Jamie Whincup of the Red Bull Holden Racing team in action at the Ipswich SuperSprint.
Jamie Whincup of the Red Bull Holden Racing team in action at the Ipswich SuperSprint. DARREN ENGLAND

Drivers back return to night racing to lift Supercars

RED Bull Holden Racing teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen have backed Supercars' push for a return to racing under lights as the series prepares to test lighting at Sydney Motorsport Park on Thursday night.

Two cars will take part in a three-hour test on the eve of this weekend's Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint under floodlights in an evaluation run ahead of a push to run next year's SMP event at night.

Whincup claimed a race win at the most recent Supercars race to be run at night, when the championship kicked off in Abu Dhabi in 2011, and is firmly in favour of a return to racing under lights.

"I think it's going to take off," Whincup told Fox Sports News at an event for team partner TW Steel.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the testing they're going to do tonight, how many lights we actually need to light up the circuit, but I think it's the next big thing for us.

"I've been pro-night racing for years now and I'm glad it's finally gaining momentum.

"Everyone's getting busier in the world, everyone gets up, has brekky, takes the kids to school, has jobs to do ... so it's hard for people to justify a full day of watching cars go round the track.

"But to be able to get to the afternoon and then cruise out to, say, an Eastern Creek, and watch a race from 7.30 to 9.30 at night, I think it's a great thing."

Reigning champion Van Gisbergen, who also raced in the two Abu Dhabi events held under lights, expects the low light to showcase the sport at its best.

"Our cars are spectacular at the best of times," Van Gisbergen told Fox Sports News. "So seeing the glowing brakes, the cars spitting flames at night even more, it should be pretty awesome.

"A short, condensed format should be pretty exciting (considering) our 200km races, normally there's so much going on. I think that time of day, a few more people watching the TV and we put on a good show, it should be a win-win."

Fabian Coultahrd and Simona De Silvestro will take to the floodlit track after 6.30pm on Thursday evening.

News Corp Australia

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