<
>

Supercars announce new 2020 format

Night racing will be introduced on the Gold Coast while Phillip Island has been controversially cut under a bold new 2020 Supercars program unveiled on Wednesday.

The Gold Coast was one of the big winners for the 60th Supercars season after the Queensland government confirmed new five-year deals for both the street circuit on the tourist strip and the Townsville 400 round.

However, Phillip Island and Ipswich were glaring omissions when the 2020 format was confirmed, reducing the season from 15 to 14 rounds next year.

The Gold Coast round is set to become one of three night races in 2020, joining Perth and the recalled Sydney Supersprint.

And the enduro rounds have also received a dramatic facelift with a 500km race at South Australia's The Bend circuit to kick-off the circuit for the first time followed by the centrepiece Bathurst 1000 and a new look Gold Coast 600 night race.

The program's unveiling is a blow for the Queensland Raceway which has featured the Ipswich round since 1999 while Phillip Island also cops a hit after being a Supercars mainstay since 2005.

However, Supercars CEO Sean Seamer was confident the reduced format would produce better racing.

Despite hosting fewer events, the 2020 season will feature an increase in racing kilometres.

The revised race formats ensures SuperSprint events at Symmons Plains, Auckland, Winton, Darwin and Sandown in 2020 will host two 200km races as opposed to the 120km races on Saturday and 200km events on Sunday in the past.

"The one round reduction is to create a better, more regular and consistent rhythm throughout the year and making sure that we're getting the right flow for both the fans and the teams," Seamer said.

The Supercars boss said the decision to cut Ipswich and Phillip Island was not made lightly.

"Phillip Island is one of the best permanent circuits in Australia, but with our operational requirements limiting the number of rounds we can complete over 12 months, it was not included in the 2020 calendar," he said.

"And it was not an easy decision knowing the strong support we have in Ipswich.

"But it does not mean that the championship will not return to either facility in the future.

South Australia will host a pre-season test at The Bend outside Adelaide on February 18.

The championship will also feature a five-week winter break to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics before returning with the Sydney SuperNight round in late August.