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Burgess responds to unfair advantage claims

FORMER Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess has responded to critics of his immediate move to take the reins at Team 18.

Widespread discontent was voiced by various teams at last November’s Adelaide 500 after it became clear that Burgess would move from a category role straight into ‘team land’.

Concerns related to Burgess’ centrality to the Gen3 project and access to team data, and the potential for that to give Team 18 an unfair advantage.

After five years in the hot seat as HoM, Burgess reported to having “a lot less knives in the back” in his new role before weighing in on his controversial switch.

“Everyone’s entitled to opinions. I don’t think those people fully understood the role and what I actually did,” he said when asked by V8 Sleuth about the criticism.

“I didn’t have set-up sheets; you don’t take their set-up sheets. The business has data but my role wasn’t looking at data, that was my data engineer’s role. My job was more the politics.

“I can understand why people may have been upset, I can understand why people say I should have been in the garden for six months. If people wanted to pay for me to be in the garden for six months, I would have done that.

“I respected my contract, I did everything that Supercars asked of me. There’s no issue here, it’s play on and get on with it.”

Adrian Burgess and Shane Howard at the 2023 Gold Coast 500. Pic: Ross Gibb

Burgess added he took no offence to the paddock outcry in Adelaide.

“If I was where they were, I would probably be saying the same thing,” he said.

“There is probably more information that moves around with mechanics and engineers and drivers than there was in our position.

“And look, if anyone actually questions my integrity, then they can come and see me outside of a press conference and we’ll have a chat about it.

“But I know how I play the game: I have been in this industry for 38 years for a reason, it’s why I’m grey. I play it with a straight bat and that’s what I will continue to do.”

Burgess now has the task of leading Team 18 forward after it managed just eighth in last year’s teams’ championship.

Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds form an experienced driver combination for the Charlie Schwerkolt-owned squad.

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