The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship witnessed its first night race during Round 7 at Sydney Motorsport Park, New South Wales, Australia, aptly named the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight. The event received widespread acclaim from drivers and fans alike, marking a significant moment in the championship.
However, the consensus was clear–adjustments are needed, and the support for more night racing was nearly unanimous. One of the primary critiques focused on the format of the event. Teams arrived at the Eastern Creek venue on Thursday, but there was no on-track action until Saturday, leaving them with limited preparation time for the night race.
This raised concerns, especially considering that the Gen3 Supercars faced reduced visibility issues during night events earlier in the season. Team managers, including Shell V-Power Racing Team's Ben Croke, suggested that Friday evening include at least a practice session, benefiting both teams and fans attending the event.
Drivers voiced their excitement for the night racing spectacle but emphasized the need to improve the schedule. Behind the wheel of the Mobil 1 Optus Mustang, Chaz Mostert commended the format but proposed racing on Friday and Saturday nights or, alternatively, on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Such a change would maximize the event's appeal and potentially draw larger crowds, creating a more captivating atmosphere.
Driver Will Brown Calls for Dynamic Supercar Weekends
Will Brown, currently second in the championship standings with the Coca-Cola #9 Camaro, echoed the sentiment for shorter, more dynamic racing events.
He advocated condensing the race weekends into two-day events to generate higher interest, showcasing Supercars more frequently on television and giving fans a regular dose of exhilarating racing action. Brad Jones, team principal of Brad Jones Racing, expressed support for revising the format to reduce the length of the race meeting.
He found it unnecessary for teams to be on-site for an entire week before the event, urging Supercars to explore options allowing a more efficient race schedule without sacrificing the excitement and competitiveness on track.
Interestingly, despite the discussions surrounding the need for improvements, teams stayed at Sydney Motorsport Park for an additional day after the event to host a ride-day for hundreds of guests. Supercars teams utilized this opportunity to provide valuable track time for their co-drivers, ensuring they were well-prepared for the upcoming Sandown and Bathurst endurance races.
The call for more night racing at Sydney Motorsport Park is indicative of the growing appeal of such events among drivers, teams, and fans. As the championship progresses, it will be intriguing to see how Supercars authorities respond to these suggestions and whether they will implement changes to further elevate the thrill and spectacle of night racing in the future.