WHEN you ask Supercars drivers how they’ll prepare for the sport’s first ever night event in 2018 the answer is simple: “We’ll slap a few more lights on the car and hope we can see”.
Those are the words of reigning champ Jamie Whincup who is looking forward to the Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300 in August, albeit a little apprehensively.
Many of the drivers — like Whincup — have never raced under lights and those that have only did so in a go-kart as opposed to the 300km/h missiles they’ll be steering through Sydney Motorsport Park.
The addition of the night event will add an exciting aspect to the 2018 Supercars calendar, with drivers taking to the 3.93km stretch of track for three hours of high intensity racing.
There are plenty of unknowns but Whincup believes it will be a winner with fans.
“I’ve done a twilight event in Abu Dhabi and that’s it,” Whincup said.
“I’m sure the car will perform a little differently under lights but that’s part of the challenge.
“I know a lot of people are just too busy to take a whole day to watch a race so plenty of fans will love getting down there at night — it will go well.”
Supercars 2017 championship runner-up Scott McLaughlin said the only experience he had racing at night was during commercial shoots under lights.
Before that was seven years ago when the 24-year-old was racing go-karts.
Like Whincup, McLaughlin will simply hope for the best in August.
“We’ve never done night racing before and I certainly haven’t for seven-odd years,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s going to be hard because you probably won’t be able to see all your controls and buttons properly so it should be interesting.”
And the Sydney SuperNight 300 isn’t the only change to the 2018 Supercars schedule, with two new championship events being introduced.
The Australian Grand Prix will be given championship status in 2018 while a new event South Australian was confirmed late last year.
In a 37-week season that will begin in Adelaide and end in Newcastle, Supercars will race for the first time at a purpose-built $100 million circuit at South Australia’s Tailem Bend.
The 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship begins with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 1-4.