Unique ‘Drop Zone’ Race Format For Albert Park Event

Photo credit: V8 Supercars Media
Photo credit: V8 Supercars Media

V8 Supercars head to Melbourne this weekend as support to the Formula 1â„¢ Qantas Australian Grand Prix with a unique racing format planned for the non-championship event.

The MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge comprises four sprint races over four days around the Albert Park circuit, with Thursday's qualifying session will determine the starting slots for Race One's 'Qualifying Race' on Friday.

During the Qualifying Race, the three lowest placed drivers on each lap from lap three through to lap eight will be in the 'drop out zone' and will return to the pits, leaving the remaining ten runners to race to the flag with five laps to go.

Where everyone finishes will determine the line-up for Race Two and the result of that race will set the starting grid for Race Three on Saturday.

Then in Sunday's final race, the grid positions will be based on the points accumulated across Races Two and Three.

Added to the mix is that there are to be no pit-stops in the Qualifying Race.

Initially, those eliminated early will be disadvantaged in where they start Race Two, but the reduced tyre wear should help them come through the field during the closing laps.

There will be a compulsory pit-stop in each of the remaining three races to change all four tyres. Two sets of hard and three sets of soft tyres can be used over the weekend, but teams are required to use both compounds in Races 2, 3 and 4. Teams are also not permitted to pit both of their cars on the same lap unless switching from slick to wet tyres.

In a further clarification of the regulations, the V8 Supercars' Race Director has advised teams that the Stewards reserve the right to deploy a Safety Car at the end of Lap 9 as the leader approaches the Control Line to regroup the remaining 10 cars for the four lap sprint finish.