Rolling starts and double points will both feature in the V8 Supercars non-championship meeting in Melbourne, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation has announced.
Each of the four Rolex Australian Grand Prix support bill races will feature a double-file rolling start, while drivers will also line up side-by-side for any Safety Car restarts across the event.
Points will be accumulated in each race with a rolling points system deciding the starting grid for each subsequent race. And in a unique tie-in with Formula One in 2014, the final race of the weekend will have double points on offer as an added incentive, the same format introduced for the final race of this year’s F1 world championship in Abu Dhabi.
The rolling start procedure was used in the second leg of the ’60/60 Super Sprint’ events during 2013, but plans for double-file Safety Car restarts were scrapped after drivers expressed concern that it would cause unnecessary carnage at some circuits.
CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Andrew Westacott, is confident the new race format will provide V8 fans with a unique spectacle.
“There is plenty to look forward to for V8 Supercars fans at this year’s event. Not only do we have a brand new format, but Volvo has joined existing manufacturers Holden, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes for what is sure to be a gripping season-long battle,” Westacott said.
“We are always working to refresh the entertainment offering and the new V8 Supercars race format is a great example of this in action, I’m sure we’re going to see some impressive performances across the event.”
V8 Supercars CEO, James Warburton, welcomed the revamped format and is proud of the role that V8 Supercars continue to play at the Formula One event.
“This unique format for the Australian Grand Prix is something fans have never seen before,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton told the Australian Association Press.
“Double-file rolling starts and resumptions after safety cars and, double points in the final race really will raise the stakes.
“The Australian Grand Prix is a magnificent event, the atmosphere is electric and the combination of the world’s best open wheelers and touring cars on the same track is simply spectacular.
All Australians should be very proud of this weekend that showcases Melbourne and Australia – the home of V8 Supercars, to the world.”
2014 Australian Grand Prix V8 Ambassador, Craig Lowndes expects the new format to make the racing even more competitive.
“Arriving at the first corner after a rolling start is certainly going to be interesting,” Lowndes said.
“I think it will be more important than ever to be at the front of the field and out of trouble.”
The 2014 Australian Grand Prix runs from 13 – 16 March.