PROMOTER AND BATHURST COUNCIL WORK TO SAVE 24-HOUR RACE
BATHURST City Council and the organiser of the Bathurst 24-Hour race are confident the international event will have a future.
Event founder Ross Palmer has been in intense talks with Bathurst Mayor Councillor Kath Knowles and senior Council officers this week to discuss the future of the event, following the decision two weeks ago to cease the motor racing operations of his company PROCAR Australia.
“Council is very keen to see the race continue and is committed to working with Ross Palmer and others to explore all options to see that this can happen,” Cr Knowles said.
“Discussions so far have been very positive and I am hopeful that funding can be found to see what has been a very successful event for the city taken into its third year.”
Mr Palmer was equally confident of the future of the event he created, particularly if there was recognition from Government for the international profile such a unique event brought to regional New South Wales.
“The Victorian Government has injected in excess of $25 million into the Grand Prix, the South Australian Government has come to the party with in excess of $3 million in support of Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 and in Queensland the Gold Coast Indy receives around $12 million in support,” he said.
“The Bathurst 24-Hour is a unique event not only for Bathurst but in Australia and there is nothing like it run anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Last year the event was broadcast to a worldwide audience in 100 countries and attracted seven international teams, 15 international media outlets - and that is only in the second year.
“There is no doubt of the potential for this event to provide a significant boost to the economy of regional NSW. The interest is there from high profile Australian and international teams to continue to compete, but for PROCAR it became unfeasible to continue to carry the $2 million a year loss.”
Mr Palmer attributed the financial drain to the hefty cost of television coverage and difficulty in securing major sponsorship.