V8 Supercars Australia has officially announced its 2011 season calendar today, with the major news being a return to Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway and the Bahrain round being shelved.
The Barbagallo round was dropped for the 2010 season due to the poor conditions of the facilities at the circuit, but circuit owners have undertaken a series of works to lift the venue’s standards, which will fully functional by 2012.
Outer Brisbane’s Queensland Raceway venue – another which has been under threat and regularly criticised for its facilities – has had its future secured with an injection of local and state government funding.
The dropping of the Bahrain event seems to be more to do with a scheduling conflict rather than its historically poor crowd attendance. In terms of possible scheduling arrangements, the event could have been held a week or two after the Abu Dhabi round and the GP2 Asia round in February, but before the Australian Grand Prix in March, but this would logistically have proven too difficult. It is unknown if the Sakhir event will return to the V8 Supercars calendar.
Another rumour doing the rounds of late was the the V8 Supercars series would head to Singapore as a support event for the Formula 1 race, although it now seems more likely that the series will race at a purpose-built circuit at Changi.
The full 2011 calendar is as follows:
|10-12 February||Yas V8 400, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi|
|17-20 March||Clipsal 500, Adelaide street circuit|
|24-27 March||Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne*|
|15-17 April||ITM 400, Hamilton street circuit, New Zealand|
|6-8 May||Barbagallo Raceway, Perth|
|20-22 May||Winton Raceway, Winton|
|17-19 June||SKYCITY Triple Crown, Hidden Valley, Darwin|
|8-10 July||Sucrogen 400, Townsville street circuit|
|19-21 August||Queensland Raceway, Ipswich|
|16-18 September||L&H 500, Phillip Island**|
|6-9 October||Supercheap Auto 1000, Bathurst**|
|21-23 October||Armor All Gold Coast 600, Surfers Paradise street circuit**|
|11-13 November||Falken Tasmania Challenge, Symmons Plains|
|18-20 November||Norton 360 Challenge, Sandown Raceway, Melbourne|
|2-4 December||Sydney Telstra 500, Homebush street circuit|
* Denotes non-championship event
** Denotes endurance event, with two drivers sharing the same car
[Original image via Speed Cafe]
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