Mostert: Supercars drivers losing key voice in SVG
Monday 20th November, 2023 - 6:00am
Chaz Mostert believes that Supercars drivers are losing a key advocate in dealings with officialdom due to the impending departure of Shane van Gisbergen for NASCAR.
An informal drivers’ association was instituted after last year’s Gold Coast 500, which featured concerns about kerb sensors and tyre bundles, in order to provide a united voice for raising issues with Supercars and/or Motorsport Australia.
Van Gisbergen, Mostert, Will Davison, and Cam Waters – being some of the more senior steerers on the grid – have led the association, but the former will leave Supercars after the Vailo Adelaide 500, this coming weekend.
According to Mostert, that will be a shame with respect to driver advocacy.
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“There’s no real solo type role,” explained the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver with respect to leadership of the association.
“I feel like Shane, probably a couple of rounds ago, probably stepped back from being one of the four drivers.
“The way he talks about particular things and words things, we’re definitely losing a pretty strong voice in that point of view, and obviously getting one of the best race car drivers in the world’s opinion.
“So, I’d say, the last couple of rounds, we’re definitely missing Shane in those four guys that talk it out.”
The two-time Bathurst 1000 winner did, though, have high praise for Motorsport Australia Race Director James Taylor and Driving Standards Advisor Craig Baird given how receptive they are to driver feedback.
“But, from a drivers’ group point of view, it doesn’t matter who’s representing; I feel like there’s always a channel there to reach out and try and make things [happen],” added Mostert.
“So, anything which gets raised from a drivers’ point of view, we like to try and pass it on to James Taylor.
“I can only talk highly of James and the crew and Bairdo and at least hearing us out.
“Sometimes we aren’t the most organised and we might send something the week before because we’re still fuming or we’re still ticking over from the last round, but they do their best efforts a couple of days out from the event after a weekend to give us an answer on something.
“Some things we might not agree on, some things we do, but I think the communication channel’s really wide open with those guys and I think that’s probably the best from that Motorsport Australia side that it’s ever been for the 10 years that I’ve been in the category.
“So, from that point of view, it’s good. Obviously, there’s so much other stuff we’d love to be getting involved in, but that’s probably a chat for another day.”
Van Gisbergen affirmed that it is not an individual leading the drivers’ association, and declared that Motorsport Australia had been more receptive than Supercars.
“It’s not an individual voice,” he said.
“We started with four guys who are more senior and we had chats with Supercars and Motorsport Australia, and the admittedly the Supercars one isn’t very good but Motorsport Australia has been amazing to deal with.
“James and his team, everything we ask for, they listen to and then they respond – they can fix it or they can’t, or it’s a thing in the future – and I think it’s been a huge step up this year.
“Hopefully it continues and we keep having a voice for the drivers because it’s important.”