Adderton calls Supercars wildcard cost ‘out of control’
Wednesday 10th May, 2023 - 6:27pm
Peter Adderton has labelled the cost of a Supercars wildcard entry as “out of control”, as Richie Stanaway pushes for a cameo appearance before his enduro gig with Triple Eight.
The 2017 Sandown 500 winner is Shane van Gisbergen’s new co-driver in the #97 Red Bull Ampol Racing entry from which Garth Tander has defected to Grove Racing.
Van Gisbergen and Tander shared Repco Bathurst 1000 victories in 2020 and last year, when Stanaway made his Supercars comeback in an Erebus Motorsport ZB Commodore.
He qualified fifth in Car #51 and, with four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy as co-driver, went on to finish 11th despite the car being turned around mid-race by Jake Kostecki.
The two New Zealanders’ Mount Panorama campaign was supported by Boost Mobile and telco magnate Adderton, and that party is “the only wildcard option available” for a competitive hit-out prior to September’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
Reacting to Speedcafe’s story on Stanaway’s wildcard push on social media, Adderton wrote “We are ready but the costs Supercars are now charging for wildcards just to enter is out of control.
“Last year the [Boost Mobile] Bathurst wildcard increased interest. Now they have increased the entry fees to make it near impossible to justify… not to mention the cost to run new Gen3 cars.”
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This year’s wildcard entry fees are $50,000 for an enduro event and $25,000 for a non-enduro (plus GST).
Last year’s figures are not known, but the corresponding fees in 2021 were $30,000 and $15,000 (plus GST), respectively.
Included in those fees are event fuel, garaging, and ‘Event Marked’ (ie new) tyres, with the entrant allowed to purchase up to three additional sets of new tyres for the purpose of testing and/or pre-marked rubber.
Furthermore, the wildcard is eligible for event-specific prizemoney such as the Pole Position Award.
As yet, the only confirmed wildcard entry is the Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro, with Walkinshaw Andretti United last week ruling out adding a third Ford Mustang for the enduros.
In the announcement of that decision, WAU Team Principal Bruce Stewart cited that “all that has occurred with Gen3 and the costs associated” made the initiative infeasible.
As Stewart alluded to, the cost of a wildcard entry is not only the entry fee payable to Supercars, but also includes crew, logistics, spares, any crash damage, and, if an extra car is built for the express purpose of the exercise, then the capital tied up by that asset.
Needless to say, a cameo appearance at a Supercars event thus requires a compelling commercial case and/or driver(s) who are willing to spend significant money on the seat.
Wildcards are this year limited to one non-enduro event and two enduros, with the #888 Supercheap Auto Chevrolet Camaro to run at both the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 in the hands of Craig Lowndes and Zane Goddard, and potentially in an earlier solo driver event with the latter behind the wheel.
The Supercheap Auto Camaro will be unveiled in its test livery in Brisbane on Saturday, May 27, with fans invited to attend.
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