Five key questions: The sale of Supercars
Thursday 28th October, 2021 - 6:31pm
It’s been a little more than 12 hours since Supercars announced it will be changing hands by the end of the year and there’s plenty still to unfold.
Here’s a summary of what has been confirmed thus far;
- RACE (Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd) has signed a deal to acquire both the majority share owned by Archer Capital and the 35 percent collectively held by the teams
- TGI Sport chair Barclay Nettlefold has been nominated as RACE’s leader, with the Australian Racing Group and investment firm Henslow also named as being involved
- Teams from both sides of the brand divide have already expressed their delight at the news, including Tickford Racing’s Tim Edwards and Triple Eight’s Roland Dane
With that much known, Speedcafe.com examines five questions still to be answered.
Who will be the long-term CEO of Supercars?
Sean Seamer has held the role essentially since the start of 2018, having succeeded James Warburton, but has often come under fire.
Some industry sources have spoken of Seamer’s supreme confidence at retaining the role even through an ownership change; others believe he’s preparing to exit at some stage in the foreseeable future.
Can he convince RACE that he really is the man for the job?
And if they deem otherwise, who is the answer?
What happens to the Supercars board, Commission and other management?
Make no mistake, a shake-up is coming to the Supercars board.
Indeed in this morning’s announcement, Nettlefold referred to “the RACE board”.
Nettlefold himself is the favourite to replace Peter Wiggs as chairman, and various other powerful individuals have been touted as options to join him on a revamped board – the final composition of which will be truly fascinating.
Speedcafe.com understands there is less change expected for the rule-making Commission.
As for others currently holding management positions within Supercars, only time will tell.
What does it mean for fans?
Teams believe a change of ownership can only be a good thing – and that should flow on to fans.
The new Teams Racing Charter system will be far more lucrative for Supercars squads, who should logically become more financially secure.
That teams will give up their say as part-owners of the business is considered a good thing for the bigger picture too, eliminating an element of self-interest in key decisions.
Some certainty about the future, given Archer had been trying to sell for years, is a good thing as well, as is the fact that multiple figures within RACE have a clear emotional investment in Supercars and making it the best possible product.
And ARG’s involvement should additionally break down barriers between Supercars and other leading Australian categories, providing the opportunity for bigger and better support cards.
What does it mean for Gen3?
This is no doubt a huge factor, as Supercars looks to take the next step with its regulations.
RACE was pushing for a 2023 introduction as opposed to mid-2022, something that has recently been confirmed.
Identities within RACE appear open to exploring the possibility of keeping the gearstick too at a time when many were resigned to the fact that paddle shift was on the way in.
What other changes could new ownership bring to how Gen3 ultimately looks?
What other details are still to come?
The initial announcement today made no mention of the teams’ shareholding, but that was quickly cleared up.
Even discounting that, it was a remarkably short statement for such a massive moment for Supercars.
As yet, no media conferences have been planned to give further answers.
Mark Skaife and TLA Worldwide are known to definitely have an involvement in RACE, but for one reason or another weren’t named. Are there others in this category?
It was only six years in that Archer began looking to sell – how long is RACE in this for? And what does the Teams Racing Charter look like?
The latter, Roland Dane indicated, will become more public in the coming weeks and months.
On the whole, there is intrigue aplenty around the next era for Supercars.