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CONFIRMATION – SUPERCAR IN TALKS FOR AUSTRALIAN GT TAKEOVER.

Australian GT at Sydney Motorsport Park - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Australian GT at Sydney Motorsport Park – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

The word quietly circulating around the local motorsport industry for some weeks is now in the open, with Supercars management admitting that Australian GT racing could possibly be brought under the Supercars umbrella before the end of the year.

As negotiations took place over recent weeks, it was known that talks were delicately poised and Auto Action was politely asked not to reveal the story to the motorsport public.

However, with word leaking over the past weekend, Supercars management have been forced to admit discussions are taking place for a takeover of Australian GT racing.

Supercars CEO James Warburton has confirmed that a meeting took place with Tony Quinn and his management team during the Sydney Motorsport Park weekend and although there is no official outcome to the talks, both sides are moving towards a positive resolution of the category’s future.

As regular GT competitor numbers have fallen over recent events, GT management has faced building pressure to resolve the future direction of the category and it has been an open secret that long time backer and GT boss Tony Quinn has lost the support of some GT team owners, hence the drop in regular competitor numbers.

Quinn indicated to competitors during the Townsville race weekend that his leadership of GT racing was coming to an end, without going into any details.

CEO of Supercars, James Warburton, gave a strong hint that GT Racing would be an important part in the future of Supercar events when he presented to sponsors at SMP as he detailed the five future pillars of the sport.

According to Warburton, the five categories are Supercars, Super2, SuperUtes, Super5000 and GTs.

He didn’t go into detail about the GT opportunity but left his audience in no doubt that something is happening.

Auto Action believes the two parties – Quinn and Supercars – are close to a deal but there are still a range of proposals to be considered.

These include a full buy-out and a basic category management deal. CAMS will also have to be involved in the detail of any change.

Supercars has already taken control of the crown jewel of GT racing in Australia, the Bathurst 12-Hour, and race boss John Casey was one of the people who attended the meeting at SMP. But he declined to comment on the discussions or rumours swirling about both the Supercars and GT paddocks.

“It’s too early yet to be talking about anything,” Casey told Auto Action.

He also declined to talk about a separate rumour which seems him moving higher in the Supercars batting order when Matt Braid leaves the organisation at the end of the year.

Casey would be an ideal candidate for the day-to-day management of Supercars and he and Warburton could re-invent the leadership team of Tony Cochrane and Wayne Cattach – as ‘fire lighter’ and ‘fire fighter’ – that powered Supercars to many of its biggest wins.

“Really? You’re hearing what?,” Casey laughs when quizzed by AA.

But there is clearly smoke in the paddock with the potential for flames as Casey has the marketing background to dovetail with Warburton’s business acumen.

We’ve got more of the latest news out of the Supercars paddock in the next issue of Auto Action magazine, on sale Thursday. In the mean time follow us on social media FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all the latest updates between issues.