Many of Australia’s most talented youngsters will soon be racing for more than just the chequered flag when they compete at Australian Racing Group meetings.
Drivers in the SuperCheap TCR Australia Series, Trans Am and S5000 categories will also be qualifying for the vital Super License points needed to race in Supercars.
The Super License situation was first highlighted last year when Nathan Herne, one of the Trans Am stand-outs this season, was refused a clearance to race in the Bathurst 1000.
Despite potentially driving for Garry Rogers, one of Australia’s most experienced and successful motorsport talent spotters, Herne was regarded as too inexperienced for Mount Panorama in a Supercar and could not get the vital Superlicence to race.
Under the new system, which is still waiting for the final sign-off from Motorsport Australia, successful racers at ARG events will soon be building their points bank towards Supercars.
According to ARG boss, Matt Braid, work on the points profile has been going on since the middle of last year.
The traditional route to Supercars is through Super2 and Super3, which have a solid points-paying system for the Superlicence, but Braid said the ARG categories had been overlooked.
“The discussions began with Motorsport Australia and how our categories fitted into the Superlicense structure,” Braid told Race News.
“We’re going to be happy recipients of the revised points table that includes our categories.”
Full details of the system have still to be revealed by MA, but it is likely to have parity between results in S5000 single-seaters with Super2 and Trans Am with Super3, with TCR fitting in the middle.
“It would be logical that Trans Am will be the same as Super 3. But we’re not sure yet. It hasn’t been signed-off internally at Motorsport Australia. We’re still waiting for the final details to be published.”
But Braid is clear on the benefits of Superlicence points for ARG racers.
“It’s certainly beneficial to us. It provides recognition for all the categories,” he said.
“It’s part of the points ladder and the pathway in motorsport.”
Braid does not want to be dragged into the controversy last year over Herne’s planned start at Bathurst, but said a growing number of talented youngsters are turning to Trans Am with a 30-car field set for the latest round of the championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“The cars are attractive, they are very cost-effective to purchase and run, and a growing number of people are coming to them,” he said.
“We’ve got a very passionate competitor group, it’s been a good series, and it’s providing a strong platform. It’s attractive for current and potential entrants.
“It’s part of an international Trans Am category. We’ve given it a lot of oxygen to flourish. We were confident it would happen and the 30 entries for SMP is proof of that.”