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Enduro starting driver rule draws mixed reaction

A MOVE to force Supercars teams to put their primary drivers in for the start of endurance races has been met with mixed reactions.

Amid confusion over the status of the proposed regulation, Supercars has confirmed the Commission has agreed to put the concept to the Board for approval.

That would see the regular championship driver from each full-time entry be on the starting grid at the Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

Typically, it’s co-drivers who complete the opening laps as teams look to get as much co-driver running out of the way as early as possible.

It’s understood the matter was hotly debated by team representatives at Commission level, but there is a strong desire from Supercars’ management to have the stars of the show in for the race start.

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Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan made clear he is not a fan of the idea.

“I was one of the biggest ones who said, ‘don’t tell us what to do with our teams’,” he said today.

“We should just be able to choose what we do with our teams.”

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton somewhat agreed, albeit far more diplomatically.

“I see both sides,” said Dutton.

“I agree with the sentiment that as a team, we like to decide those things, we like to make strategic decisions and have as much control and flexibility as possible.

“But I do see the commercial aspects of, ‘it’s Bathurst, it’s the biggest race of the year, they want to start the big names’.

“Personally, I like the control, but I do see both sides.”

It was a similar stance for Tickford Racing CEO Tim Edwards, who will soon switch to working for Supercars in the position of general manager of motorsport.

“You saw us this year, we split our cars, we had main drivers start as well. It’s not as though every co-driver is starting, but I see both sides of the argument,” he said.

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