Friday, March 1, 2024

WorldSBK Portugal Set for Unique Race Format

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A new race weekend schedule is to be debuted by WorldSBK this year at the Portuguese Round in Portimao.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve has established itself as a stalwart fixture on the WorldSBK calendar since its debut in 2009. In 2024, the WorldSBK Portuguese Round will be shaken up by a new schedule that will include additional entertainment and later race times.

WorldSBK is not a stranger to mixing up its weekend format, having gone through many qualifying formats (from one-lap Superpole to a three-stage F1-style knockout format, and from a MotoGP-esque two-part arrangement to the current 15-minute single session we have now), introduced reverse grids in 2017, and then replaced that with the Superpole Race in 2019.

This new weekend schedule, billed by WorldSBK as ‘Summer Fest’, has the potential to be more impactful on the experience of the trackside fans than any of WorldSBK’s previous format experiments, though.

Taking place not long after the summer solstice on 9-11 August, the 2024 WorldSBK Portuguese Round will this year feature ‘sunset’ races as part of the adjusted schedule, with the full-length Race 1 and Race 2 set to start at 19:00 local time on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The Superpole Race will start at 15:45 on Sunday.

The new start times are set to be implemented alongside a new range of fan attractions as part of this new ‘Summer Fest’. These attractions will include food court areas, live music, autograph sessions, and a ‘track tour’ in an open-top bus.

“This will amplify the WorldSBK weekend experience, fostering a festival atmosphere that joyfully celebrates the essence of motorcycle racing,” WorldSBK says.

The full schedule for this year’s WorldSBK Portuguese Round is below.

The 2024 World Superbike Championship will begin on 23-25 February with the Australian Round at Phillip Island. The Portimao ‘Summer Fest’ race will take place on 9-11 August.

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