A 14-round schedule has been confirmed for the 2020 Supercars Championship season, with the events at Phillip Island and Queensland Raceway being axed.

Returning to the schedule is the Sydney Motorsport Park night event, which was dropped for 2019 in anticipation that Australia’s premier touring car championship would shift to a more summer-oriented season.

“The one round reduction is to create a better, more regular and consistent rhythm throughout the year and making sure that we’re getting the right flow for both the fans and the teams,” Sean Seamer, CEO of Supercars, explained.

“Phillip Island is one of the best permanent circuits in Australia, but with our operational requirements limiting the number of rounds we can complete over 12 months, it was not included in the 2020 calendar.

“It was not an easy decision knowing the strong support we have in Ipswich. It does not mean that the championship will not return to either facility in the future. There were no easy decisions. I fully expect that at some point in time we’ll be back at that circuit and the same with QR.

“We’ve gone through very considered discussions with both the teams, we’ve listened to the fans, we’ve looked at our ticketing, we’ve looked at our ratings and made those decisions based on all of that quantitative and qualitative data.”

The season will open with its traditional curtain-raiser, the Adelaide 500, in February and end with the Newcastle 500 in December. A number of rounds have had their positions shuffled, with the Auckland SuperSprint event moving earlier in the year to coincide with the ANZAC Day long weekend.

The Enduro Cup has also been given a shake-up, with The Bend 500 replacing the Sandown 500, with the latter taking the former’s SuperSprint round status in turn.

A number of major format changes have also been announced.

All SuperSprint and SuperNight rounds will feature a pair of 200-kilometre races, with Saturday’s traditional 120-kilometre race now lengthened to match Sunday’s traditional race distance. Each 200-kilometre race will feature two compulsory pit stops and the mandatory 120-litre fuel drop.

The exception to this will be the Melbourne 400 round, supporting the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. This event will be run as four 100-kilometre races, each with a mandatory pit stop, and for added strategic excitement both dry-weather tyre compounds must be used.

Supercars is also exploring the possibility of staging the second race of the Gold Coast 600 round as a night race, with confirmation that the event will remain on the calendar for a further five years.

2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Season Calendar
Date Event Location Format
22-23 Feb au Adelaide 500 Adelaide street circuit, SA SuperStreet
13-15 Mar au Melbourne 400 Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, VIC Int’l SuperSprint
04-05 Apr au Tasmania SuperSprint Symmons Plains Raceway, TAS SuperSprint
25-26 Apr au Auckland SuperSprint Pukekohe Park Raceway, NZ SuperStreet
16-17 May au Perth SuperNight Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway, WA SuperNight
06-07 Jun au Winton SuperSprint Winton Motor Raceway, VIC SuperSprint
27-28 Jun au Townsville 400 Townsville street circuit, SA SuperStreet
18-19 Jul au Darwin Triple Crown Hidden Valley Raceway, NT SuperSprint
29-30 Aug au Sydney SuperNight Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW SuperNight
20 Sep au The Bend 500 The Bend Motorsport Park, SA Endurance
11 Oct au Bathurst 1000 Mount Panorama Circuit, NSW Endurance
31-01 Nov au Gold Coast 600 Surfers Paradise street circuit, QLD Endurance
21-22 Nov au Sandown 400 Sandown Raceway, VIC SuperSprint
05-06 Dec au Adelaide 500 Newcastle street circuit, NSW SuperStreet

Image via Red Bull Holden Racing Team

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Geoff Burke

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