Fans in for "something special"
The Hamilton 400, set for 17 to 19 April next year, is now an endurance event.
It will consist of two 200km races instead of the three shorter sprint races.
V8 Supercars Australia confirmed the new format with the Hamilton 400 now the second round of the championship in 2009.
As part of the format change one race will be held on Saturday 18 April and the second on Sunday 19 April. This is similar to the Clipsal 500 format in Adelaide.
The new Hamilton 400 format will include two compulsory pit stops – one for tyres and one for fuel.
Hamilton 400 Event Director Steve Vuleta said they were delighted with the change of format for 2009.
“This is a testament to the success of our first year. And it gives race fans something special. The two longer races will definitely add considerable interest for spectators both with the effects of a longer race and also the compulsory pit stops for both tyres and now refuelling,” said Vuleta.
“It means there is a major focus on both weekend racing days while Friday’s practice and qualifying will become even more critical to teams’ chances.
“We believe the changes to grandstands and viewing for fans and this news about the race changes for 2009 means we can make our second year even better than the first.”
There are a number of other changes to the racing next year that will see the introduction of a softer compound tyre option and return to a Top Ten Shootout.
“It is time for the sport to reinvent itself and spice up the on-track spectacle,” said V8 Supercars Australia Chairman Tony Cochrane.
“The board fully agrees that these sweeping changes are what is needed to take the sport to the next level by ensuring for everybody at the track and watching at home that it has plenty to offer.”
Tickets for the Hamilton 400 went on sale today through Ticketek.