Supercars reveals reasons for 2019 GC format change proposal

Tom Howard

Thursday 11th October, 2018 - 7:16pm

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The Gold Coast could be set for a format change next year

Supercars boss Sean Seamer says a move to replicate the Sandown 500 format at the Gold Coast next year is to simplify the event for fans.

The championship revealed a major shake up to its calendar for next season which includes changes to its Pirtek Enduro Cup schedule.

From next year the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will open the enduros followed by the Gold Coast, with the Sandown 500 moving from its traditional September date to November.

It has also emerged that the Gold Coast race could be set for a format tweak with its two 300km races replaced by one 500km two driver heat.

The proposal, which intends to copy the Sandown format including the two Race for the Grid qualifying races, is set to be discussed by the Supercars Commission next week.

Next year’s event is set to clash with the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island although Seamer has assured that racing on the Gold Coast will end before the start of the MotoGP race.

“The intent behind it is to simplify it for the fans,” Seamer said at today’s media conference.

“We have three different enduros and three different formats right now. What we’re looking at is a 1000, a 500, and a 500.

“The idea is to simplify it for the viewers and the spectators so that we’re doing the same thing at Sandown that we’re doing on the Gold Coast.

“We’ve got to make the sport approachable and digestible. The more complicated we make it, the harder it is for new people to come into it.”

If the proposal is successful the move will see the championship feature two 500km races.

Seamer also revealed a move to further simplify the new knockout qualifying system which was introduced this year at Tasmania, Perth and Sydney ahead of a wider rollout for next year.

“We’ll do a bit more work on simplifying the new qualifying format we’ve been using for practice and quali,” he said.

“Anything that needs a graphic to be explained is too complicated. By and large, it will just be minor tweaks.

“We’re not going to set and forget in October. If there are things we can do with formatting and scheduling as we learn different things going through the year, we’ll re-deploy it.”

The Gold Coast race will be held from October 25-27 next year.

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