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V8s make big format changes

V8 SUPERCARS has unleashed its version of cricket's Twenty20 format, announcing a dramatic change to its race formats for next year.

Six of the 16 events in the 2013 championship will feature ''60/60 Super Sprint'' races on the Saturday, breaking the action into two 60-kilometre ''halves'' with a 15-minute break between.

Qualifying will determine the grid for the first of the 60-kilometre races and the finishing order will be the grid for the second. Points and positions will be assigned after the second race, which will feature a rolling start similar to NASCAR racing.

Next year's rounds in Tasmania, Perth, Darwin, Ipswich, Winton and the Phillip Island 400 will feature the new Saturday format, designed to promote hard racing and eliminate refuelling concerns or tyre conservation tactics.

The changes add to what will be a vastly different season in V8s with the introduction to the grid of Nissan and Mercedes, while each driver will be competing in a newly built vehicle as the ''car of the future'' regulations are imposed.

''These are the most significant changes we have made to our formats in the history of the sport,'' V8 Supercar chief operating officer Shane Howard said.