Plans to forge a Supercars young driver academy next year are progressing, according to series CEO James Warburton.
Supercars is currently working on a concept which aims to earmark, nurture and assist future talent hoping to climb the motorsport ladder towards Supercars.
Initially tabled at the Adelaide season launch, the exact format of the proposed academy remains open at this stage with Supercars continuing to evaluate plans.
However, Supercars is beginning to identify potential candidates for the course, which wishes to offer a possible Dunlop Super2 test or drive to a driver at the end of the scheme.
Discussions have also been held with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) regarding the possibility of incorporating the organisation's Rising Star program.
The Rising Star program currently helps fund talented young drivers to compete in the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship.
“It (the Supercars Academy plan) is progressing.” Warburton told Speedcafe.com.
“It is all about landing on a format and getting it out to a number of sponsors to get the initiative up and running.
“There has been some discussion about the CAMS Rising Star and bringing those programs together.
“We have been talking to Eugene Arocca (CAMS CEO) about whether these two things can come together. We are open to that.
“It (the format) is still quite open but ultimately it needs to culminate in a drive in a particular category and a Super2 test most likely, and possibly a Super2 drive.
“We have certainly identified 16-20 candidates that are on their way, and are not necessarily known, as potential attendees of the course.”
Warburton hopes an academy initiative will add to the championship's push to ease the pathway for young drivers into Supercars.
A group of five drivers took up the option to join the Supercars grid at three of the four available events.
Matt White Motorsport fielded Shae Davies (Winton, Queensland Raceway) and team-mate Jack Le Brocq (Hidden Valley Raceway, Queensland Raceway) in a move that also saw the Nissan Altima team make their sprint round debut in the category.
Matt Stone Racing also embarked on its maiden appearance in Supercars when Todd Hazelwood ran at Queensland Raceway.
The scheme is expected to continue next season with the Supercars Commission set to assess any possible tweaks to the program for 2018.
“I think it has been very successful in opening up that pathway for not only drivers, but teams who may be thinking about competing in a full Supercars championship,” Warburton added.
“I think for now (four rounds is enough). A large perspective of that was we were testing it.
“I also think those rounds were well subscribed in terms of location of the teams, so I don't think we need to necessarily open it up to every single round.
“But again that is something for the Supercars Commission to ponder.
“I would like to see more wildcards at Bathurst in particular.
“It will be interesting to see the wash up of the non-championship round for the Dunlop Super2 Series there and what that means in terms of wildcards in future years.”