26th AUGUST 1998


Procar Chairman, Ross Palmer today slammed organisers of this year's AMP Bathurst 1000 Event, accusing them of trying to hijack the GTP category.

The Bathurst 1000 consortium has invited drivers from the GTP ranks to make up the numbers for this year's AMP Bathurst 1000 Event, after Procar declined an invitation to participate.

The invitation was issued by the Bathurst 1000 consortium in the wake of dimished support for last year's super touring car race.

But today, Mr Palmer attacked the move, claiming that it had the potential to severly impact on the major blue ribbon end-of-season GTP events.

"I can't believe this", an angry Mr Palmer said today.

"These guys have a bad year, so they immediately want to jump on our bandwgon.

"I have spent millions promoting the GTP class in Australia and last year PROCAR ran a very successfull endurance race for the GTP cars at Bathurst.

"Now, the Bathurst 1000 wants to come in and cash in on our success without contributing a dollar.

"Essentially they want to include cars such as a standard Mazda 626 to bolster the Super Touring field.

"They are out there making cash offers to our drivers without even asking our permission. The event is not approved or authorised by Procar in any way.

"And yet, the entrants will be required to comply with Procar regulations. It is an absolute joke. If it wasn't such a dingo act, it would be laughable."

Each year Procar pays a substantial fee to the CAMS organisation for the marketing rights of the GTP category.

"People need to remember that motorsport is the same as any other sport. If you don't play by the rules, the whole thing falls apart," Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said today that Procar had contacted all of their drivers to advise that it had not authorised the proposed event.

"Australian motorsport is finally starting to get its act together and the drivers can now make some reasonable money in this country," Palmer said.

"Sponsors are looking for stable, professional competition in all classes of motorsport and people in the industry need to realise that competitors and promotors have to work together to creat that confidence.

"If people start back-stabbing and white-anting each other, the whole industry will self destruct in this country."