ARG’s next steps to elevate Bathurst International

Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

A WEEK on from the second ever Bathurst International, Australian Racing Group boss Barry Rogers is satisfied the event took the necessary step forward towards carving its place in the motorsport landscape.

While crowds were sparse, the on-track action was mostly good and there was a genuine international element to the competitor mix.

“Going to Bathurst at the 1000 is like going to Flemington on (Melbourne) Cup day,” Rogers explained to V8 Sleuth.

“That’s what the whole place is built around and it’s sensational. There’s no better day in motor racing than going to the Bathurst 1000, so if you’re going to measure it against what happens there, well no one is ever going to be satisfied.

“But certainly the vibe that was there to attract those internationals to come, I think it was a real step in the right direction and the plan is to really build it from there.”

So, what’s next to keep the Bathurst International on an upward trajectory?

“From a racing point of view, it’s already been announced we’ll have GT at the event next year, so GT again adds that bit of international flavour, so that will be positive,” said Rogers.

“I think it’s probably more outside of the racing itself, get activations up and about, maybe international food courts.

“There’s all sorts of things you can do that can engage people.

“Again, I look at the 12 Hour as an example: 10 years ago at the 12 Hour there was a man and his dog standing on the hill… fast forward to now and it has become an iconic event.

“These things take time but I certainly believe we’re heading in the right direction. We’ll pick out the positives of this year’s event and find ways to improve. There’s always ways to improve and we’ll just keep going.”

The 2024 Bathurst International has been locked in for November 8-10 and is again set to be part of the TCR World Tour.

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.