VERVAART APPOINTED AUSTRALIAN GT CATEGORY MANAGER

A former Commercial Manager in one of Australia’s leading Supercars teams, David Vervaart has extensive experience in the operation and development of motorsport categories, whilst also enjoying time as a circuit manager, a team manager and a driver manager.

More recently Vervaart has been involved in motorsport retail, in fleet and dealer sales for a major Australian automotive group, whilst also present on the coal-face of the development of some of Asia’s leading sportscar and GT championships.

For Australian GT category owner Jim Manolios, he sees the appointment of Vervaart is an important next step in the development and success of the CAMS-supported championship, a factor which the two parties were keen to reinforce during Vervaart’s first appointment in the role with a visit to CAMS’ Melbourne HQ.

“Looking forward from the foundations that were laid over the last seven years, it was important to take the next step in the development of Australian GT with an experienced hand at the helm,” Manolios admitted.

“CAMS shared my view in that, and were keen to meet and endorse David in the role, as we all look to re-establishing Australian GT as one of the premier categories in Australian motorsport.

“We have some big plans for the coming seasons, but we also need to work more closely with the stakeholders of Australian GT to ensure we achieve the best result that we can moving forward. The motorsport landscape is changing constantly but also becoming very splintered with the growing number of new categories emerging, however GT3 competition worldwide is on a resurgence, and with quite a number of cars already on the ground in Australia, our aim is to get them out of garages and back on track.

“For us, this new appointment signals the start of the next chapter in Australian GT, and we’re very excited about what’s ahead.”

For Vervaart, the challenge of steering Australian GT into that next chapter is an exciting prospect, one in which he believes his past experiences will play a significant role.

“Having been a part of almost every angle you can approach the sport from – I can honestly say I am better prepared than ever to assist with the growth of Australian GT, and excited by the prospect of what’s to come,” Vervaart admitted.

“Having been involved with the SRO organisation over a 20 year span, and having seen the way the category has both evolved and recently re-energised, gives me the comfort of knowing there is nothing wrong with the model, and that GT3 still remains one of the most vibrant and successful categories of motorsport worldwide.

“I have already spoken with some of the stakeholders, and over the coming weeks will make direct contact with all of them to get a better picture of what we need to do to get the championship flourishing again, and I have no doubt that it will do just that over the coming seasons with the right ideas and the right kind of communication.”

Vervaart’s first commitment was to join category owner Jim Manolios at CAMS in Melbourne to endorse his appointment, and to also continue discussions about the future of Australian GT for which more announcements are pending.

He will then take over active duty from March 25, and front his first event at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway for the second round of the 2019 season under lights alongside Supercars on May 4-5.

Bob Jane has died aged 88

He died on Friday night "after a long and brave battle" with prostate cancer, his family confirmed on Saturday.

"It was our privilege to have had him as our dad, whom we loved and cherished. We will miss him deeply and he will forever be in our hearts," his children Courtney, Charlotte and Robert Jane said in a statement.


"As his family we ask for privacy at this devastating time."

Jane rose to fame as a champion race car driver, claiming the Armstrong 500 endurance motor race four times, between 1961 and 1964, at Phillip Island in Victoria and its eventual home of Mount Panorama, near Bathurst in NSW.

Harry Firth partnered him three times and George Reynolds for the final victory in a Fort Cortina GT.

The 500-mile "Great Race" concept is now known as the Bathurst 1000.

Jane also won four Australian Touring Car Championships between 1962 and 1972.

"Driving in one of Australian motorsport's greatest eras, his accomplishments on and off the track will long be remembered," Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said in a statement, titled "Vale Bob Jane", on Saturday.

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport said Jane was "an influential character in motor sport and made a significant contribution" while Supercars Australia called him "one of the greatest race car drivers the Australian Touring Car Championship has seen".

Jane will be honoured on the Mount Panorama circuit at this year's Great Race, running October 4 to 7, he said.

"Few will ever win four Championships and Bathurst crowns, let alone four 1000 titles in a row," Mr Seamer said.

After Jane retired from driving he remained involved in the sport through his Calder Park circuit complex in northwest Melbourne and Adelaide International Raceway on the outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia.

He set the foundations for Australia's first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Adelaide by bringing big-name F1 stars to compete in the Australian Grand Prix at Calder in the early 1980s, and also invested in Calder's Thunderdome oval, which held NASCAR races for over a decade from 1988.

In 2000, Jane and fellow race car driver Norm Beechey were among the first inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame. He was also included in Bathurst's new Legends Lane last year, alongside the likes of Peter Brock.

He is, perhaps, best known for his tyre chain Bob Jane T-Marts, which first opened in Melbourne in 1965.

But the multi-millionaire icon was mired in controversy in recent years.

His son Rodney took control of the company after his father suffered a stroke in 2006, and Mr Jane subsequently filed a $2.9 million lawsuit against his son in 2013, which was thrown out by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

He declared bankruptcy in 2016.

Matt Campbell Scores Porsches First  Bathurst 12 Hour Win

The Porsche young gun called on his years of experience with the stories German marque to take advantage of fresh tyres at the end of the race, carving his way up through those in front to take the lead with minutes to spare for his first Bathurst 12 Hour win.

His win with Dennis Olsen and Dirk Werner is under investigation due to late race contact with BMW’s Chaz Mostert but Campbell can celebrate crossing the line first after a career defining final stint.

Heading in to the final stanza of the race, the #912 was in first with #62, #999, #108, #42, #18 and #888 all chasing on the lead lap, meaning any one of them could work their way into the podium contention with strategy and a safety car.

Matt Campbell hopped aboard the #912 Earl Bamber Racing Porsche 911 on lap 279, filling the car to the end of the race with brand new tyres on both sides of the car.

With the stop, car #62 inherited the lead with Jake Dennis behind the wheel, holding a narrow two second lead over Raffaele Marciello in the #999 entry.

Oliver Jarvis was the next to pit in car #18, handing the Nissan GTR over to Alex Imperatori until the finish flag and emerging back on track behind the Campbell Porsche.

Next up was Raffaele Marciello in the #999 Team GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, staying in the car and taking fuel only but stalling on the exit of his pit bay. The mistake didn’t hurt him in the short term though, coming out some 20 seconds clear of Campbell.

Marciello nearly threw it all away, pushing hard on his out lap and dropping all four wheels on the grass at McPhillamy Park, lucky to not hit the wall.

Jake Dennis hit the lane on lap 285, also staying in the car and not taking tyres in the stop, making Campbell the only car so far to take new rubber. Dennis returned to the track ahead of the #999 as the #888 pitted at the same time, van Gisbergen emerging on track just behind Campbell.

On lap 287, Mostert came in for the #42 car’s final stop, following the mentality of his other rivals and not taking on tyres to come out just behind Dennis and Marciello, effectively dropping to third and four seconds ahead of Campbell.

Maxime Soulet relegated the lead to Dennis when he stopped lap 290 but when Andy Soucek on-board, the Spaniard stalled the Bentley Continental at the end of the pit lane, going to last out of the lead lap runners.

Dennis held the lead ahead of Marciello with 40 minutes left on the clock as Campbell applied the pressure to Mostert for third, the Australians engaging in a fight for the last step on the podium.

Campbell finally got past Mostert at the Chase, giving the BMW a love tap off the road just as the engine of Tim Macrow’s #50 Class C KTM machine let go on Conrod Straight, parking to the side while the safety car was deployed with only half an hour left, neutralising the race.

Under the safety car, van Gisbergen in the #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 came in for new tyres as Dennis led from Marciello, Campbell, Mostert, Imperatori, Soucek and then van Gisbergen.

Imperatori was issued a drive through penalty for weaving just before the restart and nearly ended his race on the opening tour, going wide at Griffin’s Bend.

Dennis opened up a gap on the first lap as Campbell hounded the back of Marciello, showing the nose a few times to the #999 as the timer ticked down and the Mercedes-AMG started to slide around.

Campbell finally muscled his way past at Hell Corner on lap 304, setting his sights on Dennis in the Aston Martin two seconds up the road as Mostert went after Marciello.

With just over eight minutes to go, Campbell went down the inside of Dennis at Forrest Elbow, taking the place and holding off the V12 Aston Martin down Conrod Straight with help from the Objective Racing McLaren which moved out of the way.

A few places further back, van Gisbergen was on a charge on new tyres, getting past Soucek and Mostert to range up behind Marciello for the final podium spot, trying every which way to get past the bright yellow entry.

Nothing could stop Matt Campbell up front who crossed the line to win the Bathurst 12 Hour, 3.4 seconds ahead of Jake Dennis as Raffaele Marciello only just held off Shane van Gisbergen for the final spot on the podium.

In the Pro-Am class it’s the #51 Spirit of Race entry which takes the honours with Pedro Lamy driving the car home for a class victory with Paul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda.

Class B saw the Grove Group entry of Ben Barker and Stephen and Brenton Grove take another win at the mountain, making it a happy day for Porsche across the top two classes.

Class C was won by the #48 KTM of Glen Wood, Justin McMillan, Dean Lillie and Elliott Barbour only one lap ahead of the #13 BMW GT4.

The Invitational Class results saw the T2 Racing by Liajen Motorsport #20 car of Adam Hargraves, Daniel Jilesen and Steve Owen cross the line first, the only Class I cars to make it home.

 

Full Results

1 912 EBM D.Werner/D.Olsen/ M.Campbell Porsche 911 GT3-R 

2 62 R-Motorsport J.Dennis/M.Vaxiviere/ M.Kirchhoefer Aston Martin Vantage 

3 999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Raci M.Buhk/R.Marciello/ M.Goetz Mercedes AMG GT3

4 888 Mercedes-AMG Team Vodafone C.Lowndes/J.Whincup/ S.van Gisbergen Mercedes AMG GT GT3 

5 42 BMW Team Schnitzer A.Farfus/C.Mostert/ M.Tomczyk BMW M6 GT3 

6 108 Bentley Team M-Sport A.Soucek/M.Soulet/ V.Abril Bentley Continental 

7 18 KC Motorgroup LTD A.Imperatori/O.Jarvis/ E.Liberati Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 

8 107 Bentley Team M-Sport S.Kane/J.Gounon/ J.Pepper Bentley Continental 

9 51 Spirit of Race P.Dalla Lana/P.Lamy/ M.Lauda Ferrari 488 GT3 

10 98 Aussie Driver Search T.Hazelwood/R.Lago/ D.Russell Audi R8 LMS 

11 9 Melbourne Performance Centre M.Cini/L.Holdsworth/ D.Fiore Audi R8 LMS 

12 6 Wall Racing A.Deitz/J.Westwood/ C.McConville/ T.D'Alberto Lamborghini Huracan 

13 19 Team Nineteen, Black Falcon M.Griffith/Y.Buurman/ C.Nielsen Mercedes AMG GT GT3 

14 2 Audi Sport Team Valvoline C.Mies/C.Haase/ M.Winkelhock Audi R8 LMS

15 35 KC Motorgroup LTD K.Chiyo/T.Matsuda/ J.Burdon Nissan GTR Nismo GT3

16 4 Grove Group S.Grove/B.Grove/ B.Barker Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 

17 20 Localsearch A.Hargraves/D.Jilesen/ S.Owen MARC Car Marc II V8 

18 27 HubAuto Corsa N.Foster/T.Slade/ N.Percat Ferrari 488 GT3 

19 23 Team Carrera Cup Asia C.van der Drift/ P.Tresidder/J.Bao/ P.Hamprecht Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 

20 48 M Motorsport J.McMillan/G.Wood/ D.Lillie/E.Barbour KTM X-Bow GT4 

21 13 JET Environmental D.Jorgensen/B.Strom/ G.McLeod BMW M4 GT4

22 55 Ginetta Australia B.Schumacher/J.Vernon/ A.Love Ginetta G55 GT4

23 11 Objective Racing T.Walls/W.Luff/A.Watson McLaren 650s

DNF 50 Vantage Freight D.Crampton/T.Harrison/ T.Macrow/C.Wood KTM X-Bow GT4 

DNF 911 EBM R.Dumas/S.Muller/ M.Jaminet Porsche 911 GT3-R 

DNF 75 Sunenergy1 Racing K.Habul/D.Baumann/ T.Jaeger Mercedes AMG GT GT3

DNF 71 Exedra Motorsport D.Koutsoumidis/ J.Parsons/J.Winslow/ M.Beche KTM X-Bow GT4

DNF 91 MARC Cars Australia K.Kassulke/P.Morris/ P.Tracy/A.de Pasquale MARC Car Marc II V8 

DNF 77 Team Craft Bamboo Black Falcon M.Engel/L.Stolz/ G.Paffett Mercedes AMG GT3 

DNF 22 Audi Sport Team Valvoline K.van der Linde/ G.Tander/F.Vervisch Audi R8 LMS 

DNF 29 Haemokinisis/ Trofeo Estate/ P J.Manolios/B.Porter/ I.Capelli/D.Canto Lamborghini Huracan 

DNF 760 R-Motorsport F.Kamelger/A.Baenziger/ P.Leemhuis/M.Parry Aston Martin Vantage 

DNF 777 The Bend Motorsport Park Y.Shahin/D.Reynolds/ L.Youlden Mercedes AMG GT GT3 

DNF 92 AJC Portables/ Nana's Naturals J.Busk/G.Taunton/ D.OíKeeffe MARC Car Marc I 

DNF 43 The Furniture Broker D.Stutterd/S.Fillmore/ R.Muscat Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 

DNF 96 GAP Solutions / SEKTOR H.Morral/M.Bakker MARC Car Marc I 6

DNF 12 Ice Break - Virgin Australia D.Calvert-Jones/J.Evans Porsche GT3-R 

DNF 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport C.Krognes/N.Catsburg BMW M6 GT3 

 

New South Wales Kart Championship

There is a certain anticipation in the air and karters are a little more excited about the last New South Wales Kart Championship under Karting Australia’s regime scheduled to be held in Lithgow this weekend.

Spirits have not been dampened by KA’s apparent inability to supply its usual sets of prize tyres to the State Championship podium winners. Instead - there’s a new kinda buzz around town!

Karters in NSW are coming out of the woodwork to contribute their expertise, their weekends and their license fees towards rebuilding the sport they almost lost. Some members have even been checking out clubs to move their membership away from those clubs that voted to stay with KA. They may not have had their voice heard - but their wallets can walk!

Some have even been encouraging their fellow states to come and join the fun.... because that is what Karting should be! FUN!

As we all know, the voice of the karter is strong and will no longer be silenced, penalised or priced out of the sport that has been in families for generations.

We look forward to this weekends racing and moreover look forward to bringing the fun back to racing.

Governance in Sport: A Platform for Growth & Development

The sporting landscape in Australia is largely enriched and delivered through the countless hours of service and support provided by volunteers - volunteer boards, committees and administrators. Good corporate governance plays a vital role in underpinning the integrity and efficiency of any sporting code. However, some see governance in sport a painful obligation but really, it should be considered a platform for development and growth.

In recent times, there has been a growing trend of scandals and corruption in sport, which, in turn is leading to a growing trend of dissatisfaction, scepticism and lack of confidence in the leaders of our sport.

In today's environment, we are increasingly subjected to media scrutiny, continuous social media attention and an increasing demand for transparency and accountability. The corporate and political worlds have been living their decisions through this lens for some time. Now sporting associations are facing the same challenges; and in my opinion - so they should!

If we accept that the status quo is no longer viable, then it makes sense for sporting associations to look to other sectors, such as business and non-profits, for governance lessons. The Australian Sports Commission recognises that effective sports governance requires leadership, integrity and good judgment. Additionally, effective governance will ensure more effective decision making, with the organisation demonstrating transparency, accountability and responsibility in the activities undertaken and resources expended.

It is commonly accepted that governance structures have a significant impact on the performance of sporting organisations. Poor governance has a variety of causes, including director inexperience, conflicts of interest, failure to manage risk, inadequate or inappropriate financial controls, and generally poor internal business systems and reporting. Ineffective governance practices not only impact on the sport where they are present, but also undermine confidence in the Australian sports industry as a whole.

It is essential for sport to act ethically and with integrity and with transparency; essential for the progress and prosperity; prevents fraud; and protects the rights of members and sponsors, donors and the governing body along with protecting the long-term objectives of the sporting code. Leading governance bodies in Australia have recognised this growing trend, now offering specific governance courses for administrators of sporting associations. See AICD Sports Governance Course or Governance Institute of Australia - Governance in Sport courses.

Another consideration is that as sport becomes increasingly commercialised, sponsors investing their money and reputation are becoming more demanding of the organisations they partner with. Sponsors demand greater transparency prior to entering into arrangements and may exercise termination rights in event of high profile governance failures.

But most importantly - effective communication is important for all governing bodies. Members should be regular informed of the governing body’s activities, policy decisions, elections, approach to governance, and other business (e.g., executive, legislative, judicial, commercial). A two-way communication, which provides channels for feedback from the members, is encouraged. If all the members of the organisation are encouraged to share their ideas, they would feel like they are an essential part of the organisation. Members should be informed of policies, procedures, financial responsibilities, and new marketing adventures.

Let our sport grow with transparency, engagement and solid ethics. Lead from the front, like any great sportsperson, with integrity and humility. Moreover, good governance is a smart business decision and fundamental to the longevity and success of our sport.

Note:  Ilona holds a Bachelor of Laws and Masters in Law from the Queensland University of Technology; a Certificate of Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a Non-Executive Director and Chair - Audit, Risk & Governance Committee of Karting (New South Wales) Inc and a strong advocate for increased governance and transparency in sport.

Jaguar wants regular Formula E podiums in 2018/19

The Jaguar Racing Formula E team has set “a very clear goal” to score regular podiums across the 2018/19 season in a bid to build on its season four achievements.

Jaguar has enjoyed impressive gains since it joined the all-electric series in season three, managing more than four times the amount of points it achieved in its maiden campaign to lift itself from the bottom of the teams’ championship and up to sixth in 2017/18, as well as claiming a first pole position and podium.

Heading into season five, which marks the introduction of the all-new ‘Gen2’ car, the British manufacturer has fully developed a new powertrain in-house for the first time in its new I-TYPE 3 challenger – which also features over 800 new components.

“We’ve been very pragmatic about our journey and the next step is moving from a regular points-scoring team to a regular podium team,” Jaguar team principal James Barclay said.

“That’s what we need to be getting towards, so we are a team that’s able regularly fight and put ourselves in a position to be on the podium. That’s our very clear goal.”

Jaguar has retained its driver line-up consisting of Nelson Piquet Jr and Mitch Evans for season five, with season one champion Piquet insisting the team is still “playing catch up” compared to its rivals.

When asked by Crash.net what he feels is possible for Jaguar in season five, Piquet said: “We’re going to take a step forward. We don’t know how much the other teams are going to take forward but we’re playing catch [up] at the moment.

“I don’t know if it will take one, two, or three seasons to catch them but at the moment we are playing catch up.

“The jump from season one to two was very easy because the powertrain they had in their season one was a last-minute thing they did, so the closer you get to that 100 percent efficiency it gets harder to get close.

“That little last percentage is very hard to get. We are going to do a step forward but we don’t know what the other teams are going to do.”

Piquet believes Jaguar can compete for the teams’ championship in 2018/19 providing it can pull off its target of fighting for regular top five finishes and podiums. 

“If we have the same step again next year, it’s going to put us in a very good position,” he said.

“To fight for a championship you always need to be in the top five, then your consistency will make you win a championship.

“If we can always be fighting in the top five that will put us in contention to win the championship and that’s what we will try to do.”

“I just want to see Jaguar at the top," Evans added. "I know how hard the team has worked behind the scenes.

"We have had two years in the championship, the first year was tough for us coming in as a new team but we made a huge step last year.

"I really want to see both of us at the front and then take it to the other manufacturer’s for the championship."