Supercars clamps down on rival commercial material on TV

Cameron Waters holds a Monster Energy can during a post-Top 10 Shootout interview at the Mount Panorama 500. Picture: Fox Sports

Supercars has introduced restrictions on commercial material in television interviews ahead of this weekend’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint.

The change, which has been given effect with the Further Supplementary Regulations for Event 3 of the Repco Supercars Championship, relates to the podium, the pole-sitter’s post-session television interview, and press conferences.

Items such as drink cans are now banned from those television interviews, expanding restrictions which already applied to the press conference and the podium.

Further Supplementary Regulation 1.16 for the Symmons Plains event reads as follows (including mark-up):

1.16.1 For this Event, update Rule E8.5.3 with the following:

E8.5.3 Only the official champagne, or “unbranded” bottled water are permitted:

E8.5.3.1 on the podium (being the location where any presentation is made to the winner and placegetters at the conclusion of any race); and

E8.5.3.2 during the television presentation of the official pole award at the conclusion of qualifying or the shootout; and

E8.5.3.3 on stage during any media conference.

Rule E8.5.3, contained within the ‘Operations Rules’ section of the Operations Manual (Supercars rulebook), had not previously applied to the above mentioned pole award interview.

Furthermore, the definition of podium is an addition to the rules, as denoted by the underlined text.

The move is understood to date back to an incident at Event 1 of the season, the Mount Panorama 500, when Cameron Waters held a drink can during his television interview after qualifying on pole in the Saturday Top 10 Shootout.

Waters’ Ford Mustang carries naming rights backing from Monster Energy, a direct rival of Supercars sponsor Red Bull.

The Tickford Racing driver was also briefly sighted eating from a packet of chips during the post-Race 2 press conference, where commercial branding was already tightly controlled.

That extends to labels being peeled off the bottled water which is provided to drivers, even in instances where the water is a product of Coca-Cola Amatil, another Supercars sponsor.

Waters, of course, did not incur a hefty monetary penalty, unlike those which Scott McLaughlin copped almost two years ago.

The DJR Team Penske driver was fined a total of $13,000 for two offences committed in celebrating the clinching of the 2019 manufacturers’ title for Ford after he won Race 20 of the season at Queensland Raceway.

A full $10,000 of that was for taking a “non-permitted item onto the podium,” namely a poster which read “Ford News: Mustang wins title,” with the other $3000 for performing a burnout in an unauthorised area of the circuit.

DJRTP subsequently raised $30,000 through sales of the poster for Camp Quality, the children’s cancer charity of which team boss Ryan Story is an ambassador.

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