The V8 Supercars Championship will feature a significantly condensed calendar and an inaugural championship round in Malaysia after revealing its 2016 schedule overnight.
“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,” series boss James 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.”
As was widely speculated, next year’s calendar is significantly condensed and features much shorter breaks between rounds. The only major calendar gap spanning more than three weeks will be the rounds between Winton and Darwin over May and June, purely to allow sufficient time for the teams to get their freight cross-country.
The same Australian-based events will remain on the calendar, although the Phillip Island SuperSprint round has been moved from a November slot to the third round of the championship in April. The season-ending Sydney 500 at Homebush Bay will be held on the last week of November, making the season slightly shorter.
The calendar announcement also confirmed that the series has agreed to a new three-year deal with Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia. The event will take place on May 6-8.
The biggest news of all is that the KL City Grand Prix in Malaysia will make its inaugural appearance on the calendar, following successful contract negotiations and a highly-attended five-car demonstration event at the temporary street circuit in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
“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,” Warburton added.
“A more condensed calendar will help build even more momentum and still provide adequate breaks for the teams and drivers.”
The calendar also includes a support-billing role at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, although the event will remain a non-championship round despite a concerted push to give it championship-level status.
The full calendar can be viewed below:
|2016 V8 Supercars Championship Season Calendar|
|03-06 Mar||Clipsal 500||Adelaide street circuit, SA||SuperStreet|
|18-20 Mar||Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains Raceway, TAS||SuperSprint|
|31 Mar – 03 Apr||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park Circuit, VIC||Int’l SuperSprint|
|15-17 Apr||WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint||Phillip Island Circuit, VIC||SuperSprint|
|06-08 May||Perth SuperSprint||Barbagallo Raceway, WA||SuperSprint|
|20-22 May||Winton SuperSprint||Winton Raceway, VIC||SuperSprint|
|17-19 Jun||SKYCITY Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway, NT||SuperSprint|
|08-10 July||Castrol Edge Townsville 400||Townsville street circuit, QLD||SuperStreet|
|22-24 Jul||Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint||Queensland Raceway, QLD||SuperSprint|
|12-14 Aug||KL City Grand Prix||Kuala Lumpur street circuit||Int’l SuperSprint|
|26-28 Aug||Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint||Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW||SuperSprint|
|16-18 Sep||Wilson Security Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway, VIC||Enduro Cup|
|06-09 Oct||SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama, NSW||Enduro Cup|
|21-23 Oct||Castrol Gold Coast 600||Surfers Paradise, QLD||Enduro Cup|
|04-06 Nov||ITM Auckland SuperSprint||Pukekohe Park, NZL||SuperSprint|
|25-27 Nov||Coates Hire Sydney 500||Sydney Olympic Park, NSW||SuperStreet|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship