V8 Supercars will add twilight races and simplify its race formats for 2014, ahead of a planned international expansion in ’15. As part of the re-alignment, the series’ first race in the United States at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas has been dropped for next year, although series officials say it will return in 2015.
COTA was dropped from next year’s calendar due to date clashes, the series says, but will return in ’15 as part of what series chief James Warburton described as “an extensive international strategy for 2015 and beyond.” V8 Supercars is also talking to other American venues with a view to adding a further U.S. date alongside Austin in the future, as Warburton emphasized that the track remained part of the series’ long-term plans.
“The timing of COTA securing the X Games next year led to the mutual agreement of a gap-year before consolidating, planning and returning to Texas in 2015,” he said.
In response to fan feedback, at least five races on the yet-to-be-announced 2014 schedule will have Saturday evening slots. This bill will be previewed in the 2013 season-closing Sydney street event, the first part of which will run from 5.10pm to 7.30pm local time on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The current multiple weekend formats will be standardized into rotation between SuperSprint, SuperStreet and Enduro Cup events. SuperSprint weekends will offer two 100-kilometer races on Saturdays and a 200km finale on Sundays.
The street venue format tweak means the Townsville and Auckland events will now offer 500km of racing in total, while the new-for-2013 Enduro Cup remains in place for Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers Paradise.