Supercars talent search goes into liquidation

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Supercars talent search goes into liquidation
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May 17, 2019, 1:04 AM

The Aussie Driver Search programme, which promised funded drives in lower-tier Supercars series, has been placed in voluntary liquidation.

The news comes after a period of rapid growth for ADS, including the announcement of a $1 million prize pool for its 2019 programme that featured a free seat in Super2 and a full blown GT3 campaign at the Bathurst 12 Hour for next year.

ADS has also made some big hardware acquisitions last year, buying an Audi GT3 car and securing the use of a Super2 title-winning Commodore Supercar.

There have been signs of financial strain for ADS, however; having pledged a fully-funded seat in Super2 this year with title-winning team Matt Stone Racing for 2018 winner Matt Powers, the prize was later downgraded to a Super3 programme run by ADS itself.

Powers, who relocated to Australia from the US to take the prize, is now without a drive even in the third-tier series thanks to the voluntary liquidation.

A Pro-Am entry at this year's Bathurst 12 Hour in the Audi is also understood to have contributed to ADS' downfall, after a messy split with MSR. 

"I want to ensure that everyone understands that I did not want this to happen and have done the absolute best I could to avoid this situation," said ADS founder Kyle Austin in a statement.

"My priority during this difficult process has been to minimise the impact on as many people as possible and I sincerely apologise to anyone affected.

"All of our wages are up to date and our permanent staff will be receiving any owed annual leave, redundancy and any other entitlements. Our event crew are also fully paid with nothing owed.

"The majority of our accounts with any other businesses are also fully paid and the liquidators will sell off all of our assets and distribute any remaining funds as appropriate.

"I want to also make it very clear that I did not make this decision for personal gain and have come away with nothing. I am a personal guarantor on all our loans and leases and it is likely that I will have to become bankrupt due to this."

FULL STATEMENT FROM KYLE AUSTIN

It is with great sadness that I have made the decision to place Aussie Driver Search into voluntary liquidation. I am so sorry to anyone who is impacted by this decision and I take full responsibility.

I want to ensure that everyone understands that I did not want this to happen and have done the absolute best I could to avoid this situation. My priority during this difficult process has been to minimise the impact on as many people as possible and I sincerely apologise to anyone affected.

I have recorded an audio statement which explains all of the key details, I strongly urge everyone to listen to this statement before making comment to ensure they understand the facts behind what has happened. This statement is available here.

Our competitors will be most impacted as they have paid money for events which will now not be fulfilled. I apologise to each and everyone of these people and understand the magnitude of this. We have sent an email to all competitors outlining the steps they should take to try and recover their money. I am also very upset that I am no longer able to fulfil the remaining prizes for our winners and am deeply sorry to them.

All of our wages are up to date and our permanent staff will be receiving any owed annual leave, redundancy and any other entitlements. Our event crew are also fully paid with nothing owed. The majority of our accounts with any other businesses are also fully paid and the liquidators will sell off all of our assets and distribute any remaining funds as appropriate.

I want to also make it very clear that I did not make this decision for personal gain and have come away with nothing. I am a personal guarantor on all our loans and leases and it is likely that I will have to become bankrupt due to this.

There is a lot more to discuss so I strongly encourage everyone to please listen to the audio statement to ensure you get the whole picture. I am happy to take responsibility for my mistakes and decisions which have lead to this situation. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of Aussie Driver Search and once again I am very sorry to anyone impacted by this.

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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