Both the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and organisers of the TCR Australia category have expressed their desire to host a round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) at Bathurst in the future.
It would represent the ‘ultimate objective’ in growing the profile of their regional TCR category, said both parties to Speedcafe.com, with The Bend Motorsport Park and Philip Island also possible venues.
Bathurst Regional Council is aiming to expand the circuit’s calendar by an additional meeting next season and has put a tender out.
The news follows a successful start to life for TCR ‘down under’, with 17 cars from 8 different models kicking off the inaugural TCR Australia season in fine fashion at Sydney Motorsport Park last weekend.
“That’s our ultimate objective, to get to a point where we can have an international round here in Australia,” commented CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca to Speedcafe.com.
“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.
“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.
“I mean, you want to create that aspiration for the local drivers to be able to sort of see the way forward. The whole charm of TCR is you want to get into a car in the next country, in the next region, or go into Europe.
“At the moment we think that that international appeal is critical – for both Australia and for the category.
“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, and there’s some great circuits in this country. Tailem Bend, that’s one of the best circuits in the southern hemisphere, if not the world.
“So for us it’s just about continuing that sort of overt discussion about wanting to have an international event.
“Whether it’s Bathurst, Tailem Bend, Phillip Island… to be honest I don’t care. The reality it is we want it to happen at some stage in the near future.”
I think that’s where the strength of the global competition is,” added ARG’s non-executive director James Warburton.
“You could see Bathurst, in particular, being a global, landmark event, just as we have Spa and Macau as other great examples.
“We need to look at what makes sense in the calendar. I’ve always been passionate about Asia, and I think that’s a really important step for us to think about how we can dovetail with Asia.”
The inaugural TCR Australia season continues on Phillip Island’s Grand Prix circuit on 6th-8th June.