14.6 C
Mount Panorama
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeNewsOPINION: THE SUPERCARS PATHWAY IS BROKEN

OPINION: THE SUPERCARS PATHWAY IS BROKEN

THE system is broken.

Through various changes in recent years to how a Superlicence is attained, what has remained is an unwavering effort to cement the Dunlop Super2 Series as the pathway to driving in the Repco Supercars Championship.

That’s all well and good. It makes absolute sense… except when it’s not delivering on its purpose.

To cut to the chase, there’s a very real chance that Matt Payne is the only Super2 driver promoted in 2023. The 19-year-old Kiwi is super fast and absolutely a potential star of the future, so good on Grove Racing if/when they do commit to him.

But what for runaway Super2 Series leader Declan Fraser?

Zak Best, who was nothing short of stunning in a main game Tailem Bend wildcard four weeks ago, is far from a certainty to move up either given Tickford Racing has some level of contractual obligations to its existing quartet.

Tyler Everingham is a five-time Super2 race winner and is in his fourth season since clinching the third-tier crown.

Cameron Hill is putting together a fine rookie campaign, Jaylyn Robotham has offered glimpses of great potential, and there’s many more names yet to be mentioned here.

But what good is it if they can’t then make the next step?

Keep in mind that Jordan Boys and Jayden Ojeda this year gave up on Super2 altogether in favour of a two-round Supercars wildcard campaign.

That might not be an option going forward, with plans in motion to restrict wildcards to one championship event per season outside of Bathurst (perhaps for the very reason to deter Boys and Ojeda’s course of action).

Pic: Nathan Wong

But how do you keep telling the likes of Boys and Everingham and their respective backers to keep forking out significant coin (circa $700,000 a year) for Super2 when there’s little sign of it actually leading to the desired outcome?

Not to mention there’s been a frustrating lack of green flag action this year. Through the opening half of the 2022 Super2 Series, just three-quarters of scheduled laps were actually completed, and roughly 40 percent of those were under Safety Car conditions.

But the point here is not criticising Super2 itself, because it genuinely is a very good feeder platform; it’s the progression beyond that.

Maybe Supercars teams need to be more willing to take a punt on the young kid who could be the next big thing as opposed to the safety of a known quantity/solid midfielder (not to be confused with champions like James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom whose continued presence is a fillip for the sport).

The last 18 months have seen Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown and Broc Feeney all mix it with household names pretty well from the get go.

Maybe, too, it’s time Supercars added some incentive for teams, by way of the once-announced prizemoney scheme which never actually came to fruition.

To recap, Supercars in 2019 trumpeted a system whereby the Super2 title winner would be awarded $400,000 specifically to put towards a main game drive the following year.

An extra $100,000 was also to be allocated to the highest-ranked rookie in the end-of-year standings to help ensure they returned for a second Super2 season.

Now, it’s easy for me to demand the spend of half a million dollars every year of money that isn’t mine, but it might just be the golden ticket to ensuring the feeder pathway does not collapse.

After all, Super2 is an important element of the business, providing a destination for outdated Supercars to be purchased and raced, and in many cases being a profitable program for teams to run in conjunction with its top-level activities.

But in order to work, it has to offer real value for its Supercars-aspiring drivers that cannot be found in Porsche Carrera Cup, Trans Am, S5000, TCR or anywhere else.

Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.



Latest News

Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.