Enduro racers get Supercar cup chance

Gold Coast, Sandown and Bathurst races will make up a new Endurance Cup season

Drivers want the chance to compete in a full endurance season of V8 Supercar racing. Picture / Getty Images
Drivers want the chance to compete in a full endurance season of V8 Supercar racing. Picture / Getty Images

A new scheme could see a driver from outside the main series become the V8 Supercars endurance champion. In a title within a title, drivers who choose to contest the three key V8 enduros will have the chance to upstage the star regulars.

The Gold Coast 600, the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000 will form the V8 Supercars Endurance Cup.

This year drivers will compete for the Endurance Cup across the three events, with cumulative points deciding the best drivers.

Teams will now be able to choose drivers to compete in the three events, or in any combination they choose.

Previously they had to nominate co-drivers for Sandown and Bathurst, but the rules prevented them from competing on the Gold Coast.

It means drivers such as Finland's Mika Salo can fulfil his dream of a full endurance season of V8 Supercars.

Salo won last year's Gold Coast 600 with Ford Performance Racing's Will Davison, afterwards saying his ultimate goal was to race all three endurance events.

The V8 Supercar Commission decided on the change to allow teams to plan their endurance season for all three races and allow for a thorough preparation, said chairman Mark Skaife.

"The Endurance Cup means teams can choose one driver as their co-driver for all three events, which allows them to train and plan for the longer stints.

"These cars are not easy to drive on a one-off basis.

"While the Car of the Future will be more 'driver-friendly', it's very difficult to transition into a race-mode V8 Supercar with limited preparation.

"This way teams can spend the next eight months choosing and preparing the drivers they believe are best equipped across all three races," he said.

The points from all races will be combined, meaning either a single driver or a pairing will be crowned the Endurance Cup winner.

-AAP

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