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ALBERT PARK GRAND PRIX JOINS SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

Supercars will race for Championship points at Albert Park - Photo: LAT

Supercars will race for Championship points at Albert Park – Photo: LAT

Supercar Drivers will race for championship points at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.

The news, and that of a new six-year deal, was just announced in Melbourne. Supercars will continue to be a feature event at Albert Park until at least 2023.

The announcement was made by Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren.

“The introduction of a Supercars Championship round will increase local and international interest and shine the spotlight on the city of Melbourne and the fantastic sporting events we consistently host,” he said.

“In addition to the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Supercars Championship will add to the spectacle of competitive racing and the fan experience at this world-class event.”

John Eren Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events making the announcement

John Eren Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events making the announcement

Supercars CEO James Warburton said that this was “a fantastic opportunity” for the category.

“I am delighted to say that thanks to the hard work and perseverance of the AGPC, and the foresight of Formula 1, it is now a reality,” he said.

“A Championship round and the six-year contract extension through to 2023 will be warmly received by our fans and add a new dimension to the event.”

Supercars' James Warburton during the announcement

Supercars’ James Warburton during the announcement

The news comes after meetings at this year’s AGP between Supercars, the AGP Corporation and representatives of Liberty Media, F1’s new owners.

The challenge will now be to implement a race format that allows the category to put on championship-standard races without compromising either its own program, or that of the Formula 1 GP. This year the teams had four 30-minute races to prepare for, each with its own 10-minute Qualifying session, which were held on Thursday.

Supercars have been a regular on the program since the Grand Prix came to Melbourne in 1996, but there were no support events at the track in 2006.

Six years ago the teams got their own pitlane at the south end of the F1 pitlane, but it has been subject to strict guidelines about showing team logos within the garages during any F1 activity.

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