The qualifying system for the Bennetts British Superbike Championship is to receive a major revamp from the Cadwell Park round onwards, organisers have told Crash.net

Currently, the 50 minute qualifying session takes on the format of free session with unlimited laps to decide the entirety of the grid.

However, in a bid to create a greater spectacle for the fans on the Saturday, the series will launch a new Formula 1-style knockout system after consultation with the teams on how to 'spice up the racing'.

Speaking to Crash.net, BSB Series & Race Director Stuart Higgs, revealed the session will be broken down into segments in a similar style to that of F1 before the top ten go through to battle for pole position.

"It is very similar to Formula 1," he said. "Basically, the current 50-minute qualifying session will be re-modelled into a three phase competition: Phase one is 25 minutes long where anyone positioned 21 and above at the end of the session is eliminated.

"Then the session recommences over 15 minutes and positions 11 and above are eliminated, while the final phase is a ten minute session with the top ten competing for pole position."

Proposed by the teams themselves, the format will be introduced for the ninth round of the season at Cadwell Park, which reputedly gets one of the biggest Saturday audiences of the year.

Admitting the adverse weather conditions this year - which have often split the session in half - were a contributory factor in shaking up the format, Higgs was also aware of the need to provide better value for money for both the hardened fan and the casual observer.

"We are always looking at ideas to enhance the values of the championship to promote the most competitive show possible. The weather has been awful this year so if it rains 20 minutes into qualifying, there is 30 minutes of absolutely nothing. If it ends up being a minimal bit of entertainment with a 20 minute session, it isn't very good value for the teams or the public.

"It is always good to let an idea come from the people who are doing it because they have the most intimate knowledge of how much track time and what set-up they need. We do talk with the teams more than most championships do, which is good.

"This is the entertainment business and qualifying is a huge component of the event which we are not delivering at the moment."

Although the format is relatively similar to one last used in 2003 when the series trialled the 'Super 12' format, Higgs adds that he was keen not to adopt the same Superpole system utilised by the World Superbike Championship.

"We've tried Superpole before, which is great if you have a live TV signal. However, if you are at the track then there is nothing more boring than a dry Superpole session. We tried it for a while but it wasn't thought it added anything so we scrapped it."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...