The V8 Supercar Championship Series has announced that it will be following Formula One's lead by making the opening round of its 2010 season, at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, into a day/night race.

The cars will race under lights on Friday and Saturday evening, as the event becomes a 200km double-header weekend, and the timing is perfect for the races to be aired on Network Seven on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

In another milestone, the series will be the first to use a high-speed off-camber left-right-left sequence known as 'the corkscrew', which drops 15 metres in elevation across around 100 metres in distance.

"We could not have asked for a better way to start the 2010 season," V8 Supercars Australia Championship Series executive chairman Tony Cochrane said, "The first V8 Supercar race at Yas Marina Circuit, and the first V8 Supercar race under lights. Fans and spectators are going to get a fantastic show at this amazing new world class circuit.

"The phenomenal facilities at Yas Marina are absolutely mind-blowing and the lighting is out of this world, while utilising the 'corkscrew' section of the track for the first time of any category is also a huge honour for our sport and will provide some of the best racing of the year. This is outstanding news for the championship, our teams and the fans who will head to the Middle East at the start of next year to watch not one, but two, weekends in two of the best locations in the world."

The opening two rounds of the 2010 calendar will take place on consecutive weekends in the Middle East, with Yas Marina Circuit opening proceedings on 18-20 February and being be followed by the Desert 400 at Bahrain International Circuit over 25-27 February. The traditional Australian opening event, the Clipsal 500, remains at the start of the domestic leg of the calendar on 11-14 March.

"Having the possibility to run the first round of the 2010 V8 Supercars Australia Championship is mega for Yas Marina Circuit," CEO Richard Cregan admitted, "On top of that, to run this series' first ever day/night race and use a special circuit configuration that is designed to emphasise the specific performance characteristics of these cars, will make this an unforgettable weekend of motorsport.

"Yas Marina Circuit has a great partnership with the V8 Supercars Australia Championship and we cannot wait to welcome the organisers, the teams, the drivers, the sponsors, and the fans to the UAE."

The Desert 400 round at BIC will feature a new format in 2010, with two 200km races replacing the previous three races run at the Sakhir circuit over the previous three years.