The annual V8 Supercar Championship Series is well and truly underway, with competitors currently battling it out in the hopes of being crowned ultimate victor. Each year, drivers must race against each other in 14 different rounds, completing a series of sprint races – with distances of 250 km or 120 km – plus endurance races. The Championships, which have been going since 1993, draw over 250,000 spectators, as well as millions of television viewers. As such, twelve of the 14 rounds are held in Australia, whilst New Zealand is host to one (Hamilton 400) and Bahrain another (Gulf Air Desert 400). In general terms, V8 Supercars is a category within touring car racing. It sees customised street cars – based on the Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore car models – legally race against one another across a variety of purpose-built racetracks and street circuits. As well as attracting huge interest in New Zealand, V8 Supercar racing is the most popular motorsport in Australia.
Because the V8 Supercars are similar in weight and speed, it is usual to see the top 20 drivers qualifying within a second of each other. The result is a fast paced, close racing experience, providing viewers with an action-packed Championship and drivers with everything to play for. A similar format is followed for each race, which sees drivers complete a practice and qualifying round, as well up to three races. As already mentioned, the competitors must either complete an endurance race – a single race, with compulsory pitstops – or a sprint race. There are currently two tracks offering endurance races: Phillip Island 500 and Bathurst 1000. The next stage in the competition, the Gulf Air Desert 400, is gearing up for yet another exciting race weekend. Hosted at the Bahrain International Circuit, the event is returning for its third consecutive year, having been voted the V8 Supercar ‘Event of the Year’ in 2007.
Reflecting the growing worldwide appeal of motorsports, reports are that the Gulf Air Desert 400 has already attracted unprecedented interest, with spectator figures expected to reach well over the 30,000 seen last year. Located in the middle of the desert, the race track measures 5.4 kilometres or 3.37 miles long and includes 15 turns. It is one of Bahrain’s premier sports events, as well as the Bahrain International Circuit’s biggest international sporting affair. Thirty one V8 Supercar racers are expected to take part this year. And, with the grand final looming around the corner, people will be following the outcome of Gulf Air Desert 400 with bated breath. Indeed, not only will it take the drivers one step closer to the finishing line after a long battle, but it will also go towards deciding which one will walk away triumphant. Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.