FANS of two of AustraliaÂ¹s most popular motorsport competitions, the Nations Cup and Australian GT Production Car Championship, will be able to enjoy significantly increased national television coverage of races in the 2001 season. The Nations...
FANS of two of Australia¹s most popular motorsport competitions, the Nations Cup and Australian GT Production Car Championship, will be able to enjoy significantly increased national television coverage of races in the 2001 season.
The Nations Cup and Australian GT Production Car Championship (GTP) plus the exciting new V8 Ute series, all organised by PROCAR Australia Pty Ltd, will feature in a total of 50.5 hours¹ programming on Network Ten and Fox Sports.
Ten¹s commitment will include a two-hour live telecast of the country¹s most prestigious annual race for standard passenger cars, the GTP Showroom Showdown at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, on Saturday 6 October.
The television deals cover a much-expanded racing calendar for the PROCAR categories, which will see up to 100 cars compete in 30 championship rounds and three non-championship events at 14 tracks around the country.
The Nations Cup showcases the world¹s great sporting marques such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and Viper, while GTP features unmodified, high-volume models such as Ford, Holden and Honda. The V8 Ute series will pit the latest Commodore and Falcon utes.
Announcing the television schedule to commence on 15 April, PROCAR Australia Chief Executive Ross Palmer hailed it as an exciting development that promises to deliver the best motorsport viewing in Australia.
³The television was the final, but critical, part of our plans for the year and now it¹s locked away we¹re looking forward to our biggest season so far,² Mr Palmer said.
³We expect record entries and the extra hours of television will allow more comprehensive coverage for everyone, especially in the GTP classes, and help each series grow in its own right.
³For our partners among the competitors and sponsors, the fantastic coverage on Network Ten and Fox Sports, bearing in mind motor racing now ranks second in television sport popularity, clearly confirms the Nations Cup, GT Production Car Championship and V8 Ute series are among the most valuable products in Australian motorsport.²
The expanded TV coverage, including the Fox Sports channel for the first time, is in response to PROCAR¹s own rapid growth over recent years.
Categories based on popular road cars that can be purchased and driven by anyone have captured the imagination of fans, competitors and sponsors to such an extent that the PROCAR line-up has grown from one series in 1999, to two last year and four this year.
Ross Palmer said: ³The extraordinary number of entries this year has allowed us to create two series, GT Performance and GT Production, within the five classes of the Australian GT Production Car Championship. In its second season, the Nations Cup is continuing to grow and we are about to launch the all-new V8 Utes series.
³The quality of our racing and professional presentation have earned our competitors invitations to every major international and national motor racing event this year, from the Australian Grand Prix to Bathurst, and we will stage four meetings of our own showcasing all four PROCAR series and the Australian Formula 3 Championship.²
(PROCAR Australia has established a strategic relationship with the inaugural Australian Formula 3 Championship in 2001.)
The Nations Cup and GT Performance series (classes A and B) will be shown in 13 Sunday-afternoon Trackside programs on Network Ten, with nine editions extended from the usual two-hour package to two-and-a-half hours.
These series also will join GT Production (classes C, D and E) and the V8 Utes in 18 one-hour shows on Fox Sports.
Following the Nations Cup¹s non-championship appearance at the recent Australian Grand Prix - which included live national coverage on Channel Nine - PROCAR¹s championship season kicks off at the Clipsal 500 meeting in Adelaide on 5-8 April, with races going to air on Network Ten on the following Sunday, 15 April.
A broadcast schedule for the Network Ten and Fox Sports programming will be available shortly.