Points system revamped for 2019 Supercars enduros
Supercars will revamp its points system for two of its three jewel-in-the-crown long-distance races next year.
The Aussie series is set to award championship points for the 'Race to the Grid' qualifying heats on the Gold Coast and at Sandown, placing additional emphasis on the Saturday sprint races.
The Supercars Commission has now green-lit the change of format for the Gold Coast round, leaving official approval from government department Tourism and Events Queensland as the final step.
Should that approval be granted, as is expected, what's currently the Sandown 500 format – two qualifying heat races followed by a single 500-kay enduro – will be used on the streets of Surfers as well.
And those qualifying races will now be worth championship points, not just grid position for the main race as has been the case in recent years.
"We’ll definitely be doing a full endurance 500-kilometre race on Sunday [on the Gold Coast], we’re just working through the finer details with the team at TEQ," confirmed Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
"We’ll also have Race to the Grid on the Saturday, as we do at Sandown, and those Race to the Grids will include points.
"It will be the same as [Sandown] this year, just for points. The feedback we have had from fans and broadcast is that if it is a race, it is a race.
"The Commission agreed to that on Wednesday."
Seamer explained that the plan is to effectively have 350 points on offer, although any one driver will only be able to score 300 points.
That means co-drivers won't be able to score points for a primary driver in the first heat race, instead competing for their own 'Co-driver Cup'.
"What we have talked about is 50 points for each and 250 for the Sunday, so it is still 300 for the main driver," explained Seamer.
"The co-driver’s points won’t count to the championship. We might look at putting a Co-drivers Cup together."
The shift in format for the Gold Coast round isn't just a way to simplify the enduros, but also opens the door for Supercars to bring its radical NASCAR plan to life.
"It’ll certainly add a lot more pressure on the teams and drivers to be doing a full 500-kilometres on the Sunday," added Seamer.
"It’ll be hard on the cars, but great for the fans.
"It’s a new format and it will spice up both days. It also gives us the opportunity to clear the schedule on the Saturday, to add some innovation, [and] potentially new categories joining us next year."
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