Supercars has officially confirmed co-drivers prohibition from starting the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 races, as outlined in the 2024 Supercars Operations manual. The new regulation mandates that the Primary Driver commence the race during these endurance events, marking a departure from the previous flexibility teams enjoyed in choosing the driver for the start, as revealed in November last year.
Previously, there had been calls from figures like Speedcafe columnist, former Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Principal Roland Dane, and 2019 Bathurst 1000 winner Scott McLaughlin, urging Supercars to eliminate the distinction between primary driver and co-driver. However, there must be an indication that such a change will be implemented shortly.
Introducing the rule specifying the starting driver ensures that championship stars will be present on the grid at Bathurst, a moment highly anticipated by fans and one that garners significant attention when Supercars is in the mainstream sporting spotlight.
This rule alteration will carry strategic implications for teams, as conventional wisdom has favored starting a co-driver on many occasions. Also, choosing the primary driver for wildcard entries becomes even more crucial under this new directive.
Despite opposition from team leaders and drivers, the proposed rule change has been enacted. The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 is scheduled for September 20-22, followed by the Repco Bathurst 1000 from October 10-13.