Caruso calls on Supercars to explain mid-season Gen3 rollout

Michael Caruso (right) with Mark Winterbottom

Michael Caruso has called for more clarity regarding how Supercars will deliver a championship punctuated by a drastic change of machinery mid-year.

Supercars last week announced its Gen3 project will now not make its racing debut until August 2022.

That sets the stage for Gen2 Ford Mustangs and Holden ZB Commodores to start the season and Gen3 Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros to finish it.

Exactly how both generations of cars can feature in a single championship has not been fully explained, with Supercars yet to elaborate on the matter with a press conference or the like as would be standard practice in other sports.

That leaves a number of questions needing to be answered, as Caruso mulled in the latest episode of the Parked Up podcast.

“In my experience of watching any high form of motorsport or championships, I haven’t seen that happen and seen anybody enjoy it if it has,” said the Team 18 co-driver, who noted the avoidance of not rushing Gen3 was at least a positive of the postponement.

“Bringing a completely new range of cars out, there’s so many complications around it.

“Are they going to get to test it? What’s it going to look like? Is there going to be a mid-season break and everybody just throws the other cars away and starts testing? Are they going to stop the championship in August and give someone the first part of the championship and someone have the second part?

“I don’t know how you can award a championship to someone who has been in two completely different race cars, in my opinion.

“And they don’t really give any information as well. Again, they haven’t exactly explained why they want to do it mid-season.

“I feel like they sometimes succumb to pressure from certain people and certain organisations that they shouldn’t because they should be more worried about the people that really keep this sport going and that’s the fans at the end of the day.

A render of a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 pictured in Irwin Racing livery

“They seem to keep ignoring them, I mean we’ve heard the paddle shift stuff over and over and over again, but you can guarantee it’s going to be paddle shift.

“Why not just come out with it and say ‘look, that’s what we want to do, and these are the reasons why it is going to be good’ [and] not avoid it?”

Tickford Racing driver James Courtney yesterday aired concerns about the workload a mid-year Gen3 debut would make for crew members and likened it to rugby league teams being told to change to playing Aussie rules halfway through a season.

Caruso feels Supercars should instead run Gen3 demonstration laps at events around the country next year to build up hype for a 2023 rollout.

The 38-year-old added category management has not been clear enough on the objectives behind Gen3.

“It feels like they are just throwing darts at the dartboard at the moment as to what they want to achieve,” said Caruso.

“We’ve seen Formula 1, their approach for their next-generation car and how organised and how clear with the communication they are with their fans about what they’re trying to achieve and how it’s going to be and why it’s going to be successful.

“This feels like a no-thrills version of it…”

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