Motorsport fans can once again look forward to plenty of on-track action as the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix fast approaches, with event organisers announcing a bumper line-up of track action to appeal to the crowds set to hit the Albert Park Circuit.

The Australian Grand Prix has historically showcased a support category line-up to rank among the top Grands Prix in the world and this year’s event will be no exception, with Coates Hire Supercars Challenge, Porsche Carrera Cup, Shannons Australian GT, MSS Security Ultimate Speed Comparison and the Shannons Historic Demonstration set to wow fans across the event’s four days.

As usual, the fans are principally there to witness what is sure to be a spectacular season-opener for the new Formula 1 World Championship, but Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott believes that the packed weekend schedule will delight racegoers.

“The fan experience is paramount, and this year’s line-up aims to showcase a huge variety of racing to provide fans with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Westacott said.

The powerful Coates Hire Supercars Challenge – a non-championship round of the Australian Supercars Championship – is always a fan favourite, with this year’s event featuring a new qualifying format that will shake up the field.

Qualifying will see the field on track in a series of four ten-minute sessions that will respectively determine the grid order for the weekend’s four 60-kilometre races. There will be a gap of just five minutes between Q1/Q2 and Q3/Q4 sessions, with a 15-minute break between Q2 and Q3 where refuelling will be permitted.

The new format replaces the 30-minute session used in previous Grands Prix, where the subsequent starting grid orders were determined by the results of the preceding race or the cumulative total of points the drivers earned over the weekend.

Fresh from a thrilling Bathurst 12 Hour, the Shannons Australian GT Championship cars will be back in action. The grid will feature some of the most exotic and expensive car brands doing battle, including Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, McLaren, BMW, Lamborghini, Audi and Mercedes.

The Australian Porsche Carrera Cup field will also be on track to do battle, with the weekend’s event proving particularly special as the championship chalks up its one-hundredth race with its purpose-built Porsche 911 GT3 machines.

Also celebrating a major milestone is the carmaker Ferrari, which will marks its seventieth anniversary with a special parade during the weekend that will feature a range of historic and current cars from the Italian carmaker’s production line.

For tickets and more information on the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, please visit www.grandprix.com.au.

Image via Motorsport.com

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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