Supercars has unveiled a radically shaken up calendar for the 2019 season, featuring significant changes to the order, timing and format of many events.
Next year’s schedule has been trimmed from sixteen to fifteen rounds, with Sydney Motorsport Park sidelined from hosting duties next year despite a successful and well-attended inaugural night racing format.
Supercars’ decision not to stage a round in Australia’s largest city has been made amid bigger plans to restructure the entire season towards a ‘summer schedule’ to avoid ongoing clashes with the domestic rugby league and AFL championships.
Instead, series organisers have opted to stage a night-time round at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway in early May. The round will run from Thursday to Saturday, with the fllolit feature taking place on Saturday night.
The Adelaide 500 will once again kick off the championship season in early March followed by the series playing a support role at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix which will again be a points-paying round.
The grid will then cross the Bass Strait to Tasmania for a SuperSprint round at Symmons Plains Raceway, with Phillip Island following on the very next weekend. The latter event’s place on the Supercars calendar was under threat, but a recent injection of funds from the state Victorian government has secured its future for another year.
The decision to run the Symmons Plains and Phillip Island rounds back-to-back is also a significant cost-saver for the teams, particularly for the Queensland-based outfits.
The SuperNight round at Barbagallo Raceway follows in early May and before the end of the month the field will be back in Victoria for a third time to contest the Winton SuperSprint which will be run on a condensed two-day format.
The Darwin Triple Crown retains its traditional winter slot on the calendar, followed by visits to Townsville and Queensland Raceway in July.
Following its successful maiden appearance on this year’s calendar, The Bend Motorsport Park will stage its SuperSprint round in August before the series makes its only visit overseas to New Zealand for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
The Auckland round has effectively swapped places on the calendar with the Sandown 500 – the latter was traditionally the opening event for the Pirtek Enduro Cup leg of the season, but will instead close out the three-round mini-championship for main drivers and co-drivers.
Sandown’s calendar shift means that the Bathurst 1000 will now become the opening event of the Pirtek Enduro Cup. It will be followed by the Gold Coast endurance round, which will reportedly be reformatted to a single 500-kilometre race instead of its traditional twin-300km race structure. This is due to the event clashing with the Australian MotoGP round at Phillip Island.
The Pirtek Enduro Cup will then close with the Sandown 500 in mid-November ahead of the season-ending Newcastle 500 round.
The calendar for the 2019 Supercars championship has been revealed, featuring a new night race at Barbagallo Raceway and changes to the endurance format.
The season will traditionally start on the streets of Adelaide in March and the season finale takes place on the Newcastle street circuit in November.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship Season Calendar|
|02-03 MAR||Adelaide 500||Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide||SuperStreet|
|15-17 MAR||Melbourne 400||Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne||Grand Prix|
|06-07 APR||Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains Raceway, Launceston||SuperSprint|
|13-14 APR||Phillip Island 500||Phillip Island Circuit, Phillip Island
|03-04 MAY||Perth SuperNight||Barbagallo Raceway, Pinjar||SuperNight|
|25-26 MAY||Winton SuperSprint||Winton Motor Raceway, Bennala||SuperSprint|
|15-16 JUN||Darwin Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin
|06-07 JUL||Townsville 400||Townsville Street Circuit, Townsville||SuperStreet|
|27-28 JUL||Ipswich SuperSprint||Queensland Raceway, Ipswich||SuperSprint|
|24-25 AUG||The Bend SuperSprint||The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend
|14-15 SEP||Auckland SuperSprint||Pukukohe Park Raceway, Auckland
|13 OCT||Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst||Enduro Cup|
|27 OCT||Gold Coast 500||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, Gold Coast
|10 NOV||Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway, Melbourne||Enduro Cup|
|23-24 NOV||Newcastle 500||Newcastle Street Circuit, Newcastle||SuperStreet|
Image via Keith McInnes Photography