This year’s Australian Supercars Championship will feature extra wildcard entries under a scheme by series bosses to give up-and-coming drivers greater exposure to top-level touring car racing.
The feeder Dunlop Series will be renamed the Dunlop Super2 series for 2017, and under new rules, teams and drivers will be invited to enter wildcard entries in the main Supercars series at four different events across the season.
Wildcard entries will be eligible at the Winton, Barbagallo Raceway, Hidden Valley, and Queensland Raceway SuperSprint rounds, however at a cap of two rounds per driver over the season.
Supercars itself will be the final decision-maker over whether or not a wildcard entry is accepted. Series bosses are yet to confirm whether the wildcard approval process will differ from how it is currently handling eligibility for a Supercars Superlicense – a prerequisite for all drivers competing this year – which has been the subject of much controversy in recent days.
The country’s governing body, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), recently approved a provisional Superlicense to 16-year-old Alex Rullo to drive for LD Motorsport, but rejected an application for his equally inexperienced teammate Alex Chahda. Both drivers failed to meet the minimum criteria to automatically qualify for a Superlicense.
That hasn’t stopped a number of Super2 teams from confirming they will field wildcard entries in the main game, with MW Motorsport – which recently secured the use of two Nissan Altimas this year – announcing that it will run Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Jack Le Brocq in a deal with the factory Nissan Motorsport team.
Twenty-four-year-old Le Brocq has also secured a reserve driver role with Nissan Motorsport and will also serve as co-driver to Todd Kelly in the three Pirtek Enduro Cup rounds at Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers Paradise.
“To be offered an opportunity to join the factory Nissan programme in this way is awesome,” said Le Brocq of his new deal.
“Being the first to race an Altima in the Dunlop Super2 Series is fantastic and the programme with Nissan Motorsport is truly integrated. Having driven for Matt White previously, I know we have every chance of winning the title.
“Add in co-driving duties with Todd [Kelly] in the enduros, a couple of wildcard races and total integration into the factory programme, and there’s a lot to look forward to. I can’t wait to get started.”
Le Brocq will pilot a #28 Nissan Altima with backing from the GoGetta equipment funding company, which had its striking livery unveiled as part of his wildcard announcement.
The winner of the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2012, Le Brocq has spent the past three years racing in the Dunlop Series, finishing third and second overall in the 2015 and 2016 Drivers’ Championship standings. He also served as a co-driver to Ash Walsh with Erebus Mercedes in the 2015 Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Garry Rogers Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing, which both field entries in the Super2 category, have also confirmed they will field wildcard entries under the new scheme. GRM will field youngster James Golding (who is confirmed as Garth Tander’s Enduro Cup co-driver) in a Holden VF Commodore, while BJR will do likewise for Macauley Jones.
Image via GoGetta Racing