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Supercars considering splitting Bathurst Super2 race

Daniel Herrero Tom Howard

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Saturday 30th November, 2019 - 2:00pm

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The start of this year’s Bathurst 250

Supercars is considering dropping the single 250km race format for the Dunlop Super2 Series’ Bathurst round and reverting to a pair of races at Mount Panorama.

The Super2 enduro was introduced in 2014 and is unique in so much that it is the only race of the season which necessitates at least one pit stop, and also that it gives teams the option of entering two drivers in a car.

Speedcafe.com understands, however, that a proposal will be put to the Supercars Commission that would see the format scrapped and two shorter races instead be held at Bathurst, as is the case for most other Super2 rounds.

That would make redundant another of the quirks of the race, namely that Virgin Australia Supercars Championship teams lend crew members and equipment for in-race refuelling.

This year’s supplementary regulations stipulated that four tyres must be changed, in a fashion akin to North American motorsport, and at least 85 litres of fuel filled during the race.

While the Super2 team’s crew members handled the former task, the Championship team whose pit bay a car used provided the car controller, spike person, and fuel filler.

Eggleston Motorsport experienced refuelling issues with both of its cars in this year’s race when a Tickford fuel head proved incompatible with its VF Commodores, despite a theoretically identical spare unit not producing any problems when tested pre-event.

The ‘Bathurst 250’ has produced significant drama besides that in its six years to date, in part due to the strategic variability which the format encourages.

This year, Bryce Fullwood lost what would have been a dominant win and the lap record given he set the latter on the final lap with a local yellow flag at The Chase.

In the madcap 2018 edition, the top two went off at The Chase on the final lap, opening the door for Dean Fiore to take a victory which was only confirmed when he was cleared of wrongdoing for an incident which took Paul Dumbrell out of the race.

Macauley Jones got his first Super2 race win, albeit not for series points, in 2017 when Brad Jones Racing capitalised on a timely Safety Car as the rest fought amongst themselves.

Dumbrell was undefeated through the first three Bathurst mini enduros, but had to block out the distraction from a fan who had tapped into his radio to keep that streak alive in 2016.

Formats for the rest of the 2020 Super2 season are set to remain the same as in 2019, meaning an Armor All Qualifying session and single race on each of Saturday and Sunday of race weekends, except for a three-race progressive grid system in Adelaide.

The Newcastle round has been dropped to make for a six-round calendar, although Supercars has added half a million dollars’ worth of prizemoney with the bulk of that earmarked for the series winner’s progression to the Championship.

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