V8 Supercars will run at two Formula 1 grands prix next season as the Australian touring car series' Abu Dhabi rounds shift to the track's grand prix date in November.
The V8 championship has raced at Yas Marina for the past two seasons, but has so far been the headline category in a standalone February event. But as part of a calendar reorganization for 2012, next year the V8s will join the Abu Dhabi GP bill on Nov. 2-4. The series also keeps its traditional non-championship date on the Australian GP support package in March.
Other V8 changes for 2012 include Adelaide regaining season opener status, with the Abu Dhabi adjustment motivated in part by a desire to shorten a calendar that this year runs from February to December. The traditional pre-Bathurst endurance event moves back to Sandown for 2012, the track replacing Phillip Island.
A further international event at an unidentified circuit is also penciled in for the week immediately after Abu Dhabi.
The calendar features a record 16 championship rounds, with series chief Tony Cochrane underlining the importance of the overseas dates.
"In 2013 we already have a confirmed race in Austin, Texas, which will blow the socks off our big North American fanbase, with at least three other potential overseas races on the cards," Cochrane said. "It's vital we begin planning for these possible additional races now when we piece together the dates not just for next year but many years to come.
"I think this is probably the best and most balanced calendar in the history of V8 Supercars and it will set the base for what I believe will be the most significant three to five years in our history."