PROCAR Australia Chief Executive Officer Bill West has announced his resignation from the Palmer Group of Companies, effective immediately.

The driving force behind the successful growth of the GTP category, West as CEO has nurtured GTP from an original nine cars in 1994, to an oversubscribed, quality entry of 60 cars for the 1999 Bathurst 3hr Showroom Showdown, and many more cars built and registered ready for 2000.

"I have been immensely proud of what we, as a team at PROCAR, have achieved over the past five years, but I feel now is an ideal time to move on," West said. "We have developed a fantastic team who have made all this happen and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone involved.

"Full credit must go to the competitors, without their support we wouldn’t have a category. It has been a lot of fun and tremendously rewarding but I feel I am leaving the category in strong hands with Ross Palmer now continuing to play a more active role in the organisation. Ross has advised that he will take over as CEO (Chief Executive Officer) with Craig Denyer acting COO (Chief Operating Officer).

"I have been particularly grateful for the autonomy and trust afforded me by Ross Palmer and his vision. Notwithstanding, it is time to go now, so as to leave the decks clear for the forthcoming season.

"I trust that the contribution, I believe I have made to the sport will not go unnoticed, as I seek out my next challenge, preferably in the Motorsport industry."

The amazing growth and popularity of the category has been dramatically enhanced by its timely move to Channel 10 and as a support event on the V8 Supercar Calendar, both as a result of Bill’s direct involvement.

Recently crowned '99 GTP Champion and renowned sportsman, Jim Richards, is disappointed with West’s departure.

"I am very sorry and upset to see him go because he has done a fantastic job with this category," Richards said.

"GTP is the best run and presented category in this country - bar none, including V8's. It is not going to be the same without him."

Paul Ryan paul@pr2.com.au