Racing Formats for the V8 Supercar
As V8 supercar racing continues to spread from its home of Australia to more and more places throughout the world, the growing interest in this motorsport has many racing bodies looking to expand their V8 offerings. Of course, international forms of V8 racing are likely to take their cues from models already well-established in Australia and New Zealand, where the sport has widespread popularity. For newcomers to V8 supercar racing, here are the two main categories of racing formats that you can expect to see.
Sprint races are relatively short races, although they’re not nearly as short as what’s termed “sprint” in other types of motorsports. In a few types of racing enjoyed in Europe and U.S., a sprint may be as short as 500 to 1000 meters, lasting mere seconds.
V8 supercar sprint races are a little bit different. Rather than being a quick sprint over a straight track, a supercar sprint rate typically goes for around 125 miles. Unlike in other formats, racers are not required to make pit stops over the course of the race, but there are certain requirements that make pit stops unofficially compulsory. Sprint races usually take no more than an hour or so, and many competitions involve two sprint races conducted over two days across a weekend.
Endurance races are exactly what you would expect from the name: They test the driver’s ability to handle the vehicle and stay competitive over long distances. There are a few different lengths of endurance races. For example, the Bathurst 100 is a single race that covers 1000 kilometers, which amounts to 161 laps around the Mount Panorama track. Meanwhile, the Phillip Island 500, which takes place on Phillip Island in Victoria, goes for 500 kilometers.
Because endurance races obviously place much greater demands upon the vehicles, most races require drivers to make a certain number of pit stops over the course of the race. Teams generally have a fixed number of tires that they can use over the course of the race, and pit stops also commonly deal with issues such as brake-pads and fuel.
Endurance races can be highly demanding, which is why they usually involve teams of drivers who switch out at periodic intervals. Teams usually have anywhere between two and four drivers, and there are very specific rules governing how long a single driver may stay behind the wheel.