As part of the overhaul, lap times of each car from Q1 and Q2 sessions will be combined to determine who gets to start the race from pole position.
Teams will be limited to a single set of tires throughout Q1 and Q2, which must then be used in the opening stint of the race.
Top crews and teams will also receive additional rewards for qualifying, with three points now going to pole-sitters, two points awarded for qualifying second and another point going to the third-placed drivers.
SUPER GT explained that it wants to ‘further characterise’ the appeal of the championship, where two drivers share a car and fight for victory. It also aims to equalize the tire situation for all cars, taking away any advantage teams got when they couldn’t progress into Q2.
To make it easier for fans to follow the qualifying system, aggregate times will be displayed in real time on TV during Q2. SUPER GT stated that it is working on a new display system to make this possible.
#52 Saitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT leads #2 muta Racing GR86 GT
Photo by: Masahide Kamio
The Japanese series previously ran a Formula 1-style knockout format, with top eight cars in GT500 and top 16 cars in GT300 advancing into the second session. Teams had to nominate their drivers for Q1 and Q2 before each round. A single extra point was also awarded to the team that scored pole position.
No cars will be eliminated under the new system, which should provide both an opportunity and a challenge for teams.
The number of dry tire sets available to teams for the entire weekend will be reduced from six to five for 300km rounds in GT500, and five to four in GT300. This is part of SUPER GT’s drive to cut down C02 emissions by half by 2030.
More details about the new format will be published in due course. GTA, the promoter of the championship, also hinted at a “special rule” for GT300 runners that could be used under certain conditions and create “new entertainment.”
The new season will kick off at Okayama on April 14 and will run entirely in Japan.