Supercars rules revamp sign-off close

Gordon Lomas

Monday 13th February, 2017 - 4:00am

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Supercars is set to rubber stamp tweaks to the rulebook while it remains guarded over the identity of the sport’s Driving Standards Observer.

Final sign-off for a more streamlined and clear policing of careless driving offences is expected at the next Supercars Commission meeting.

Supercars has not yet finalised its 2017 Operations Manual nor who has been contracted to fill the role of DSO and Investigating Officer which are believed to return to separate roles as in the past.

Jason Bargwanna’s two-year term as DSO/IO was not renewed following the final round in Sydney in early December.

Although the aim is to draft in another former experienced driver, it is not known if the new appointee will have the same level of responsibility.

The DSO has been a contentious position since the short spans of Bargwanna and his predecessor Cameron McConville.

The latter took the role after a long stint by Tomas Mezera ahead of the 1988 Bathurst 1000 winner electing to pursue his golfing career on the seniors tour four years ago.

Supercars chief executive James Warburton said Bargwanna’s replacement had been signed-off before Christmas with the successor to be revealed in ‘due course’.

Warburton said a revised rulebook for 2017 is planned to be tabled ahead of the season-opening Clipsal 500 from March 2-5.

“It is on the agenda to be discussed at the next Commission meeting for approval and then we can get it to final documentation,” Warburton told Speedcafe.com.

“Our plan is to roll it out before Clipsal when we will do a comprehensive briefing to all the team owners, to the media and obviously to make all the documentation public.”

The revisions for 2017 will precede a total overhaul of the rules which has been undertaken by Kelvin O’Reilly and Michael Masi with the finished work to be implemented for the 2018 Supercars season.

“We started the complete overhaul through the Supercars Commission involving myself, Shane Howard, Todd Kelly and Neil Crompton,” Warburton explained.

Supercars says the process of ploughing through the entire rulebook for a complete revision was not triggered by the Bathurst saga involving the still-born protest lodged by Red Bull over Jamie Whincup’s 15-second penalty.

“We need to take a fresh sheet of paper and look at the overall judicial system which we’ve done over the last eight or nine months,” Warburton added.

“It wasn’t a reaction to Bathurst as has been reported.

“It is to make sure we have got a very clear, very simple process.

“We’ve looked at all the footy codes and it was an opportunity for a clean sheet of paper.”

“The work we commissioned through Kelvin O’Reilly and Michael Masi is a complete ‘page 1-280’ of the rulebook.”

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