The absence of traditional lead-up endurance event the Sandown 500 will ensure plenty of accidents in Sunday's Bathurst 1000, Supercars star Cam Waters has warned.
In a surprise schedule reshuffle this year, Supercars moved the regular opening enduro at Sandown to November, ensuring teams must hit the ground running in Bathurst on Sunday at what is considered one of the world's toughest circuits, Mount Panorama.
Critics claimed moving the Sandown 500 would rob part-time co-drivers of precious practice before what is considered the Supercars' holy grail, the Bathurst 1000.
And Waters believed their worst fears would be realised, claiming teams would struggle as a result of the schedule re-jig on Sunday.
"It (winning Bathurst) is about whoever makes the least mistakes," said Waters, who qualified third fastest for the Great Race.
"Usually we have Sandown where everyone makes their mistakes and sorts it out for Bathurst - we don't have that now.
"So I think it will be a bit accident-prone and safety car-prone (on Sunday)."
Waters' co-driver Michael Caruso said it was a shame Sandown had lost its lustre in the eyes of Supercars organisers.
There were genuine fears for Sandown's future after Supercars announced the popular venue would lose its status in 2020 as one of the season's three endurance races, replaced by South Australia's Tailem Bend.
They were eventually allayed when Supercars confirmed they would race at the Melbourne venue until at least 2022, albeit as a SuperSprint event from next year.
The surprise 2020 schedule announcement ended Sandown's eight-year run as an enduro.
Caruso lamented the Supercars' decision, saying he would prefer Sandown remained as the Bathurst warm-up.
"I think we all do," the former full-time Supercars driver said.
"It's history. I am disappointed we are losing Sandown (as an enduro) because we all grew up as kids watching the 500.
"I think it is important for our category as a form guide leading into the biggest event of the year (having the 500 before Bathurst).
"For an entertainment point of view it is important to have those aspects in our category."
However, Bathurst pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin's co-driver Alex Premat reckoned not having the Sandown 500 as a warm-up wouldn't make a difference on Sunday.
"Not really. We know what we are here for (as co-drivers). Expectations are high but good drivers know what to do," he said.
Australian Associated Press