Virgin Australia Supercars Championship rookie Alex Rullo will be awarded a full CAMS Superlicence after turning 17 today.
The youngster was given dispensation to race with LDM this year despite not reaching the minimum age or experience level required under new Superlicence rules.
Rullo’s provisional Superlicence was granted on the grounds that it be reviewed on an event-by-event basis until he reached the stated minimum age of 17.
Rullo has run largely at the back of the highly competitive 26-car field this season, but aside from a late restart at Winton last month, has stayed clear of trouble.
The West Australian high school student says he’s pleased to achieve the licence milestone but won’t be changing his approach on track.
“It’s a good thing to tick off but it doesn’t change too much on my end,” Rullo told Supercars.com.
“I’m not going to drive crazy or stupid now that I’ve got the full thing.
“It hasn’t really been in my mind at all the past few rounds, I’ve just been driving like I normally do.”
The decision to exempt Rullo from the licence requirements proved controversial, as did the simultaneous dismissal of a similar application for LDM’s planned second driver Matt Chahda.
While Chahda met the age requirement and had more Dunlop Super2 Series experience than Rullo, he triggered a multi-car accident at Sandown last year that is thought to have counted heavily against him.
Asked for his opinion on how the Superlicence process has been rolled out, Rullo opined that drivers should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but joined widespread criticism of the way CAMS has spread the Superlicence points throughout the lower categories.
Under the system, drivers must accrue 13 Superlicence points over a five-year period. The points are awarded based on the finishing positions from various national level categories, which are individually weighted.
“I think to an extent it’s the right idea, just the way it’s been executed is a bit flawed with the points system and things like that,” Rullo said of the Superlience.
“Even though I didn’t qualify for it, I’d had two years experience racing Supercars nationally and two co-driver main game sessions last year as well.
“If you look at something like Formula 4 you can get a lot of (Superlicence) points racing that but if you’re not in the top five of V8 Touring Car Series or even Super2 you don’t get as many points.
“I think in those aspects it is a bit flawed considering the difference in cars and racing between the categories.
“I don’t think labelling everyone the same age the same way is the right way either.
“Not many drivers will be applying for a Superlicence each year and I think it’s really a driver-by-driver basis and that’s how they should assess it.
“Even with Chahda getting denied one after the crash he had in Super2 last year. He qualified age-wise and had more experience racing Supercars than me, but they’ve looked at it on an individual basis.
“I think the stewards are really switched on and have assessed it really well, so no matter what the rules say they know what they’re doing.”
Rullo meanwhile says he’s looking forward to learning the Hidden Valley circuit, where he has not previously raced in any category.
School holidays have allowed the rookie to spend the last two weeks in Melbourne with his LDM crew preparing for the event.
LDM’s second car will be steered by veteran Cameron McConville this weekend, providing plenty of experience for Rullo to draw from.
“It’s the first time I’ve raced at Darwin so it’s hard to know what to expect, but Andre did ok there last year so hopefully we can build on that.
“Obviously we’ve had a bit of a break since Winton which has been good to spend some time in the workshop, rethink and evaluate on the season to date.
“It would have been good to have a test day for me as a driver, but we didn’t feel we were in a position with parts to make the most out of it.
“It’s good to have Cam onboard this weekend. I worked with him at Sandown and Bathurst last year and he helped me out a lot."