PROCAR Hands Back Nations Cup Etc. To CAMS
“PROCAR Australia Pty Ltd announces today that it has handed back to the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport its management rights to the Nations Cup, GT Performance, V8 BRutes and Production Car motor racing categories and is also transferring to CAMS trademarks and intellectual property for the categories and the Bathurst 24-Hour race.”

This statement, issued July 30, brings an end to the the involvement of entrepreneur Ross Palmer in Australian motor racing, and the PROCAR series package as we have seen it over the last few years – and possibly the 24 Hours of Bathurst.

Earlier this year, the Palmer Group decided to back out of organising, and financially supporting, PROCAR’s racing operation as well as the Bathurst 24 Hours, but did not formally relinqhish the rights to the various championships. PROCAR competitor Peter Boylan has acted as as interim organiser over the past three months; he will still be in charge of the series at the next round, on 6-8 August, at Wakefield Park. What happens after that date is unknown. “The response from competitors, sponsors, track operators, media and everyone else to our staging of the past three rounds has been overwhelmingly positive and very gratifying,” says Mr Boylan who is confident PROCAR racing will continue in some form: “Despite the earlier setbacks, the PROCAR Champ Series continues to have a solid foundation and tremendous potential as one of Australia’s most popular national motor racing series. Its future is now in the hands of CAMS and I have every confidence in their ability to achieve a stable and successful outcome.”

The Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO), the body that promotes the popular V8 Supercar Championship, is expected to be looking at some of the series within the current PROCAR package, for a possible takeover. But it seems very likely the entire package as it exists today will not continue.

This new development also again casts a shadow over the continued development, and possibly the continued existence, of the 24 Hours of Bathurst. If the 2004 edition does go ahead, as initially planned, on November 19-21, it remains to be seen if any international competitors will show up. Currently, the 24 Hours of Bathurst are an equation with too many unknowns for international teams to make a commitment, although some European teams are expressing a willingness to race there.

The Bathurst regional council has already reacted to PROCAR’s announcement, Council Administrator Kath Knowles expressing the council’s disappointment over this decision by PROCAR, and renewing its commitment to supporting any promoter who will step forward and try to keep this event on the international calendar, “but at the same time there are limits on the risks we will take with ratepayers’ funds”. For the Bathurst region, the 24 Hour race represents an attractive opportunity to create revenue as well as present itself in the world media, and also a welcome “plan B” if the 1000 kilometer race for V8 Supercars should ever leave Mount Panorama.
Johannes Gauglica


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