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HomeNewsFLASHBACK: THE SUPERCARS COMMISSION'S BEGINNINGS

FLASHBACK: THE SUPERCARS COMMISSION’S BEGINNINGS

With the Supercars Commission in the news this week following confirmation Neil Crompton has stepped down as interim chair, V8 Sleuth takes a walk down memory lane to the concept’s creation.

On July 10, 2011 the championship announced the seven members who would collectively act as “an expert resource” for the V8 Supercars board and management team.

Devised under the new ownership led by Archer Capital, the remit was to focus on the on-track rules and regulations, freeing up other head honchos to channel their time and energy into the business side.

Mark Skaife was named as the inaugural chairman – but not to start until after his final Bathurst 1000 race that October.

So it was instead Ford Performance Racing (now Tickford) boss Tim Edwards who served as the interim chair.

Joining him on the panel were fellow teams’ representatives Brad Jones and Ross Stone, Supercars CEO Martin Whitaker and chief operating officer Shane Howard, and independent Chris Lambden.

Todd Kelly and Supercars general manager of motorsport Adam Perry were selected as observer/alternate members, and Supercars motorsport operations manager Damien White as secretary.

“Supercars has embarked on its most exciting period of growth, with a major new investor and our international expansion plans in full swing,” the championship’s then chairman Tony Cochrane explained.

“With this level of activity, the board of directors and management team will draw heavily on the experience and passion of the V8 Supercars Commission to ensure that Championship racing remains thrilling, challenging and scrupulously fair.

“To that aim, we are delighted that Mark Skaife has agreed to become inaugural chairman. His insight and instincts for what the Championship is all about make him ideally qualified for this important role, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

The 2011 unveiling of the Car of the Future project, featuring Garth Tander, Rick Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen and Steven Johnson. Pic: an1images.com

Skaife spent two years in the position before moving on to a “strategic role” and being replaced by respected former IndyCar team owner Steve Horne.

At the same time, Crompton took over from Lambden as the independent.

Horne signalled his intentions to depart in 2017 but was not replaced until 2020, when Crompton stepped in as interim chair.

Supercars announced on Wednesday that Crompton’s tenure had officially ended on June 30 this year.

No successor has been named as yet, with Howard acting as interim chair for now.

“Supercars continues to make a significant global and local impact in sport and entertainment, and I am very proud to have made small contribution to the governance of the sport over long period,” Crompton said.

“I am very thankful then CEO James Warburton encouraged my participation on the body back in 2013.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the role and responsibility of the interim Chair position, even over the extremely challenging Covid years which followed the departure of my close friend and mentor Steve Horne.

“I thank each and every member of the Commission for their support of me as Chairman; and of the professional and meticulous work it has done.

“I wish the incoming Chair all the best in the role as the Commission continues to work diligently to guide Supercars through the Gen3 introduction and in making decisive sporting recommendations to the Board.”

Ironically, the Commission has somewhat come full circle, with Skaife a central figure once more since its overhaul when the RACE consortium purchased Supercars late last year.

Under the new structure, in which teams no longer have an ownership stake, every squad is represented on the Commission which makes recommendations for the board to approve or reject.

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