Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge expands for 2019
The Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge will return for the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with confirmation of an expanded competition for the coming year.
First held in 2017, the Challenge ran across six races, before growing to eight last year.
For 2019 the competition will run across nine races at eight events with the inclusion of Race 9 at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint, which ran to a twin 250km format last year.
Times are recorded from pit stops where it is compulsory for drivers to take on at least two tyres during the stop.
Points are then awarded in descending order, with 24 for the fastest crew and a single point for the slowest.
The top four teams after The Bend SuperSprint will then vie for a $20,000 prize and the Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge Golden Rattle Gun over the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend.
However, prizes will also be awarded at the end of the standard nine race competition, with the highest ranked team receiving $5,500, second $3,500, and third $2,000.
“We’re excited to see another SuperSprint event added to the Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge for 2019,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
“We’ve altered our rules this year regarding pit stop practice during events, which means crews will have to get everything right during the races to prove they are the best in the business.
“The final at Mount Panorama has been popular among fans at the track and across our Fox Sports broadcast, so we’re very pleased that Pirtek has continued to back this initiative.”
Pirtek CEO Stephen Dutton added: “The Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge is another exciting element in our relationship with the Supercars stable.
“The teams get the chance to showcase their skills in what has now become one of the most critical parts of the race.”
Initially, Roger Penske was awarded the victory before he sportingly split the prize with his rivals.
The 2019 competition begins in Melbourne this weekend, with Race 3 of the season on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening’s Race 5.
Pirtek Pit Stop Challange, 2019 schedule
Race 3 – Beaurepaires Melbourne 400
Race 5 – Beaurepaires Melbourne 400
Race 7 – Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint
Race 9 – WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint
Race 11 – Pirtek Perth SuperNight
Race 13 – Winton SuperSprint
Race 15 – BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown
Race 19 – Ipswich SuperSprint
Race 21 – The Bend SuperSprint