Supercars tweaks Superlicence system for rising stars
Thursday 20th July, 2023 - 3:21pm
Supercars has announced changes to its driver eligibility rules which will give the top performers in Super3 and Carrera Cup an easier path to the top flight.
The rule change which is set to clear the way for the likes of Aaron Love to potentially make his debut in a Blanchard Racing Team wildcard entry in this year’s enduros, based on his results in Carrera Cup in 2022.
While colloquially referred to as a singular ‘Superlicence’, driver eligibility is in fact determined under a complex set of criteria which incorporates both the official Motorsport Australia Superlicence and Supercars’ own additional requirements.
With respect to the latter, one of the four possible means of meeting Supercars’ criteria is to compete in at least six Super2 rounds in the past three years.
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Now, however, those who finish in the top three of the Super3 Series, which operates as a class within Super2, or Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will be credited with the equivalent of three Super2 rounds.
In effect, it means they can then enter the Supercars Championship enduros, or potentially sprint events depending on timing of the calendar, as a Super2 rookie, as Allen would.
The change is to Rule A18.104.22.168 of the Supercars Operations Manual, with the amendment reading as follows:
The following criteria will be permitted to a maximum of three (3) Dunlop Super2 Rounds:
i. A Driver having competed in and be one of the first three (3) of the final classification of that Supercars Australia Super3 Series in the last three (3) years, will be credited with three (3) DS2 Rounds towards the six (6) DS2 Rounds as required by Rule A22.214.171.124.
ii. A Driver having competed in and be one of the first three (3) of the final classification of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Series in the last three (3) years, will be credited with three (3) DS2 Rounds towards the six (6) DS2 Rounds as required by Rule A126.96.36.199.
As such, drivers who have finished in the top three of Super3 or Carrera Cup as far back as the 2020 season will now be eligible to compete in the Supercars Championship upon competing in three Super2 Series events (assuming they are not already eligible through other means).
While Dick Johnson Racing is yet to fully lock in the programme, 2022 Super3 Series runner-up Allen is tipped to pair up with Simona De Silvestro in a third Mustang out of the Stapylton-based team’s stable for the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.
BRT is also in the frame to field a wildcard in both enduros, with Tim Blanchard and Love the would-be steerers.
Ironically, Supercars’ announcement comes on the day when PremiAir Racing advised that it had signed Jonathon Webb as an enduro co-driver for the stated reason that a resolution over Joey Mawson’s Superlicence drama had yet to be reached.
Mawson arguably should be categorised a Gold-ranked driver by the FIA, which is another of the options for eligibility under Supercars’ additional criteria, but is not due to an apparent anomaly.
In the meantime, though, the two-time Australian Drivers’ Champion is provisionally suspended from competition over supplement use, it was announced a short time after PremiAir’s news.
The next round of the Super2 Series supports the Sandown 500, on September 15-17.