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Gutted Aussie Driver Search winner determined to fight on

Tom Howard

Saturday 18th May, 2019 - 6:00am

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Matt Powers

The top prize winner of the collapsed Aussie Driver Search (ADS) program is determined to continue his motorsport career after losing drives in Super3 and Super2.

Matt Powers took out last year’s pro competition of the talent search scheme which saw the American move to Australia to take up his prized drive with Matt Stone Racing in Super2.

On the eve of season ADS announced that it would place Powers in Super3 instead of Super2, before then committing to putting the driver in Super2 for 2020 after a season in Super3.

However, ADS owner Kyle Austin announced on Friday that the scheme has been put into liquidation, leaving Powers facing an uncertain future with ADS now unable to fulfil the prizes it offered to its competition winners.

The Californian was expected to race at next weekend’s Super3 round at the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint. 

While upset by the way his drive has fallen apart, he is determined to continue his career in Australia.

“(I’m) really gutted because I’m really excited to be here in Australia racing, so I think the biggest frustration is obviously wanting to be at Winton next week, it’s literally next week, so that’s a big bummer for me,” Powers told Speedcafe.com.

“I’m going to be working really hard to try to be on the grid in some way, shape, or form down there, but at the end of the day, it’s a business that’s made poor decisions and they’re suffering the consequences and unfortunately some of us are suffering the consequences along with them.

“Some people online were saying I moved my whole family and that all that kind of thing (but) I know how motorsport is and nothing’s ever guaranteed so, no, the whole family didn’t move. 

“My fiance’s still over in California, but it’s still a huge undertaking to come over here and make the real effort, quit jobs, all that kind of stuff, but at the end of the day it’s motorsport and I’ve committed to be over here and I want to be over here so I’m going to take this and run with it.

“There were a lot of red flags (with ADS), you could tell that there was just some mismanagement and that kind of thing, but at the end of the day you’ve got to take what you can and I was definitely not expecting it to be this soon. 

“I was hoping to at least get Super3 season done, especially since I had a contract for Super3 and Super2.”

Powers says he is considering legal proceedings but admits his immediate focus is on securing a drive.

“Absolutely, there’s always stuff like that,” he added.

“At the end of the day, I have a contract that has a big dollar figure left to pay down but as with any companies that go into liquidation, you usually get pennies on the dollar, so that is what it is. 

“I’ll look into it, but for right now I’m focused a hundred percent forward on what I can do racing-wise, and just ignore that. Litigation and liquidation, all that kind of stuff, that takes a long time.”

The news of Aussie Racing Search demise has since sparked a war of words between ADS owner Austin and MSR following allegations that have been made regarding the collapse of the talent search program.

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