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Supercars superlicence to be abolished

Motorsport Australia has decided to abolish its Supercars superlicence endorsement from 2024 onwards.

Andre Heimgartner, Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The governing body will effectively wash its hands of the much-maligned system, its board electing to abolish the endorsement entirely as of January 1 next year.

According to Motorsport Australia CEO, the decision is based on changes to the licence structure such as the recently-implemented power-to-weight rule.

“The board today considered and discussed a recommendation put forward by the Australian Motor Racing Commission (AMRC)," said Arocca.

"Following those deliberations, the board resolved to no longer require Supercars drivers to hold a Superlicence from the start of next year.

“This decision follows recent changes to the power-to-weight requirements and age limits imposed on those seeking to obtain a circuit licence.

"Those requirements did not exist when the Superlicence was introduced, therefore the board is comfortable that these restrictions effectively ensure that only qualified drivers of the right age will be able to apply for and receive an International Circuit Licence, in line with FIA requirements.

“The superlicence was always a free endorsement for Australian drivers on their existing licence, so this will not require Supercars drivers to make any changes in 2024 and beyond as current drivers will already hold an International Circuit Licence and can simply renew as normal.

"New drivers can apply for an International Circuit Licence via the Motorsport Australia website or by contacting our membership team.”

Supercars is yet to comment on the impending change, however it is unlikely to see the end of restrictions such as the six mandatory Super2 starts.

Motorsport Australia had already increasingly stepped back from enforcing those restrictions with Supercars itself the driving force behind the controversial system.

Ensuring drivers need to have competed in Super2 to be eligible for Supercars (unless rated Gold or higher in the FIA system) is widely seen as a way to protect the second tier and discourage drivers from alternative pathways.

There has been some flexibility show recently, though, with the rules tweaked to allow drivers who finished in the top three in either Carrera Cup or Super3 to only require three Super2 starts.

That change was made in line with Dick Johnson Racing and Blanchard Racing Team applying for wildcards with drivers – Kai Allen and Aaron Love – that otherwise wouldn't have qualified.

There has been cynicism about the superlicence system since its introduction in 2017, given the struggling Australian Formula 4 Championship, run by Motorsport Australia, was given the same points weighting as Super2, Carrera Cup and Australian GT.

The Australian Formula Ford Series, seen as a key competitor to Formula 4, was left off the original points table entirely.

The system was thrust back into the limelight in 2020 when Nathan Herne was refused a licence to compete at the Bathurst 1000.

There was superlicence confusion over Michael Anderson's wildcard last year, which ultimately led to it being canned, while Joey Mawson couldn't get automatic approval to compete at Bathurst this year, despite having won the past two Motorsport Australia Gold Stars.

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