Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Feb Mar 2016 Issue 91 Contents 64
with Bathurst Regional Council, we’re good at what
we do in motorsport and from an event point of view
and from a telecast point of view; it was a bit of a no-
brainer in terms of getting that event.
On manufacturers committing to GT racing rather
than V8 Supercars...
We’ve got to be clear with Lexus, for example. Lexus
are not doing a GT3 program. Lexus, in the decision-
making process, opted at this particular point in time,
there’s always a no if it’s not now, because of their
international program was a GT3 program, so that
actually complicated things, so what they’ve decided
to do is to do nothing. To proceed with the safety car
program with us, that they loved being a part of, and
not go GT3 racing.
And I think and Nissan’s Richard Emery’s made
similar comments that in Australia; touring car-racing
or V8 Supercars or whatever you want to call us from
that perspective is that it is the premier series. So
there’s a lot of hype around GTs, but ultimately, it’s
backed by manufacturers and networks, so if you look
at the international side and the crowds, for both the
sprints and the endurances, the draw is actually the
iconic events like a Bathurst.
It’s interesting, every single major sport category is,
if we’re so threatened by GTs, why are they on some of
our biggest events next year?
We take an enormous amount of risk, every time we
turn up, we turn up to the Gold Coast, or what we do at
Homebush, Bathurst, if an event doesn’t go ahead for
whatever reason, storm, force majeure, whatever it is,
that’s on us, so it costs us a couple of million bucks to
rig a street-circuit for television.
People forget how big the scale is, how big the machine
is, and where the risk is and I think from that perspec-
tive, whilst other series love to take pot-shots or stick
their head up, at the end of the day, I’m not seeing any
pictures come out of a lot of the GT-only events and not
big crowds and all those types of things.From that per-
spective it’s not a criticism, it’s just different.
On expansion into Asia...
It’s a revenue option for us clearly; we’re literally out of
facilities here, number one. Number two, time zones.
So when we race in Perth, we still have an enormous
amount of fans that will probably never go there.
They’ll watch it and it’s a two-hour time difference, so
I think whether it’s Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, China,
anywhere in the overall region, that time zone actu-
ally makes sense versus being overnight or being on a
Racing around the streets of KL under the Petronas
Towers on the street circuit, with an extraordinarily
difficult track, will be absolutely mind-blowing, so it’s
the right event, as opposed to being on an F1 track,
where you can have four cars wide and I think there
really is no consequence to that.
It opens up a lot of sponsorship dollars as well for
the teams; a lot of the companies have their head-
quarters through Asia as well and it opens up a new
dynamic, such as international market awareness, so
I’ve always said with the Australian series, we’ll have
one or two races on the international circuit.
We’re not purporting to dominate Asia or anything
silly like that; we’re just about making sure, when
we go overseas, that we’re going to the right places
and that they’re meaningful rounds that are good for
the championship. That’s obviously what the Kuala
Lumpur experience has been so far.
On the uncertain future of Sandown...
The discussions have been relatively positive with the
Victorian government but, at the end of the day, you
can’t control it.
CAMS have got to do a better job with all the facili-
ties; there are places we go which aren’t acceptable,
they’re not up to standard and we need new facilities.
Other parts of the world have extraordinary facilities,
most of the government-owned facilities have actually
been particularly well-maintained and there’s been an
ABOVE: Warburton says
regardless of the design of
the cars they will remain
loud, fast and spectacular.
BELOW: V8 Supercars’
kicks back into life with
the street-circuit event in
Kuala Lumpur in 2016.
V8X91 p60-65 Warburton.indd 64
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