THE 2010 V8 SUPERCAR season will kick off with a Middle Eastern double-header after it was confirmed today that Abu Dhabi will host the first round of the season in February.
Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) revealed the V8s will race at the groundbreaking Yas Marina circuit from 18th ? 20th February for the first of three events to be staged in the emirate.
ADMM Chief Executive Officer Richard Cregan said hosting a round of the V8 Supercar championship would help fulfil the circuits ongoing pledge to attract elite level motorsport to the region.
?Our mandate at ADMM is to develop Yas Marina Circuit into a regional and international centre of motorsport excellence,? he said.
?These are cars that we all see on the streets of Abu Dhabi, everyday. On the track, spectators and viewers will witness some of the most sensational wheel-to-wheel racing imaginable.
?Year round, Yas Marina Circuit will be the venue for many of the world?s top motor racing series as well as offering opportunities for the general public to experience the thrill of motorsport within a safe environment.?
The Yas Marina circuit will make its international bow in November when it hosts the final round of the Formula 1 World Championship, and has already been earmarked as a potential rival to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Encircling Abu Dhabi?s Yas Marina, the circuit incorporates a number of world first innovations, including an underground pit exit and a run-off area which passes directly underneath a grandstand.
Teams will then head off to Bahrain the next weekend for the Desert 400 as V8 Supercars Australia continues the push to globalise its brand.
Bahrain was scheduled to hold an event in November this year, but the 2010 date shift has prompted organisers to cancel this year?s event, leaving V8 Supercars Australia to begin canvassing several replacement options.
Eastern Creek and Oran Park have been mentioned as possible candidates despite previous suggestions the V8s wouldn?t return unless the tracks received a thorough overhaul.
Adelaide has traditionally hosted the season opening event since 1999 during a slot in early March, but it is believed the decision to hand Abu Dhabi the opening event won?t force the event to change its start date.