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RULLO FOR SUPERCARS. WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE SUPERLICENCE?

SO ALEX Rullo has been granted the Superlicence necessary to take the seat in one of Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Commodores for 2017.

The news has attracted considerable comment, much pointing to the fact that the 16-year-old will reset the bar for the youngest-ever V8 Supercars driver. Paul Dumbrell was also 16 when he drove in the series for the first time.

I am not going to criticise Rullo for taking the ride. Nor am I going to criticise the lad’s family or sponsors. Not many drivers would knock back a ride in the Main Game; nor would many in Formula 1. Sachin Tendulkar didn’t knock back a call-up to bat for India when he was 16; at 17 Boris Becker walked on to centre court at Wimbledon like he owned it.

But, there’s a rule. Late last year CAMS announced the requirements that drivers would have to meet to be granted a ‘Superlicence’, that would be required to go out there and bang mirrors with the likes of Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes and Rick Kelly.

At the time, the news was met with raised eyebrows – and I still do not understand why some categories are ‘in’ and some are ‘out’. Formula Ford drivers from New Zealand will score Superlicence points but our local drivers, racing similar cars, can go without. Please, explain?

But the system is in place – save for the part where, at its vert first test, it has been set aside.

Now what? Does this exception mean that the rule will now be enforced? Or has the Rullo example set a precedent so that some other driver or drivers, who nearly meet the criteria, can get a Superlicence too?

My opinion is, this is an unnecessary rule. Are there so many drivers on Supercars’ doorstep that a one-rule-fits-all model should be in place? Drivers’ qualifications can, and possibly should, be assessed on a case-by-case basis, by people who have an understanding of what it takes.

Either have the rule and enforce it, or don’t have the rule.

Alex Rullo might have a long and successful Supercars career. We wish him a good (and safe) debut in Adelaide, and beyond. He could well become one of the best drivers we have seen in the sport.

But this is not a great way to start.