MSR planning wildcards with third Gen3 chassis
Tuesday 26th July, 2022 - 2:00pm
Matt Stone Racing has a main game wildcard programme on its agenda for next year’s Repco Supercars Championship.
The Queensland-based team has ordered three chassis from PACE Innovations ahead of the introduction of Gen3 next season and will assemble the Chevrolet Camaros themselves.
Two of those cars will be for full-time championship use under the two-car Truck Assist Racing banner, which currently fields Todd Hazelwood and Jack Le Brocq.
Meanwhile, the third car will not only be treated as a spare but also likely used for a wildcard campaign over the 2023 Supercars calendar.
MSR ran a main game entry split between Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki in 2020 under the ‘SuperLite’ scheme whereby teams can alternate two drivers across one car for select rounds.
Predominantly for youngsters out of the Dunlop Super2 Series, the wildcard initiative is different, and yields drivers a two-round campaign in a solo capacity at Supercars Championship level.
“We continue to engage in other projects, but certainly Supercars is our core commitment at the moment,” team principal Matt Stone told Speedcafe.com of the organisation’s direction.
“We’re committed to two cars in the main game next year, and we’re also going to be looking at a wildcard programme as a way of sort of reinvigorating what was our SuperLite concept a few years ago.
“Obviously, we can’t get a third [TRC] (Teams Racing Charter) currently, but we will look at potentially building a third Gen3 car for wildcards to run some young drivers in.
“Then also our current main game cars will be operating in Super2 next year. So that’s a big focus for us as well.”
Stone explained the project is high up on the team’s agenda given they will have an additional Gen3 Camaro in their stable.
MSR has been a leading team in youth development, with its ‘SuperLite’ graduates Goddard and Kostecki just two examples.
The outfit currently runs third-generation racer, Aaron Seton, as part of a two-car effort in Super2, alongside the more experienced Ryal Harris.
Seton will also co-drive with Le Brocq in October’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
“It’s something we’ve put on the agenda to do; it’s something we wanted to we want to do this year,” added Stone of a wildcard.
“However, it wasn’t worth investing in a current-gen car given they are in the last year of their life.
“So we basically put it on the back-burner, and we’ve always planned on having a spare chassis in Gen3 just because there’s so much new design work gone into that.
“We would not be comfortable going racing without having a spare chassis available to us; and also that spare chassis ties in with our desire to do a wildcard programme.”
Gen3 sees an increased focus on control components, making the new-car build and transition process far simpler for the smaller teams in pit lane.
Stone says MSR has grown at a comfortable rate to accommodate the needs of Supercars’ new era, rather than frantically gathering resources, given the project fits neatly into its business model.
“I’d say it’s the new regulations around Gen3 fitting more into the structure that we work under,” he commented when asked of the team’s expansion.
“We don’t dabble out into intense design and intense manufacturing, as some of the larger teams do.
“But with the concept behind Gen3, where there aren’t as many freedoms around design and manufacture, that sort of plays into our model nicely that we don’t need to expand into those areas, because they’re not required as much.
“They still are required a little bit, in which case we have small capacities and obviously lean on other partners there.
“But certainly the new structure of Gen3 better suits our operating model.”
This year’s Supercars season continues with the OTR SuperSprint from July 30-31.