has been announced today for next year’s New Zealand event.

A new international format has been signalled for next year for the ITM Auckland event and the KL City Grand Prix in Malaysia.

The ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars next month on November 6-8 will be run under the current super sprint format with two 60km races on Saturday and the 200km race on Sunday.

In 2016 this will be replaced with international races featuring four races, each over 100kms with two on each of Saturday and Sunday.

“We think that four separate races in each of Auckland and Kuala Lumpur will showcase V8 Supercars on the international stage,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.

Developed by the V8 Supercars Commission, the formats have been approved by the Board and include:

– Soft tyres to be used for all races except the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint and Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix
– A 120km race on the Saturday of each SuperSprint event, replacing two 60km races. These will include a compulsory pit stop for a minimum change of four tyres
– The return of the Top Ten Shootout at the SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin
– Four 100km races at the KL City Grand Prix and ITM Auckland International SuperSprint
– Two 250km races at the Coates Hire Sydney 500
– Clipsal 500 Adelaide will retain two 125km races on Saturday and one 250km on Sunday
– An increase in tyre allocation for each car from 324 to 400

“I want to thank the members of the Commission for the work they have done to help develop these formats for 2016,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.

“We recently announced our calendar for 2016 and believe these formats will further enhance our events and make for even more exciting racing.

“The move to soft tyres for the majority of events will mean better racing and this can only be good for teams, drivers and the fans.

“Changes to our sprint formats will also make for more absorbing racing and four separate races in each of Auckland and Kuala Lumpur will showcase V8 Supercars on the international stage.”

V8 Supercars drivers welcomed the new formats. Championship leader Mark Winterbottom said: “Next year’s race formats are great for both drivers and fans – V8 Supercars have listened and I think we will all be better off for the changes.

“The soft tyre generates great racing and the challenge of trying to make it last as long as possible will be greater next year given it is going to be used everywhere but Bathurst, Phillip Island and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.”

“The single race format on Saturday at the SuperSprint events is also going to spice things up as with a compulsory stop it brings strategy back into the first day of racing. The bigger bank of tyres is also a boost so on paper it looks like we are all in for a great year of racing in 2016 no matter the format.”

Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander also welcomed the changes. “I think the fans will see better racing in 2016 with the soft tyres used in the majority of races, and a move to 120km races on the Saturday of the SuperSprints with compulsory pit stops for tyre changes.”

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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