Pukekohe V8s to feature four races
Pukekohe Park Raceway (Photosport)
The Auckland round of the V8 Supercars championship next month will operate under a new, four-race format.
Two 100km sprint races will be held on both Saturday and Sunday at Pukekohe Park Raceway for the meet on April 12-14.
Each of the 30-lap races will have its own 15-minute qualifying session and none of them will feature fuel stops.
While the format will promote sprint-style racing, veteran New Zealand driver Greg Murphy said an endurance component will also be demanded of drivers and cars over 400km of racing.
"Nailing the setup of the car straight off the plane in the first practice session will be the absolute key to an overall result," Murphy, a four-time winner at Pukekohe, said.
"Qualifying is always vital and getting the high speed balance right is essential because Pukekohe is such a fast and flowing circuit.
"This is back to a pure sprint format with no pit stops, so strategy doesn't really come into it."
V8 Supercars chief operations officer for Events and Motorsport Shane Howard described the format changes as the "most significant in the history of the sport".
Four 30-minute practice sessions will be held on the Friday, along with qualifying and a top-10 shootout.
The V8 Supercars last raced at Pukekohe in 2007 before the New Zealand round switched to a street race hosted by Hamilton.
Hamilton cut its ties with the event after five years, having suffered heavy financial losses.