Despite losing a legal battle to race in CAMS-sanctioned events, the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks have found a way around to keep racing in Australia: joining the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) at Sydney Motorsport Park.
A week prior, SST found itself mired in a legal confrontation with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) over safety concerns stemming from a wreck at Perth in May. The series was banned from competing in CAMS-sanctioned races after being scheduled to race at the Gold Coast 600, with the ruling being upheld last Thursday. The Kumho Tyres Touring Car Series took its place on the support card.
Despite the predicament, not every Australian racing series is sanctioned by the body.
Instead, SST joined forces with the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS), which is operated by the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA) of the Benalla Auto Club (BAC). The first race under the AMRS banner will be on October 26–28 at the Sydney Motorsport Park.
“I want to thank Chris (Lewis-Williams, BAC CEO), Wayne (Williams, AMRS manager) and the team for asking us to come on board as part of the program,” SST president Robby Gordon stated in the Speedcafe release. “[A]ll of our sponsors and drivers are excited and looking forward to doing battle at the exciting Sydney Motorsport Park track.”
Located in Eastern Creek near the main city of Sydney, Sydney Motorsport Park has hosted the Supercars Championship since 1992.
SST is no stranger to Sydney. In 2015, the series ran at the Valvoline Raceway dirt track (won by Sheldon Creed), followed by an exhibition slate with the V8 Supercars at the Sydney 500; fittingly, the Valvoline Raceway round was SST’s most recent non-Supercars support race in Australia.
In the CAMS case, among the issues raised was the trucks’ safety on street circuits, even though the Perth incident occurred on a permanent course. Sydney Motorsport Park is also a permanent fixture, though Lewis-Williams was confident in the product being safe for spectators.
“Sydney Motorsport Park is a very different venue to a street circuit, and the AASA and our insurers are comfortable with the work Stadium Super Trucks have done on addressing any safety concerns, such as improving the strength of the wheels and incorporating a new locking section for the body work.”
Lewis-Williams also compared SST to the ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship, a series sanctioned by the AASA, to prove the similarities between the two and the AASA’s awareness of SST’s safety.
“Our job at the AASA is to assist categories to go racing and that’s the opportunity we’ve been able to create for Stadium Super Trucks who want to keep racing in Australia.
“Although one avenue (Gold Coast) was shut down, that’s the beauty of having choice in the market, there is an alternate sanctioning body to give categories an opportunity to make a choice about how they want their motor racing to be run.”
The news comes as a major victory for SST in light of the CAMS situation. Days prior, Boost Mobile head and SST partner Peter Adderton voiced on Instagram his disbelief in CAMS’ decision:
“Anyone who thinks the @camsmotorsport CEO is not baised towards suppprters and sponsors of @ssupertrucks check out this email response I got from there CEO Today “Unlike you and SST, we place people before profit. And I am certainly not willing to take a chance and end up in the coroners court for individuals like Gordon” all class this was in response to me asking Cams for what they were asking SST to do to improve saftey ..this is the guy leading Cams time for a change in leadership …”
Following the alliance with AMRS and AASA, Adderton posted, “Eugene (Arroca, CAMS CEO) and @camsmotorsportafter years of @ssupertrucks racing and entertaining Fans in Australia you Ban them well guess what ” there Back” and Eugene if you need a ticket let me know dont want you peeking through the fence:)”.