Supecars shelves plan to turn Gold Coast round into one 500km race

Supercars has shelved its plan to turn the Gold Coast round into a single 500-kilometre race from 2019 onwards, and is set to retain its current two-race format

Supecars shelves plan to turn Gold Coast round into one 500km race

The series said it was considering altering the Gold Coast format when it revealed its 2019 calendar last month, with the idea of adopting the same format as the Sandown 500.

That would not only have simplified the enduro leg of the series' calendar, with the Bathurst 1000 followed by two 500km races, but also cleared the Saturday schedule in Surfers Paradise for a potential deal with NASCAR.

The Supercars Commission voted in favour of the change in the days before this year's Gold Coast round, before the concept was taken to the Queensland Government and Tourism and Events Queensland for final approval.

But that plan has now been dropped, and Supercars confirmed that the double-header format will continue amid an ongoing search for an overseas series to partner with.

"At the most recent commission meeting before Newcastle it was decided to remain with the successful and proven format of two 300-kilometre races, one each day," said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

"The format will allow for us to continue to explore an international presence at the event."

The news comes a little more than a week after IndyCar boss Mark Miles concluded promising talks with the Queensland government over a possible return of the Gold Coast Indy event in early 2020.

Supercars has also revealed its Phillip Island round will adopt a traditional SuperSprint format in 2019.

That means a 120km race followed by a 200km race, rather than the twin 250km format that has been used for the past two years.

The Pukekohe round will be a single-driver event next season, following suggestions it could become a Bathurst 1000 warm-up for co-drivers.

Teams will also have access to more control tyres at each SuperSprint round in 2019.

The total allocation will stay the same as this year, but there will be one less event next season - with Sydney Motorsport Park falling off the schedule.

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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