Mawson was in the frame to drive with Tim Slade in this year's Supercars enduros but, according to PremiAir Racing, the wait for a resolution on his Superlicence dramas meant it propped for Jonathon Webb instead.
Now, a statement from the ‘Team88' camp which backs him in S5000 has explained that the two-time Australian Drivers' Champion will have to sit out the next round of that competition, which supports Supercars at the Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30.
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Statement from Team88 on behalf of Joey Mawson
Double Gold Star champion, and points leader to date in 2023, Joey Mawson will be missing from the grid when Team 88 heads to Sydney Motorsport Park next week for the fourth round of the 2023 S5000 Gold Star Championship series.
A routine test at the Phillip Island round of the series has raised questions concerning a general fitness supplement the Sydneysider utilised for the first time, for a short period, for his general running/gym fitness training over the extended break between the opening event in February and Phillip Island in May. Under the relevant regulations, Mawson has been provisionally suspended until the situation is clarified by Sports Integrity Australia and Motorsport Australia.
Joey was shattered when officials advised him of the initial test outcome and is co-operating fully with the investigation.
Team88 owner Albert Callegher, who stepped in to offer Mawson a 2023 S5000 drive after his double championship-winning sponsors were forced to step back due to post-Covid corporate challenges, says the team is fully behind Joey:
“Everyone who knows Joey is as stunned as he is. He's one of the sport's good-guys and there's no way he would ever knowingly be involved in anything of that kind. It's one of those ‘silly mistake' things that you read about occasionally, certainly with no relevance or benefit to his driving a race car. We hope the various authorities involved in the process do approach it in that light.
“Added to the stress of Supercars' ongoing refusal to accept his Superlicence status and thus his inability to date to accept an offered co-drive this year, it's a frustrating and difficult time for Joey. We do ask that his privacy be respected while this is resolved.
“The team is fully behind and supportive of Joey and we look forward to him getting back to the track and into the car as soon as possible.”
Team88 will contest next week's championship round with a stand-in driver in the familiar white car. An announcement on this will follow.