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Supercars locks in 2023 race formats, tyre allocations

Supercars has announced its full suite of race formats and control tyre allocations ahead of the 2023 season, the first for its new Gen3 cars.

Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing Ford Mustang leads at the start

The 12-event series will feature 28 races in total with a mix of formats ranging from 70-100 kilometre sprint races, 250-kilometre refuelling races and the two endurance races, the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000.

The season will kick off with the Newcastle 500, which will feature two 250-kilometre races with two compulsory stops. The same format that will be used for the Townsville 500, the Gold Coast 500 and the season-ending Adelaide 500. All of those events will also feature a Top 10 Shootout for each race.

The Albert Park round will consist of four sprint races, one over 100 kilometres, one over 80 kilometres and two over 70 kilometres.

Perth, Tasmania, Darwin and The Bend will all run to the standard SuperSprint format, with three 100-kilometre races.

The Sydney SuperNight will be run with a staggered format, with the first race featuring two stops and run over 200 kilometres under lights. The second race will then be contested over 140 kilometres.

The Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 will also feature Top 10 Shootouts and, as usual, will be single 500- and 1000-kilometre races respectively.

Three-part knockout qualifying, meanwhile, will be used for the opening race at the Perth, Darwin and The Bend SuperSprints, as well as the opening race for the Sydney SuperNight.

Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Photo by: Edge Photographics

As for tyre allocations, there will be three Dunlop dry weather compounds in use across the season – the hard, soft and super soft. The hard will only make one appearance for the season as part of the only multi-compound event at Albert Park, where teams will have four sets of super softs to go with four sets of hards.

The soft will be used in Newcastle, Perth, Townsville, Sydney, The Bend, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Adelaide while the super soft will be used in Tasmania, Darwin and at Sandown.

The most significant change in terms of rubber is Bathurst which has traditionally been run on the hardest compound available.

Feeney predicts "crazy" Supercars opener

Triple Eight sophomore Broc Feeney is predicting a "crazy" opening round in Newcastle next month as the new Gen3 cars debut.

There remains a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the season with delays to the development process meaning teams have only started testing in the last week. Some teams are yet to turn a wheel with a Gen3 car yet with the likes of Team 18, Erebus Motorsport, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Brad Jones Racing still completing their first builds.

Feeney and Triple Eight team-mate Shane van Gisbergen hit the track for the first time with its race cars earlier this week at Queensland Raceway, and the 20-year-old reckons there is more madness ahead as the team works through its testing programme.

"The next 30 days are going to be crazy to get to Newcastle," he said. "I know how hard the team has been working, day and night, to get to this day. And we've still got quite a while to get to the first round.

"Newcastle is going to be crazy. If you expect it to be the same as normal you're a dreamer. It will be pretty wild. We're all looking forward to it because we don't know what to expect."

Grove Racing driver David Reynolds meanwhile is on the fence regarding the raceability of the Gen3 cars after his first shakedown at Winton.

David Reynolds, Grove Racing Ford

David Reynolds, Grove Racing Ford

Photo by: Edge Photographics

A wheel parted ways with the car during one of Reynolds' stints, but fortunately there was no major damage despite the issue sending him off the road.

Reflecting on the test, Reynolds said "we could pretty much race that car tomorrow" but was left questioning the raceability of the new car.

Supercars has looked to improve the racing product with its new car by dumping most of the downforce and moving to a platform consisting of mostly control parts. According to Reynolds the new car comes with its challenges, particularly in the terms of feel of the front end.

"As far as driving goes, the car looks incredible and it goes incredibly fast," he said. "The acceleration is faster than the old car.

"But I think when it comes to braking and cornering, the drivers will be earning their money this year. The front end feel is a challenge.

"Will we have the confidence in the car to pass the guy ahead? I don't know. Right now I don't, I feel like I'm passing myself out there."

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