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Why Super2 polesitter opted for Super3

THOMAS Maxwell has the distinction of being the last Nissan driver to start a Super2 race from pole position, but after a year in Porsches, has returned to the Dunlop Series via Super3.

It seems a strange step in the progression of a talented youngster’s career – so, why?

As so often is the case, budget was a factor. Super3 is a slightly less expensive exercise than Super2.

“It still seemed like an opportunity to get me out there and still get laps, still do awesome things for the awesome partners I’ve got and build some momentum and still get on the track getting crucial track time,” MW Motorsport driver Maxwell told V8 Sleuth.

What’s more, that chance to stay relevant came with a squad which is proven to run a good show. As Maxwell well knows, having spent 2022 with MWM.

MWM has won more Super2 titles than any other team in history, although it now only competes in Super3 after its Altimas were shuffled back a class when the Gen2-spec Mustangs and Commodores were handed down from the main game.

Thomas Maxwell took pole at the 2022 Sandown Super2 round. Pic: MW Motorsport

The Altima still can hold its own outright, as regularly exhibited by 2023 Super3 star Cameron McLeod.

Both Maxwell and teammate Cody Burcher ran in the midfield at Round 1 this year at Mount Panorama, too.

And with just three Super3 entries this year, outright results are somewhat a bigger focus than would otherwise be the case.

“It’s obviously an unknown where they sit exactly in the mix of things,” Maxwell said, with reference to how the Altima has never been homologated against the most recent post-VCAT specification of Gen2 Mustang and ZB Commodore.

“And there is obviously a few technical differences between them and whatnot, but at the end of the day, they were a good car back when I ran them and it’s all on the same tyre.

“So you still have confidence that there’s a bit of life left in them and they’re good enough to somewhat compete and hopefully jag a few good results here and there.”

One upside to the small nature of the 2024 Super3 field is essentially the guarantee of Motorsport Australia Superlicence points.

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Under the current system, the top four finishers in the end-of-season Super3 standings will collect 12 Superlicence points each. Fifteen are required to be eligible to drive in the Repco Supercars Championship.

V8 Sleuth understands, as it stands, there is no minimum number of competitors required for those points to be awarded.

“That’s a benefit there of having a few more points up your sleeve, whatever it’s worth,” Maxwell said.

“I guess at the end of the day it’s somewhat irrelevant; if you’re good enough to get an opportunity, then the points are going to come.

“It’s not a factor… you still have got to be good enough and punching out good enough results and doing a good enough job to get an opportunity.”

Wanneroo Raceway hosts Round 2 of the Dunlop Series this weekend.

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