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Meet Tickford Racing’s new head honcho

SIMON Brookhouse mightn’t be a name familiar to fans, but the new Tickford Racing CEO’s motorsport passion pre-dates Supercars.

A veteran sports administrator who led the Tasmania JackJumpers to instant relevance within the National Basketball League, Brookhouse started on Monday as Tim Edwards’ successor.

His tenure begins at a time when plenty is expected of what a revamped Tickford and its star Cam Waters can achieve in 2024.

So, who is Brookhouse and what is his motorsport background?

“I have been (a fan of motor racing) since I was a kid, following Dick Johnson and Brocky back in the day,” he said.

“I have been to a lot of Supercars races over the journey, I’ve been to club car races and historic races and those sorts of things. Even in my banking days, I used to look after Phillip Island racetrack.

“It has been a passion – all sport is a passion for me.

“I guess the allure to this role is the organisation is more holistic than just a racing team.

“It’s a big organisation in terms of commercialisation of it and making sure that the financial impact of all the business, reflects across the business.

“It’s going to be a challenge, there’s no doubt about that. I think that all professional sport lives and dies by its relationships and its ability to generate income from various sources.”

Brookhouse intends to have less direct involvement in the team’s track operations than Edwards, and he’s okay with that.

The 2024 Tickford Racing Mustangs of Thomas Randle and Cam Waters. Pic: Supplied

“I’ll certainly learn along the way and be a sponge, but you don’t have to be a pilot to run Qantas, that’s the reality of it,” he continued.

“It’s more about the holistic approach of new ideas and how we can actually make this sport better and keep growing, so that’s the challenge for all of us along pitlane.

“The teams as a conglomerate, whilst we’ll fight out there on the track, off the track we have got to be trying to make the sport better and working with Supercars to be able to do that.

“I think that’s probably the most important thing you can do as a leader in the industry.”

Brookhouse believes there are pillars behind the growth of another semi-niche sporting competition in Australia, the NBL under Larry Kestelman’s watch, which can be applied to Supercars.

Brookhouse noted that Supercars – and Tickford – are already in a good place, but he observed the NBL’s direction as cause for optimism.

He cited as being behind that upward trend: fan engagement, digital/social presence, off-court collaboration, maximising relationships with partners, and being prepared to try new things.

“Supercars has got a great opportunity: it’s a great product, well viewed, it’s world-class,” said Brookhouse.

“The drivers are world-class, we’re promoting the fact that you have got guys going from this competition into the greatest competitions in the US, like NBL players to the NBA.

“There’s a lot of synergies and it’s about the same size. You have got 12 teams (counting Brad Jones Racing’s two lots of two cars separately).

“I think there’s a lot that can be learnt and it’s about, I think, just having a go and not being afraid to come up with new ideas.

“They don’t all work but don’t be afraid to make a mistake in trying to be successful.”

The 2024 Repco Supercars Championship starts tomorrow as Mount Panorama hosts the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

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