2011 calendar released

By 3:57 PM Fri 29 October, 2010 Source: BigPond Sport
The 2011 V8 Supercar calendar has been released (see full calendar below) with some major changes.

Bahrain is off the calendar, with the statement from V8 Supercars Australia indicating the decision to not stage the event was driven by congestion of the circuit's international racing calendar.

Martin Whitaker, Chief Executive Officer of V8 Supercars Australia said: “Bahrain was the pioneer of V8 Supercars racing in the Middle East.

"The success of the race was the catalyst for developing the double-header with Abu Dhabi but we fully understand the challenges that Bahrain is now facing with the proximity of the Desert 400 to the opening round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

“There will always be a really strong affinity and friendship between the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit and V8 Supercars and we wish them luck in the future as the circuit continues to lead the development of motorsport and corporate hospitality in the region”.

Its absence means the Middle Eastern tour is reduced to one event, with the season beginning at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the second consecutive year.

V8 Supercars will return to Western Australia on May 6-8 after a year’s absence, with the WA government committing approximately $5 million to redevelop the circuit and its pit facilities.

After much speculation about its future, Queensland Raceway retains its spot on the calendar, but moves to the later August date – the final event before the enduros.

“V8 Supercars looks forward to the new facilities that will be in place in Perth by the time of the 2012 Championship event,” Whitaker said.

“In the case of Queensland Raceway we thank both the Queensland Government and the Ipswich City Council for their efforts and assistance getting this venue locked into the Championship.

“The support that we have received from both the Government and the Council gives us the opportunity of creating a real differentiator for the Championship at Queensland Raceway. Our plans are to announce an exciting new development in late November.”

Despite speculation linking V8 Supercars to an event on the streets of Singapore as part of the Formula One round, there’s no Singapore event in 2011.

“We came to the decision, due to commercial and logistical reasons, to concentrate on the new permanent circuit at Changi which opens in early 2012 rather than the Grand Prix event in September,” said Whitaker.

“The close proximity to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and our objective of trying to accommodate Singapore as a full Championship round made it very difficult for all parties, particularly our teams, to come to an agreement.

“We look forward to including Singapore in the March/April period of 2012. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted us in Singapore , particularly the organising committee and Formula One Management, and would also add what a stunning event the Singapore GP has become.”

The mid-season break has been condensed drastically when compared to this season’s nine-week hiatus, with approximately month-long breaks between events from Winton in May to Bathurst in October.

With Bahrain’s exclusion and Perth’s inclusion, the 2011 season remains at 14 Championship events with the non-Championship Australian Grand Prix event in March.

A pre-season test day and season launch will be held at Eastern Creek in Sydney on January 29.

The makeup of the calendar has been a point of contention in recent weeks as the announcement was delayed twice.

It was originally to be announced in mid-September but that was pushed back to Bathurst, with further delays at Armor All Gold Coast 600.

V8 Supercars Chairman Tony Cochrane said he did not want to inconvenience fans’ travel plans by releasing a calendar that would be changed at a later date.

2011 V8 Supercars Championship Calendar

Event 01

Yas V8 400, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi UAE Feb 10-12

Event 02

Clipsal 500, Adelaide Parklands, Adelaide SA Mar 17-20

Event NC

Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne VIC Mar 24-27

Event 03

ITM 400 Hamilton, Hamilton NZ April 15-17

Event 04

Barbagallo Raceway, Perth WA May 6-8

Event 05

Winton Motor Raceway May 20-22

Event 06

SKYCITY Triple Crown, Hidden Valley, Darwin NT June 17-19

Event 07

Sucrogen Townsville 400, Reid Park, Townsville QLD July 8-10

Event 08

Queensland Raceway, Ipswich QLD Aug 19-21

Event 09

L&H 500, Phillip Island VIC Sep 16-18

Event 10

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama NSW Oct 6-9

Event 11

Armor All Gold Coast 600, Surfers Paradise QLD Oct 21-23

Event 12

Falken Tasmania Challenge, Symmons Plains, TAS Nov 11-13

Event 13

Norton 360 Sandown Challenge, Sandown Raceway VIC Nov 18-20

Event 14

Sydney Telstra 500, Olympic Park, Sydney NSW Dec 2-4

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