Twilight Supercars races dropped for Albert Park

Andrew van Leeuwen

Albert Park has played host to twilight Supercars races on both the Friday and Saturday evenings for the past two years, the Aussie touring car series closing out the track action on both of those days.

However there's been a reshuffle for 2020, with the first Friday race to be held before Formula 1 Free Practice 2, and the second Saturday race before the first qualifying session of the new F1 season.

According to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation's motorsport boss Craig Fletcher the move has primarily been made to better fit the on-track timetable with the wider entertainment programme.

There is also the added benefit of avoiding the risk of poor light conditions from the fickle Melbourne weather, like the Saturday evening race in 2018.

Read Also:

Porsche enduro added to Australian GP schedule

"The track finishes right after Formula 1 on the Friday and Saturday, and that's to assist with the preparation of other activities," Fletcher told Motorsport.com.

"We were pushing right on the edge of sunset too, we always knew that. If you have what we had a couple of years ago, with the heavy clouds and the rain, it got quite dark.

"Supercars are happy with be in between those two Formula 1 sessions, which is prime time for the fans. We think we've come up with a good result by massaging the different requirements."

Unlike the split-distance format used previously, all four races will be staged over 20 laps, and each will be worth 75 points to the winner.

There will be a mix of tyre compounds, though, with each car getting four new sets of hards and four new sets of softs.

The rapid-fire four-pronged qualifying system has been retained for this year, with two grids settled on the Thursday evening and the other two on Friday morning.

The first race will be held at 1:50pm Friday, the second at 12pm Saturday, the third at 3:20pm Saturday and the final race at 12:55pm on Sunday.

There are no surprises with the Formula 1 session scheduling, with practice sessions at 12pm and 4pm on Friday, third practice at 2pm on Saturday and qualifying at 5pm.

The Australian Grand Prix will then kick off at 4:10pm on the Sunday.

Full 2020 Australian Grand Prix schedule

Thursday March 12

10:40 S5000 – Practice
11:10 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Practice 1
11:40 Supercars – Practice 1
12:20 Carrera Cup – Practice
13:35 Supercars – Practice 2
14:15 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Practice 2
14:45 S5000 – Qualifying
15:15 Carrera Cup – Qualifying
15:45 Supercars – Qualifying 1
16:05 Supercars – Qualifying 2
16:50 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Qualifying
17:20 Carrera Cup – Race 1

Friday March 13

09:40 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Race 1
10:10 Supercars – Qualifying 3
10:30 Supercars – Qualifying 4
10:50 S5000 – Qualifying Race 1
12:00 Formula 1 – Free Practice 1
13:55 Supercars – Race 1
14:55 Carrera Cup – Race 2
16:00 Formula 1 – Free Practice 2

Saturday March 14

10:10 S5000 – Qualifying Race 2
11:25 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Race 2
12:00 Supercars – Race 2
13:00 Carrera Cup – Race 3
14:00 Formula 1 – Free Practice 3
15:20 Supercars – Race 3
17:00 Formula 1 – Qualifying

Sunday March 15

10:40 TCR Asia Pacific Cup – Race 3
11:40 S5000 – Feature Race
12:15 Carrera Cup – Race 4
12:55 Supercars – Race 4
16:10 Formula 1 – Race