Supercars reveals 'dropped round' coronavirus back-up plan

Andrew van Leeuwen

The contingency was confirmed today as part of a wider roll-out of pandemic-related rule changes and the format for the season resumption in Sydney.

Should any driver be forced to miss a round of the revised season due to COVID-19 or displaying flu-like symptoms, a 'dropped round' system will be employed. That means each driver will drop his worst round from the season to calculate the final drivers' and teams' standings.

A raft of other rules, at this stage only locked in for Sydney event but likely to be used at other events, include a restriction on live data. Access to Supercars data logger will not be permitted until after the event, while brake temperature sensors and g-sensors must be removed from the cars.

Three sets of control Dunlops will need to be handed back after practice on the first day.

There will also be a curfew system, with crew only allowed into the circuit 2.5 hours before the first session and required to leave within three hours of parc ferme ending.

The testing regulations have been altered too, with teams only allowed one more day of running in 2020, which has to be used between August 30 and October 5. Rookie tests have been replaced by rookie-only sessions at events.

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As for format, the SMP round will be staged over three 130-kilometre sprint races on the Gardner layout, each requiring a single compulsory stop for at least two tyres.

There will be no refuelling, cars starting with a fuel tank to ensure they make the distance.

As part of the coronavirus restrictions, just six team members per car will be allowed over the line during stops, rather than the usual eight. That means just two rattle guns, not four, will be in use.

Saturday's running will be held between 10:20am and 4:30pm, starting with the rookie-only practice session.

That will be followed by two half-hour all-in practice sessions, ahead of a staged qualifying format to set the grid for Race 1.

The slowest four cars will be eliminated from Q1, with five more out at the end of Q2. The remaining 15 cars will then compete for pole in a single-lap Top 15 Shootout.

Sunday's action will run between 10:35am and 3:35pm, with two standard 15-minute qualifying sessions and the two races.