Supercars silly season promises mouth-watering 2018

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

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    The 2017 Supercars silly season is bursting with potential. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    With the Supercars title set to go down to the wire at the season finale in Newcastle in a week’s time, the portion of the grid that isn’t in contention find themselves locked into silly season mode.

    While the majority already have their futures in the touring car category confirmed for 2018, there are still a few significant moves yet to be made on both the driver and teams front.

    The most sought-after driver signature for 2018 at this stage is that of Kiwi ace Richie Stanaway, who, following a stellar endurance campaign with Cameron Waters and the Prodrive Ford operation, is seeking a full-time drive for next season.

    Prodrive’s intention is to field the former factory Aston Martin GT driver in one of their Falcon FG Xs in 2018, though it has all fallen upon the racing entitlement contract (REC) owned by Jason Bright, who is currently the fourth entry at the Campbellfield stable.

    It is understood that Bright’s REC will be moved from Prodrive and potentially be taken up by Super2 regulars Matt Stone Racing, who are looking to graduate into the main Supercars category.

    The REC that’ll prospectively replace Bright’s is believed to be one of the cars currently owned by Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, who in 2018 will return to being a one-car operation, with long-time sponsor Phil Munday buying into the team completely.

    Driver-wise, if Matt Stone Racing is successful with the acquisition of an REC, then it is a surety that their Super2 young gun, Todd Hazelwood, will earn the call-up to the main game. The details of the Dumnbrell-Munday REC are set to be revealed at the final round of this season in Newcastle.

    Garry Rogers Motorsport driver James Moffat, meanwhile, announced during the Auckland SuperSprint that he won’t be steering the #34 Commodore in 2018, hinting that he may not even have a full-time drive in the new year.

    GRM junior driver James Golding is expected to be elevated into the car vacated by Moffat, who has spent the last two seasons with the Dandenong squad, including the tumultuous 2016 campaign in which he failed to get to grips with the Volvo S60.

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    Erebus Motorsport moved quickly to fill the outgoing Dale Wood’s position with 22-year-old former Australian Formula Ford champion Anton de Pasquale earning an opportunity to move from Super2 to Supercars.

    De Pasquale has been held in high regard since his junior open-wheel driving days, with the Victorian having gone over to Europe and raced in a variety of Formula Renault categories, having had the ambition of racing in Formula One.

    Now back in Australia and having changed career paths to touring car racing, de Pasquale has won two races in Super2 this year and sits fourth in the overall standings. A test day with Erebus earlier in the season is where the youngster impressed the Bathurst-winning team and assured his future in the series.

    Lastly, flying under the radar is Tekno Autosports, who are yet to confirm who will pilot the #19 Commodore next season, with Will Davison yet to recommit.
    The two-time Bathurst 1000 champion has gone as far as stating that he is assessing his options overseas too, with remaining with Tekno not a priority following a disastrous campaign to date.

    Davison sits 15th in the standings and has been largely unimpressive in a car that in the past has been a regular race winner. As it stands, it looks as if the 35-year-old will not even finish on the podium in 2017 unless he pulls it off in Newcastle.

    Overall, 2018 could be a mouth-watering season if the majority of the discussed movement comes to fruition. Add the shakeup at Walkinshaw, which will welcome Andretti and United Autosports to its family, and the introduction of the new ZB Commodore chassis for the Holden teams, and there will be restlessness aplenty during the offseason in anticipation for the new year.