V8 Touring Cars confirms race format change
The Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Cars class is set to step up to the next level in 2012, with more rounds and an improved race format system.
Due to competitor demand, the category steps up from five to six rounds in 2012.
All six rounds of the series will be held in conjunction with the Shannons Nationals.
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For the category’s race formats, the Time Attack qualifying system has been dropped in favour of additional race time.
The regular format will be 1 x 20 minute practice on Saturday, 1 x 20 minute qualifying, 2 x 15 minute races and a final 25 minute race.
More points will be available for Race 3, with 40 points up for grabs for the winner in Race 1 and 2, and 60 for a win in Race 3. The Race 3 grid will be determined by combined points from the first two races.
“It’s really the next step in the evolution of V8 Touring Cars,” said category Commercial Manager Rob Curkpatrick.
“We’re going from five rounds to six in 2012 because there is a demand for it and the change in format has come up also.
“The Time Attack was a novelty in the early days but we found it really wasn’t getting the best ‘bang for buck’ in that only 10 people were getting a chance to take up that 20 minutes of track time.
“We felt it was better to convert that to race time and have a longer Race 3, which earns more points.
“With more kilometres of racing that brings tyre management into play via this format as well.”
Teams are limited to marking six control Kumho tyres at each round and can only purchase four new slick tyres each round from Round 2 at Mallala in April onwards.
They can purchase six new slicks at the opening round at Eastern Creek to start the season with wet tyres remaining unlimited.
Curkpatrick also expects an increase in grid numbers for the new season, which starts at Eastern Creek on March 9-11.
“It’s difficult to predict numbers at this stage, but I think we’ll be somewhere between 20 and 25. I’d say we’ll have 22 entries for round one, but it could go higher,” he said.
“We never want to over predict, but we should be close to 25 all season, which is a step up from last year when we had a high of 20 at a round and an average of around 18.”
Another addition to the category this year is the eligibility of the VZ Commodore.
Last year, the VY Commodore (which is only slightly different from a cosmetic point of view) was the latest Holden eligible for the Kumho Series.