News V8 Supercars Boss axes Texas race
James Warburton has taken the broom to V8 Supercars with the sports new CEO to this week announce several drastic changes to the series, including the addition of at least six twilight races and the temporary axing of Texas.
The Daily Telegraph has been leaked details of the sport’s radical transformation ahead of the release of the 2014 V8 calendar and the night racing revolution is set to begin with key events like the Sydney 500 and the Gold Coast 600 to thunder into darkness with 8.30pm race finishes.
The sport’s international ambition has also been put on hold with the Austin 400 round in the U.S.A to be dumped from the 2014 calendar as the sport looks consolidate the domestic rounds before revisiting America in 2015.
In just the first year of a five-year contract, the lucrative deal with the Circuit of the America’s (C.O.A) has been put on hold with both the promoters and V8 Supercars keen to lock in at least another event in the Northern America before returning.
It is understood former TV executive Warburton wants an “international season” with the series uprooting for at least a month of overseas racing.
The plan is being hatched to increase economies of scale with the C.O.A. and potential new events to share the cost of bringing series abroad.
Domestically the sport will also undergo sweeping changes with race formats overhauled and racing times set to be standardized.
Warburton last week announced the scrapping of the controversial 60/60 race format which featured a much criticized “half-time’’ and confirmed the sport would be simplified with just three different types of events to make up the season.
Super Sprint and Super Street events will complement the three race Endurance Cup, which was introduced this year.
“We very much believe that the fans own the sport,” Warburton said.
“So we’ve done a lot of research around our formats and how we build progress the series.
“Through the commission process we’ve simplified it to three specific formats.”
“[It ensures] that every race has points attached to it and really making sure the fans know what they’re going to get every time they tune into a race.”
It is also understood each of the three racing formats will have standardized start and finish times while lengthy breaks between races will be scraped.
The new V8 administration has identified ad-hoc start times as a major problem for the sport with no uniformity across the season making it difficult for race fans to know exactly when races are on.
Warburton is also pushing for broadcaster Channel 7 to tighten its coverage of the sport by removing the broadcast of support categories.
A V8 spokesman refused to give away details of the shake-up and would only confirm the calendar would be released this week.
“We will announce our calendar on Monday which will include a level of innovation in 2015 after a year of great success, including 12 different race winners, spectacular racing and events, growing crowds and strong viewing audiences,” a V8 Supercar spokesperson said.