CAMS hint at plans to bring WTCR to Bathurst

by James Bowers

Following the highly successful debut of the TCR Australia Series last weekend, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has spoken to Speedcafe.com about its plans for TCR in the not-so-distant future.

As has been widely reported across the media, the Bathurst Regional Council is looking to add a fifth event to its racing calendar next year. As many as six applications from various different motorsport organisers have been sent thus far, and it looks as though a TCR event could well be one of those.

CAMS CEO, Eugene Arroca, didn’t wish to give too much away about a potential application to race on Mount Panorama, but made clear on his wider plans to grow TCR as a concept down under.

“That’s our ultimate objective, to get to a point where we can have an international round here in Australia,” he said, “And you probably know where we’d like to do it…”

“We can’t talk about the (Bathurst fifth event) contenders for obvious reasons, because we have to respect the process. But, you know, we’re very vocal about our ambitions to be a WTCR round somewhere along the way…”

Should the Bathurst plans fail to materialise, Arroca maintains keen to stick by his vision of bringing international TCR racing to Australia.

“Whether it’s Bathurst, Tailem Bend, Phillip Island… to be honest I don’t care. The reality is we want it to happen at some stage in the near future.” he said.

CAMS’ initiative is helped by the strong relationship which has already been built between themselves and the creator of the TCR formula, Marcello Lotti.

Arroca explained, “We’ve got a great relationship with Marcello (Lotti). And I was there at that very first meeting where we met with them and I’ve been in Milan and met with them again and they’re very excited about what we’re doing in Australia,”

He added, “And I would think that if we continue this trajectory, we’ve talked to him, we’ve already planted the seed, and he’s already raised it with us. So for us we’re just letting it build its momentum and letting it fall into place. I personally expect that that support is there.”

A TCR expansion in this part of the world wouldn’t necessarily be limited to WTCR either. Motorsport New Zealand have claimed the rights to run their own TCR series from 2020, with World Rally ace Hayden Paddon having already outlined his intentions to join them with a Hyundai i30 N TCR.

Arroca hopes that TCR Australia can work with their Kiwi neighbours in order to boost the growth rates of both series.

“I think there’s some ways we can work with our colleagues across the ditch in making sure both categories can feed off each other,” he explained. “From our point of view, the more TCR cars in this part of the world, the better, because it builds a case for an international meet.”

Further links with Asian categories haven’t been ruled out either. All in all, the Australian market for TCR racing looks set to expand even further into next year and beyond, should CAMS be able to fulfil their intentions. The TCR formula has boomed worldwide in the last few years, and this could well be yet another success story.

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