Supercars' Bold New Qualifying Format

The Future?

Supercars' Bold New Qualifying Format

Let's face it, no one likes heavy traffic.

It holds you up, tests your patience and grinds your gears.

Supercars drivers aren't immune either.

Traffic makes it bloody hard to put in a hot lap when you've got slower cars on the track driving like Miss Daisy (or rather, on a cool down lap to the pits).

With this in mind, the powers that be have proposed a shake up for next year.

A brand spanking new qualifying format.


It'll be introduced at the two shortest circuits on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship calendar in a bid to keep the traffic issue under control.

Symmons Plains in Tasmania and Barbagallo Raceway in WA will run the new format which sees the filed split into groups based on practice times before a three-part qualifying session.

Supercars sporting and technical director David Stuart says they've borrowed some ideas from other motorsport categories.

“The aim has been to try and reduce the amount of traffic on track, which lessens the chances of those issues reoccurring," he said.

“We looked at the way MotoGP and Formula 1 do things and we’ve come up with a combination of both.”

So how does it all work?

The top 10 cars from the combined Friday practice times earn automatic spots in Q2 (the second qualifying session) on Saturday.

On Sunday a 20-minute practice session runs in the morning with the Top 10 also earning appearances in Q2.

Saturday AND Sunday qualifying sessions consist of these three qualifying sessions.

Q1 - a 10-minute session with the bottom 16 from practice
- the top 6 go straight to Q2

Q2 - a 10-minute session with the top 10 from practice and the top 6 from Q1
- the top 10 go straight to Q3

Q3 - a 10-minute session deciding the first five rows (top 10) for the race

Qualifying will run for 40 minutes with 5 minute breaks between sessions.

Should the format prove to be hit, expect it to be rolled out at further events in 2019.

“It’s not something that you’d have everywhere, but it’s something different that we are going to try at these shorter circuits," said Stuart.

“The way it’s structured should alleviate that pressure, but until you try it you don’t completely know.”