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Boost boss coy on Sydney team speculation

Tom Howard

Wednesday 4th September, 2019 - 6:00am

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Boost Mobile currently backs Garry Rogers Motorsport

Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton says a decision regarding his future in Supercars will be made next month having been linked to setting up a new outfit in Sydney.

The Sydney-born telco founder is a long time supporter of Australian touring car racing and backed Walkinshaw Andretti United last year, before penning a two-year naming rights sponsorship agreement with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Boost Mobile’s future as the primary backer at GRM next year is yet to be resolved after a difficult campaign on track, with the deal hinging on the Melbourne squad meeting key performance indicators.

A decision is however expected to be made by the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from October 10-13, which will determine if GRM will need to search for a naming rights backer for 2020.

Struggles for results on the track with only two top 10 finishes have also coincided with Adderton’s own frustrations over the current parity issues, costs to compete and return a sponsor receives in Supercars.

While concerned at the championship’s future direction, Adderton remains passionate and continues to harbour dreams of controlling his own team in Supercars, coming close to purchasing Racing Entitlement Contracts last year, before signing with GRM.

Boost will also back Kostecki Brothers Racing’s wildcard entry at the Bathurst 1000.

Given the current situation at GRM, paddock chatter has suggested that the successful entrepreneur is among candidates interested in setting up a new Supercars team out of Sydney, that could run James Courtney, who will leave Walkinshaw Andretti United at the end of the year, and rookie Jack Smith.

Supercars has confirmed that it has spoken to several interested parties regarding the prospect of a new franchise based at Sydney Motorsport Park that is believed to come with a significant financial incentive.

Adderton elected not to comment directly about such an opportunity but maintained that he is keeping ‘all of his options open’.

“I mean, we’re not commenting on that, and that’s purely because we have a lot of things being discussed right now,” Adderton told Speedcafe.com, when asked about the Sydney team speculation.

“There are a lot of things going on, some things that have recently presented itself to us which weren’t there before. So we’re keeping all of our options open.

“But we intend to make a call by Bathurst on what we want to do for next year.”

However, a key component in formulating his plans for next season rests on the path Supercars takes to ensure parity across the models while lowering the costs to compete.

The championship is currently working on a new technical package designed to ease the financial pressure on teams which has begun with the release of a reduced 14 round 2020 calendar.

Engine reforms aimed at restricting rebuilds are set to save two car teams up to $80,000 a year while teams are expected to run control dampers next season.

Supercars is expected to reveal its plans by the end of the month.

“I’m extremely passionate about, and I think it makes sense for the Boost brand, like Red Bull and Formula 1, I think it makes sense for us to not only sponsor the team but have an equity stake in it so we have some control and some say in the direction of the team,” he added.

“So that’s absolutely always been a focus, but I hope that the opportunity’s there.

“I mean, we’re not stupid. We’re not going to invest in a business that loses money.

“There are just some massive fundamental changes that Supercars needs to make, and they need to make them quick; otherwise, I think a lot of brands, not just ours, that I’m talking to are planning to sit out the year as well.

“Bathurst is our big moment, the key factor in us deciding what we’re doing next year is rests at the feet of Sean (Seamer, Supercars CEO) and Supercars.

“Over the next three to four weeks leading up to Bathurst, they have to tell us exactly what they’re doing.

“Until we know exactly what they are doing to fix the series, to lower the cost, to get more parity back into the sport, we will not come in.”

Adderton is not the only candidate that has been linked to the Sydney opportunity.

Team 18 was initially linked given it is interested in expanding its operation to two cars, but team owner Charlie Schwerkolt stated last month that his team will remain in Melbourne next year.

Sydney-based businessman and racer Rod Salmon has also been associated with the opportunity and met with Seamer five weeks ago to initially discuss GT racing , given his ownership of the GT-1 category.

It is understood the prospect of competing in Supercars was pitched but Salmon says he has no interested in purchasing a REC.

“No, not really we are concentrating on our GT-1 series,” Salmon told Speedcafe.com, when asked about the prospect of buying a REC.

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