Five-time Supercars Champion Mark Skaife says he would like to see a return of ’round winners’ at events if the series continues to use its mixed tyre compound regulations across a number of sprint events this year.
The previous weekend from Sydney Motorsport Park was the first round since the pandemic-induced break Supercars had brought a combination of soft and hard tyres for drivers to use for the weekend.
Teams were restricted to three sets of hards and a mere two sets of soft tyres per driver to be used across two practice sessions, three qualifyings and a shootout, and three races.
Utimately, the idea is to create more enthralling racing for spectators, offering teams that would otherwise be mired among the midfield with a shot at a surprise podium finish.
The theory materialised over the weekend with a handful of surprise results, including a break-through victory for Jack Le Brocq and a maiden pole position award for Andre Heimgartner.
The notion has divided opinion among teams, experts and fans and has led to series legend amd current television broadcaster Skaife calling for a return to the former round system that was shelved back in 2009 to better reward the most consistent performer over the weekend.
“The winner of the weekend is the crucial part,” Skaife told Fox Sports.
“It was great to see three young blokes on the podium at the end, but when the biggest audience is captured on a Sunday afternoon I want to know who won the weekend.
“If you take it across the span of the weekend, everyone has to make a pre-determined strategy and actually understand how you get the best from your weekend, so that’s okay.
“There are times when people put all their eggs in one basket and get a result, but it’s slightly false if you don’t actually say what is the real charter of the weekend.
“We should have a proper podium to celebrate the winner of the weekend.”
Had a round winner been implemented over the weekend, reigning series champion Scott McLaughlin would have ruled the roost.
The Kiwi picked up a victory and third-place finish in the opening two races before holding onto an uncharacteristic 14th in Sunday’s final race after been compelled to run on older rubber.
McLaughlin also suggested over the weekend for a tweak in the tyre regulations concerning the Top-15 shootout, calling for each driver to make the shootout to be allowed an additional set of tyres to level the playing field.
Several drivers who had made the shootout on merit had done so on soft tyres and thus had to use the slower hard tyres for the sole competitive lap, compromising their race strategy.
Skaife echoed McLaughlin’s calls and admits there are a few areas of improvement needed by Supercars to improve the spectacle of each event.
“We need to be able to explain what tyres are on the car at the time and how many kilometres those tyres have done throughout the course of the weekend, so that if you’re in your lounge room you actually understand what’s going on,” Skaife added.
“That’s a very hard sell at the moment in terms of what tyres are on the car at what time.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship now prepares for back-to-back rounds at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin starting on August 8-9.