Twenty-five years ago, V8 Supercars was launched with a new level of professionalism for what was known as the Australian Touring Car Championship. And with it, in its formative years, the creation of a licensing system for teams. Two decades-plus on, SupercarXtra Magazine issue #126 looks at how the current Repco Supercars Championship teams can be traced back to the foundation entries.
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The more things change, the more they stay the same. And while there’s been a number of changes to the teams that compete in V8 Supercars/Supercars over the last couple of decades, some remain the same. And the ones that have changed have some link back to the foundation entries.
The movement of licenses amongst teams has become as vital to the silly season as driver changes, dating back to the time the licensing system was introduced in 1999 to the 25 full-time entries in 2022.
Back in 1999, as the professionalism of V8 Supercars increased, there was an inevitable need to condense an oversubscribed grid. There were 39 entries at the first Adelaide 500 in 1999 and 53 starters for the Bathurst 1000 later that year.
In order to professionalise and streamline the grid, V8 Supercars introduced a licensing system that would form the foundation of the Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) structure, now known as the Teams Racing Charter (TRC).
A Level 1 license required a team to compete at all rounds, Level 2 licenses were for part-timers and Level 3 licenses for second-tier Development Series entrants. The original Level 1 license holders were the Holden Racing Team, Dick Johnson Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport, Gibson Motorsport, Glenn Seton Racing, Perkins Engineering, Stone Brothers Racing, John Faulkner Racing, Lansvale Racing Team, Larkham Motor Sport, Longhurst Racing and Romano Racing. Other entrants would have their Level 2 licenses elevated to Level 1 as the licensing system evolved to the point where there were only Level 1 entrants, with all required to compete at every event of the championship.
Issue #126 features a rundown of how the current teams competing in Supercars link up with the original license holders and the evolution of the RECs/TRCs.
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