Changes to circuit provisional licencing system

Tuesday 08 November, 2022
Photo: Dan Thompson
From 2023 there will be changes to the type of vehicle those on a provisional circuit licence will be able to drive, Motorsport Australia has confirmed.

The Motorsport Australia Board has approved changes to its regulations which will mean no driver on a provisional circuit racing licence may drive a vehicle with a power to weight ratio less than 3.5kg per kw.

The change was presented to the Board upon the recommendation of the Australian Motor Racing Commission (AMRC) as well as the Motorsport Risk and Safety Committee.

Similar changes to the minimum age criteria for race categories were implemented earlier this year and outlined a new power to weight criteria for determining the type of car that a driver of a certain age is permitted to race. Using this same philosophy, a provisionally endorsed circuit racing licence holder would now compete under similar regulations.

Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said the Board unanimously approved the change.

“As of 1 January 2023, provisional circuit licence holders will not be able to drive a vehicle with a power-to-weight less than 3.5kg/kw,” Arocca explained.

“After three races in car of a lesser power, and formally upgrading their licence, drivers would then be permitted to race in a higher power vehicle, so it isn’t an onerous change and provides a level of extra experience on track.

“This is an important tweak to the regulations that is based entirely on safety for all competitors. For example, some drivers were obtaining a provisional licence, completing an observed licence test on a Friday and then racing in a high powered vehicle, such as a GT3 car, at state level competition with very limited experience a day later. This is a risk to not only themselves, but the other more experienced drivers sharing the track.

“Motorsport Australia is not trying to stop people from competing at these higher levels, instead it’s about providing some certainty that competitors in these high powered vehicles have the relevant experience before making the step up.”

Some examples of vehicles impacted would include: Supercars, S5000, GT3 automobiles (including Carrera Cup), Trans Am and any other categories exceeding the power-to-weight limit).

The changes will be outlined in the 2023 Motorsport Australia Manual.
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