Super2 cemented as main Supercars pathway under new Superlicence system

The Super2 Series

The Dunlop Super2 Series has been designated as the prime pathway into the Repco Supercars Championship under the revised Motorsport Australia Superlicence system.

A subtle but important change to the wording of the qualifying criteria means that eligibility for obtaining a Superlicence to race in the Supercars Championship has been tightened, with racing in the category’s second tier now one of the only sure-fire ways to do so.

Whereas there were previously four criteria, including the 13-point threshold, and a driver need only meet one of those four to be eligible, the 13-point threshold now must be met, as well as at least one of four other criteria.

However, those points may now be amassed in a wider range of categories, with the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and the Australian Racing Group’s National Trans Am Series added to the list of points-paying competitions, and the points allocation increased for a number of others.

The Superlicence criteria now read as follows:

Each Driver in the Supercars Championship must hold a Motorsport Australia Superlicence in addition to the minimum of an FIA International Grade C licence.

To qualify for a Motorsport Australia Superlicence each applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Hold a minimum of an FIA International Grade C licence; and
  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age; and
  • Accumulate a minimum of 13 points under either the FIA or Motorsport Australia Superlicence points system during the 5 years prior to the application

In addition to the above each application also must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

i. Be one of the first six of the final classification of the previous year’s Supercars Australia Super2 Series. If one or more driver/s currently holding a Motorsport Australia Superlicence are within the first six of the final classification, eligibility for a Motorsport Australia Superlicence shall extend up to a maximum of the first eight of the final classification of the previous year’s Series;
ii. Have competed in a minimum of three rounds of the Supercars Championship within the last five years;
iii. Have competed in a minimum of six rounds of the Supercars Super2 Series within the last three years;
iv. Hold a minimum of a Gold FIA Driver Categorisation.

Of those four criteria, three match the previous system while (iii) is new, although it should be noted that a typical Super2 season is nowadays six rounds long.

The effect is that competing in Super2, while also accumulating the requisite 13 points, is the most straightforward way for a driver to become eligible for a Superlicence for the first time.

However, it should also be noted that dispensations may still be granted for drivers who are deemed capable of racing in the Supercars Championship.

“Any competitor who does not meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Superlicence application form is able to apply for a dispensation which will be considered jointly by the Supercars Commission and Motorsport Australia senior management,” a Motorsport Australia spokesperson told Speedcafe.com.

“Dispensations have been granted in the past and we expect dispensations will be approved again in to the future for suitably qualified drivers.”

The S5000 Championship. Picture: Australian Racing Group

An S5000 championship title will be worth 12 points, the same amount as winning the Super2 Series (although the latter pays points deeper into the field), and the National Trans Am Series winner collects seven points.

The Super3 Series and Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will now pay 10 points to the respective series winners, up from seven and eight respectively, and there are also more points on offer in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia and the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series.

The Supercars Championship and Formula 4 Championship still pay points also towards the FIA Superlicence required to compete in Formula 1.

Speedcafe.com reported the possibility of a change to the Motorsport Australia Superlicence system in April last year, before the controversy over Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Bathurst 1000 wildcard entry and the refusal of dispensation to would-be driver Nathan Herne.

Motorsport Australia’s director of motorsport and commercial operations, Michael Smith, said that the latest tweaks reflect the changing nature of the motorsport landscape.

“Motorsport Australia regularly reviews and analyses the Superlicence Points System to make sure it is fair and in line with the current trends in motorsport,” Smith explained.

“We have worked closely with a number of category managers on the changes and believe they are reflective of the current stature of each respective Championship and Series.

“With S5000, given its stature as the holder of the prestigious Motorsport Australia Gold Star title and the vehicles themselves, it makes sense for it to be worthy of 12 Superlicence points for the winner of the Championship and provide an opportunity to provide another pathway to the Supercars Championship.

“We know S5000 will continue to grow and establish a strong reputation in the coming years ahead. It’s an important part of our Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships events and is a real fan favourite.”

Herne would now have a guaranteed 14 points to his name given he had already accumulated 10 for winning the New South Wales and Victorian Formula Ford Championships in 2018, then finished sixth in the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

He is also currently second in the National Trans Am Series, meaning the Lismore teen is provisionally on for another five points, although he would still need dispensation for a Superlicence due to not meeting any of criteria (i) to (iv).

His prospects of dispensation would, however, presumably be much higher given S5000 and National Trans Am come under Motorsport Australia sanction and hence are fully visible to the governing body, whereas Herne had been racing in the TA2 Muscle Car Series previously.

In a more recent case, Greg Murphy will be given dispensation to drive the Boost Mobile-sponsored Erebus Motorsport wildcard entry into this year’s Bathurst 1000.

The Superlicence was introduced in 2017, with an International Circuit C Racing Licence being sufficient prior to that Supercars Championship season.

Australian Formula Ford and the mooted new junior open-wheeler category could be added to the system in coming years.

See below for full points allocation, criteria going forward

Championship or Series 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th >9th
Supercars Championship* 13 11 9 6 4 3 2 1 0 0
Supercars Development/Super2 Series 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
GT Endurance Championship 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
GT Championship 12 10 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
S5000 Drivers Championship/Gold Star 12 10 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Formula 4 Championship* 12 10 7 5 3 2 1 0 0 0
TCR Series 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Porsche Carrera Cup Series 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Toyota Racing Series (NZ) 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Super3/V8 Touring Cars Series 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
ARG Trans Am Series 7 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
Toyota 86 Series 7 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
Porsche Sprint Challenge Series 7 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
GT Trophy Series 7 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
NZ Touring Car Championship 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
State Formula Ford Championship 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Formula Ford Championship 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
SuperUtes Series 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Production Car Series 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Touring Car Masters Series 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Aussie Racing Car Series 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Radical Cup 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sports Racer Series 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sports Sedan Series 5 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Karting Championship (KZ2, KA1) 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Note: Championships/Series are Australian unless specifically indicated
*Eligible for FIA Superlicence and Motorsport Australia Superlicence points. All other categories are eligible for Motorsport Australia Superlicence points.

Superlicence Criteria:

Each Driver in the Supercars Championship must hold a Motorsport Australia Superlicence in addition to the minimum of an FIA International Grade C licence.

To qualify for a Motorsport Australia Superlicence each applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Hold a minimum of an FIA International Grade C licence; and
  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age; and
  • Accumulate a minimum of 13 points under either the FIA or Motorsport Australia Superlicence points system during the 5 years prior to the application

In addition to the above each application also must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

i. Be one of the first six of the final classification of the previous year’s Supercars Australia Super2 Series. If one or more driver/s currently holding a Motorsport Australia Superlicence are within the first six of the final classification, eligibility for a Motorsport Australia Superlicence shall extend up to a maximum of the first eight of the final classification of the previous year’s Series;
ii. Have competed in a minimum of three rounds of the Supercars Championship within the last five years;
iii. Have competed in a minimum of six rounds of the Supercars Super2 Series within the last three years;
iv. Hold a minimum of a Gold FIA Driver Categorisation.

An application with supporting documentation for dispensation for items (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) above will be jointly considered by of a panel of Motorsport Australia senior management and the Supercars Commission.

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