After four incredibly dull Saturday races which saw a grand total of two passes inside the top five after the opening lap(and zero changes inside the top two), V8 Supercars upper management has confirmed they are looking at tweaking the formula, with a change to made possibly in time for the next round in Winton, in two weeks time.
Previous to this year, the Saturday’s on the “Super Sprint” format of racing were comprised of twin 100km races, with a short break in between. The folks at V8 Supercars thought trimming the races to 60km would lead to a much more fast-and-furious style of racing, due to there being no need for tire or fuel conservation.
Unfortunately, this has lead to the exact opposite, with the races becoming dull processions completely devoid of action outside of the first lap. Without pitstops, the races are settled in qualifying, because everyone is on the same tires and they have enough fuel in the tanks not to need a re-fill. In V8 Supercars’ infinite wisdom, the only race of the Super Sprint format you can use the Soft compound of tire is during Sunday’s 200km race. What should have happened was using the Soft tire exclusively for the 60km sprints, bringing in a bit of tire fall-off towards the end of each race.
What upper management is considering is combining the two 60km sprints into a single 120km race. Drivers would have to make a stop for tires, and it would bring strategy back into the fold, something everyone involved in the series has wished to return.
Total tire allocation is also under review, after it was cut from 380 to 292 tires for each team. Teams have expressed dis concern due to a need to save tires on Saturday to re-use on Sunday, and no tires specifically marked for practice. The cut in the allocation of tires was marked as a cost-savings plan, but as most cost-savings plans go, competitors and fans suffer from a sub-par product.
As stated earlier, V8 Supercars may implement a change to the single 120 kilometer Saturday race as soon as two weeks from now at Winton Raceway. If it goes forth, expect it at the remaining Super Sprint rounds at Hidden Valley, Queensland Raceway, Sydney Motorsports Park(formally Eastern Creek), New Zealand’s Pukekohe, and Phillip Island.
Me personally? I think the twin 60km races have been absolute garbage, and while the twin 100km races they had previously weren’t much better, it was still nice to see the cars circulating for ten to fifteen more minutes. I’d prefer to see the Super Sprint format dropped entirely, with the races going to either a 200km race on each day, or a 200km race on Saturday, followed by a 250km race on Sunday. Give each team two sets of Soft tires and let them choose when to use it across the weekend. Pukekohe being the lone exception, with them returning to the ANZAC day weekend and 5 100km races.