After all the commotion with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks will return to action Down Under this month after all.
After being suspended from CAMS-sanctioned events after an incident involving a loose wheel at Barbagallo Raceway in May, SST found itself forcibly removed from the Virgin Australia Supercars’ Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise last weekend. When a legal battle with CAMS failed to restore the popular trucks to their rightful spot in the event program, SST secured a new venue on short notice at Sydney Motorsport Park. Under the oversight of the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, rather than CAMS, the series is able to run without any impediment—although Gordon has promised a number of safety upgrades regardless.
It’ll mark the first event for SST since August’s visit to Road America, which itself came after a more than two-month break following its June visit to Texas Motor Speedway. Friday will serve as a practice day for drivers to get used to the new course, while Saturday and Sunday races will join the Australian Motor Racing Series program in Sydney.
Australia’s own Matt Brabham continues to hold the SST championship lead, as he currently sits 50 points ahead of Gavin Harlien for the top spot. A big part of Brabham’s success comes from his strong qualifying performances, as he’s posted the top qualifying speed four times in 2018. As SST not only inverts its grids, but also awards one bonus point per position improved during the season, Brabham’s four race victories and nine podiums have heavily padded his championship lead.
Eight drivers have been credited with wins so far in 2018, including seven of the nine full-timers in the series. With that in mind, it should be no surprise no matter who ends up atop the podium on Saturday and Sunday, although it remains surprising that defending SST champion Paul “The Dude” Morris is one of the two winless regulars. Morris, the series’ first Australian champion, will look to remedy that in Sydney, as will promising rookie Blade Hildebrand.
An entry list has not yet been revealed, although a comment on the series’ latest Instagram post seems to indicate that Arie Luyendyk Jr. may require another substitute driver. Luyendyk missed the series’ most recent event at Road America and was replaced by Casey Mears, who finished sixth and 12th on his behalf. Streaming times will also likely be revealed closer to the event.