V8 Supercars officials have revealed a substantially changed championship calendar for the 2013 season.
In all, seventeen round events are scheduled for next season, bookended by the traditional 500-kilometre events at Adelaide and Homebush Bay.
Before the ever-popular Clipsal 500 on the first weekend of March, the entire grid will be required to participate in a one-day compulsory test session at Sydney Motorsport Park.
It will mark the only time that the entire field will visit the recently revamped circuit – which earned a late-notice berth on this year’s calendar – will play host to the entire field, with officials electing to dump the Eastern Creek circuit from the 2013 calendar.
The championship is again slated to have a non-championship round with a series of support category races during the Australian Grand Prix in mid-March.
However, this could earn a welcome promotion to a championship level event if, as is speculated, Network Ten (which has exclusive broadcasting rights to Formula 1 in Australia) manages to land the TV broadcasting rights to the V8 Supercars from 2013 onwards.
The 2013 calendar sees the championship make its first visit to the United States, with Texas’ Circuit of the Americas playing host to a championship round in mid-May.
The championship also keeps a round in New Zealand, with a heavily-revamped Pukekohe Raceway landing a multi-year hosting deal as a replacement for the financially unviable street race in the city of Hamilton.
Outside of these changes, the series won’t be visiting any other new or long-lost circuits, but several events’ dates have been given a change.
One major change is to that of the Bathurst 1000, which has been bumped back by one weekend to give the field a four-week build-up from the kick-off endurance race, the Sandown 500.
The field also has just a week to freight all of its equipment from the Gold Coast 600 to the Middle East, where it will serve as a support category event for the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.
The Gold Coast event has itself been moved back a week so as not to clash with two other championship’s final rounds, the IndyCar Series finale at Fontana, and the FIA World Endurance Championship’s round in Japan. Both championships serve as significant pools of talent for the teams to draw upon for the Gold Coast 600, which sees the field’s regular drivers paired with ‘international class’ racing drivers from other championship categories.
The race formats and distances for the minor championship rounds will be revealed in due course, although organisers have confirmed that the rounds at Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island will be contained to two-day events.
The final 2013 season calendar is as follows:
|16 FEB||Official Pre-Season Test Session||Sydney Motorsport Park, Sydney|
|01-03 MAR||Clipsal 500 Adelaide||Adelaide street circuit, Adelaide|
|14-17 MAR||Australian Grand Prix*||Albert Park, Melbourne|
|05-07 APR||Falken Tasmania Challenge||Symmons Plains, Launceston|
|12-14 APR||Auckland 400||Pukekohe Raceway, Auckland|
|03-05 MAY||Perth Challenge||Barbagallo Raceway, Perth|
|17-19 MAY||Texas 400||Circuit of the Americas, Austin|
|14-16 JUN||SkyCity Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin|
|05-07 JUL||Sucrogen Townsville 400||Reid Park Circuit, Townsville|
|27-28 JUL||Coates Hire Ipswich 300||Queensland Raceway, Ipswich|
|23-25 AUG||Winton||Winton Motor Raceway, Winton|
|13-15 SEP||Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway, Melbourne|
|10-13 OCT||SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000||Mt Panorama, Bathurst|
|25-27 OCT||ArmorAll Gold Coast 600||Surfers Paradise street circuit|
|01-03 NOV||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix / Yas 400||Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi|
|23-24 NOV||Phillip Island 400||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit|
|29-01 DEC||Sydney 500||Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney|
* Currently scheduled as a non-championship round, but subject to change