Supercars has responded to fears that drivers are under pressure not to make critical comments about Gen3, ruling out any ‘gag order’.
Defending champion Shane van Gisbergen restricted his comments to the media after his win in the second race of the Newcastle 500, leaving the impression he’d been sanctioned by officials for expressing dissatisfaction.
It became a major controversy after Supercars powerbroker Mark Skaife criticised SVG’s stance on the Fox Sports broadcast.
But despite concerns of censorship being fuelled by van Gisbergen responding on social media that he had been admonished by “top brass”, Supercars’ official spokesperson has ruled out any attempt to muzzle drivers on the latest PARKED UP PLUS podcast. Listen here:
Supercars communications boss Paul Glover is adamant that no pressure has been put on drivers not to speak out about Gen3’s teething troubles or any other subject, maintaining that management encourages its stars to express themselves.
Glover’s clarification breaks Supercars’ silence on the apparent rift with its reigning champion, attempting to clear the air as the other post-Newcastle 500 controversy gets set to hit the headlines again.
PARKED UP PLUS also questions why the media has been banned from attending Triple Eight’s appeal on Wednesday against losing its one-two result in the Saturday race for a technical infringement.
Convened by controlling body Motorsport Australia, the hearing of the National Court Of Appeal in Melbourne will be a closed session as the team argues to overturn the disqualification for running its Camaros’ supplementary driver cooling system on the wrong side of the cars.
Shutting out media from such a high-profile case begs questions about transparency. Other major sports like AFL have routinely allowed media to hear evidence in tribunals for decades.
PARKED UP PLUS also previews the reborn Adelaide Motorsport Festival, featuring Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 star Valtteri Bottas in a Supercar.
On his way to next week’s F1 Australian Grand Prix, Bottas will get behind the wheel of the 2016 Bathurst 1000-winning VF Commodore with tutelage from V8 legend Craig Lowndes.
All this and more in the latest PARKED UP PLUS, the place of pace for motorsport news.