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Adderton Supercars team bid faces an uphill battle

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The Boost Mobile-backed wildcard at the Bathurst 1000

Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton’s bid to enter a team in next year’s Repco Supercars Championship is genuine, but it faces a number of complexities

Having previously committed to pulling out of Supercars at the end of the year, his Bathurst 1000 wildcard project with Richie Stanaway and Greg Murphy this year has led to renewed vigour for the sport.

Adderton claims to have put together a detailed plan on how his prospective Supercars outfit would operate, eyeing a full-time entry as soon as 2023.

It includes Stanaway as his driver in the single-car team, and Murphy as Team Principal, with the idea backed by a fan-driven petition that has now received over 4,000 online signatures.

However, that is dependent on the success of his push for the 26th Teams Racing Charter (TRC), which is currently in the possession of Supercars, with strict contractual terms under the Charter in regards to a sale process.

Adderton is not alone in trying to obtain that TRC, with the Blanchard Racing Team and Matt Chahda Motorsport having also flagged interest in it.

While Adderton has been the most vocal, via public comments and his numerous social media posts, it is not as simple as giving out the shelved TRC to anybody.

There is a due legal process that has to take place, which the Boost Mobile boss is well-informed on, although there is a strategy to the public attention he is drawing.

The ultimate power is with the RACE board — Supercars’ owners — as to whether the 26th TRC gets released.

On any official application, the Supercars Commission, which is largely made up of team representatives, also gets a say, and while the Commission has minimal influence on the particular matter at hand, it does bring with it a fascinating debate.

If a new squad joins the grid, existing cars would see reduced TV time in a simple mathematical manner that there are now 26 cars to cover instead of 25.

That may seem minimal, but it’s easy to forget the championship is a business for both Supercars and the teams, and the arrival of another entry dilutes the commercial opportunity.

Dilution of product is also a factor for the RACE board to consider. Another car on the grid brings increased cost with pit lane resources, telemetry, timing, broadcast cameras in cars, tyres, and more.

Each TRC also receives a guaranteed income of approximately $640,000 for a season from RACE, which is different under the Charter of current than it was in the Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) era.

Previously, a total amount from Supercars was divided between the number of cars on the grid, which means an extra car would see existing teams get a smaller income from the category.

Now, that income is a set amount for each TRC, meaning an extra car becomes an extra cost to RACE.

Notably, Adderton has vowed not to take those earnings for the first two years, but there are questions about whether that is legally possible.

Should the category’s New Zealand round return, Supercars would also have to wear the cost of freight for an extra car.

Given the high level of interest in the 26th TRC, it could also be said that an existing team, BRT or MCM for example, is in a better position to join the Supercars grid due to team infrastructure.

Simply put, Adderton is starting from scratch if he wants to do it his way, and there is a large amount of costs associated with getting a new team off the ground, such as the car, an engine, transporter, spare parts, a crew, and base of operations.

There is little doubt in Adderton’s financial backing given the weight behind his push, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Not to forget, Gen3 will be introduced next season, which requires the build of an entirely new car amid a period of already tight timelines for chassis builders and current teams.

Speedcafe.com also understands that given it is so late in the process, the 26th TRC would not be eligible for the one-off Gen3 payment.

Considering the legal framework, the biggest hurdle is time, and details uncovered by Speedcafe.com indicate Adderton may only have a few days.

It is understood, as per the Charter, applications for entries into the 2023 season need to be finalised before the Gold Coast 500, which takes place this weekend (October 28-30).

At time of publication, that leaves Adderton just days to get his pitch signed off, finalise the legal framework, and launch a Supercars team.

There are other possible avenues, subject to the strict contractual terms under the Charter in regards to a sale process.

He could embark on a joint two-car team venture with an existing squad, such as BRT, which has made no secret of its desire to expand to two cars.

That would operate the same way as when BRT had its REC (as they were known then) at Brad Jones Racing, before the Boost Mobile team could later branch out on its own.

Lastly, buying into a current Supercars organisation is not out of the question either, which could put Adderton on the map in 2023.

It saves the legwork of launching a new team and skips the strenuous 26th TRC exercise.

What is clear is that Adderton is positioning himself so that he can possibly set any plan in motion.

As with most things in sport, it is a very complex and somewhat political situation, but while he is the most vocal, that counts for nothing in the grand scheme of a legal process.

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