Print this page
Thursday, 05 October 2017 17:07

Analysis: Will 'Big Bash' Supercars succeed?

202bigbash

Australian sporting codes are busily creating shortened versions of their games to replicate the success of cricket's Big Bash League, including the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

V8X Supercar Magazine explores whether the a 'Big Bash'-style event under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park will work in issue #100.

Issue #100 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #100.

The Big Bash League's rise has forced other codes to look at how they themselves can have their own quick-fire condensed spectacles that differentiate from their core products.

Cricket has Twenty20, rugby league/union has its Sevens' competitions, AFL is developing AFLX, basketball has 3X3, netball Fast5 etc etc... Now Supercars wants in with a championship spectacle under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park on August 4.

"What we want to do is create something unique," says Supercars CEO James Warburton.

"You've got to continue to innovate in your sport and you've got to push the boundaries and find new levels of interest."

But in the rush to try and repeat the Big Bash's success, sporting codes are seemingly ignoring the reasons for its success.

The Big Bash League is the most successful of these new competitions because it retains the core essence of the original version of cricket, simply condensing the amount of overs with minor rule changes. The more rules are changed from the original sports, the less popular the condensed versions have been.

As Warburton suggests, Supercars has tried many different formats over the years in both championship and non-championship events: reverse grids, the 'Dash for Cash', a manufacturers' challenge, knockout-style qualifying races, double-file rolling starts, full-field qualifying shootouts and more. The inclusion of Super2 entrants into the main game is already happening with the wildcard initiative this season.

Those gimmicks, aside from the inclusion of wildcards into the main game, rarely drew wide acclaim from fans. So how will the proposed Supercars 'Big Bash' version be received?

The Supercars races at the Australian Grand Prix will be included in the championship for the first time from 2018, which means the event will no longer will be used to test various formats.

Intriguingly, the World Touring Car Championship has introduced rallycross-style joker laps and cycling-style team time trials to its events in 2017 to mixed responses.

So does Supercars need a non-championship event with formats already tried? Let's see...

2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship calendar:

March 1-4: Adelaide 500*
March 22-25: Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix
April 6-8: Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint*
April 20-22: WD-40 Phillip Island 500
May 4-6: Perth SuperSprint*
May 18-20: Winton SuperSprint
June 15-17: CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown
July 6-8: Watpac Townsville 400*
July 20-22: Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint
August 4: Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300
August 24-26: The Bend SuperSprint
September 14-16: Sandown 500*
October 4-7: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000*
October 19-21: Vodafone Gold Coast 600
November 2-4: ITM Auckland SuperSprint
November 23-25: Coates Hire Newcastle 500*

* Denotes Dunlop Super2 Series

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #100 to read the full feature.