Supercars has revealed the reasons why Garry Rogers Motorsport was refused an extension beyond last week’s Racing Entitlements Contract deadline for 2020.
The squad has relinquished its two RECs with one being handed back to Supercars before last week’s October 18 entry deadline, while the other was purchased by Matt Stone Racing as part of its two car expansion.
GRM’s decision to leave Supercars has sparked an outpouring of emotions from fans and the Supercars paddock, including a tongue in cheek tribute from Triple Eight.
In an emotional announcement, team owner Garry Rogers said that Supercars declined an extension to allow the team time to put a business case together to stay in the category without current title sponsors Boost Mobile.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has defended the category’s decision, revealing why such a request was unfeasible and that it had refused extension requests from other teams.
“So the deadline for REC entries has been set since 2014; that was written into the REC and it was written into the REC by the teams,” said Seamer.
“It’s important that everybody understands that we’ve had a conversation with all the teams about changing the deadline at the Darwin team owner’s meeting — there was no support for changing it.
“In order to give someone an extension, all of the teams need to agree to moving the deadline.
“We have to treat everybody equally under the REC; that is a rule that is written into the REC.
“Supercars must treat all teams equally. It’s impossible to extend the deadline when we’ve already received entries from other teams.
“We’d already had requests for deadline extensions from other teams at the very last minute (this year).
“Not everybody enters knowing that they’ve got their sponsorship done for next year.
“Now, the reason we agreed not to change it is because there are other people that are trying to figure out what they’re doing for next year and if you start pushing the deadline out you make it too hard for other people to acquire another REC or come in new, which is why the deadline was set where it was.
“What we have to do is uphold the REC above all else because it’s such an important part of our constitution.
“That REC was written by and for the teams; we’ve had conversations about this last year, we had conversations about it this year with the teams, so we’re doing our job by treating all the teams equally and enforcing the constitution that they ask us and entitle and enable us to do.
“That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Theoretically GRM can still enter next year’s Supercars Championship with last week’s entry deadline for current RECs in play in the championship.
While the Melbourne squad has stated it will focus on projects in S5000 and TCR Australia next year, it could still purchase RECs from Supercars should it have a business plan in place.
It is this process that the new Sydney based Supercars outfit will use with the two car squad set to acquire a REC from Supercars to use alongside its Tekno Autosports entry that was entered last week.
Seamer admits it is tough to see one of the championship’s most colourful characters leave but is happy to see current teams expand and a new outfit join the series to create a 24 car grid for 2020.
As previously reported, MSR and Team 18 will transform into two car operations next year while Brad Jones Racing is expected to run four cars.
“I don’t want Garry (Rogers) go at all. I like him. He’s a colourful character, there’s no BS with him, he’s good fun to be around,” added Seamer.
“I think 24 cars, all two car or four car teams is a great story. There is a new team in Sydney, you’ve got Matt (Stone) new in general terms, who’s growing and you’ve got Charlie (Schwerkolt, Team 18) that’s done a really good job this year and he’s expanding.”
“Then you’ve got Tekno that’s expanding and going into Sydney and already having a positive impact in that market with sponsorship and other stakeholders.
“I think I said last week, it’s bittersweet.”