Aus GT issues heavily revised 2017 calendar

Tom Howard

Thursday 19th January, 2017 - 3:42pm

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Australian GT will return to Townsville next year as part of a new look 2017 calendar

The Australian GT Championship has announced a heavily revised sprint series calendar featuring more Supercars events to appease disgruntled competitors.

A strong contingent of teams and drivers were unhappy with the championship’s decision to move away from Supercars events announced last year.

A decrease in television exposure by being cut adrift from Supercars’ Foxtel package is believed to be among the key grievances which has forced the belated adjustments to the schedule.

Speedcafe.com understands emergency talks between competitors and organisers were recently held to mend differences.

The new sprint series calendar sees three more Supercars events added to the five-round schedule.

Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 opener (March 2-5) and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix (March 23-26) are the only GT sprint events unaffected by the late changes.

Perth, Townsville and a Sandown finale, which were not part of the initial 2017 schedule, have now been added.

The championship will feature at the Supercars Perth Super Sprint from May 5-7 before heading to the Townsville 400 (July 7-9) and concluding at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 (September 15-17).

The events replace visits to Phillip Island, a standalone meeting at Symmons Plains and the annual finale at Highlands Motorsport Park in November.

“We have accepted the requests of the competitors and worked with Supercars to ensure our racing formats are accommodated,” explained Australian GT manager Ken Collier.

The Australian Endurance Series and Australian Trophy Series schedules remain largely unchanged.

However, the second round of the Endurance Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park will be held in conjunction with Supercars’ Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint event (August 18-20) instead of the Shannons Nationals SMP event on July 7-9.

Series boss Tony Quinn had previously been against running Australian Endurance Championship events alongside Supercars having been disappointed by the time slot the championship received at Sydney last year.

CAMS Australian GT Championship 2017 calendar

Round 1 Clipsal 500, Adelaide (March 2-5)
Round 2 Rolex Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne (March 23-26)
Round 3 Perth Super Sprint, Barbagallo (May 5-7)
Round 4 Townsville 400, Townsville (July 7-9)
Round 5 Sandown 500, Sandown, (September 15-17)

CAMS Endurance Championship 2017 calendar 

Round 1 AEC Phillip Island 500, Phillip Island (May 26-28)
Round 2 AEC 501 Sydney, Sydney Motorsport Park (August 18-20)
Round 3 Hampton Downs 500, Hampton Downs (October 27-29)
Round 4 Highlands 501, Highlands Motorsport Park (November 10-12)

CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series 2017 calendar

Round 1 Sandown Raceway (April 8-9)
Round 2 Winton Motor Raceway (June 10-11)
Round 3 Queensland Raceway (August 5-6)
Round 4 Phillip Island (September 9-10)
Round 5 Wakefield Park (November 18-19)

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