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RACE assesses first year of Supercars ownership

BARCLAY Nettlefold believes behind-the-scenes movements have laid the platform for the RACE consortium to take Supercars forward under his watch.

Nettlefold is both the figurehead of RACE and the chairman of Supercars.

It was in October last year that Archer Capital confirmed it had reached an agreement to sell its majority stake in Supercars to RACE, the collective teams following suit to make for a single ownership model.

The sale was formally completed a month later.

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Soon enough, Sean Seamer’s tenure as CEO was over, the Kiwi moving on to a position in the United States with Gravity Media.

Popular long-time chief operating officer Shane Howard stepped up in his place, and several others have been appointed to his executive team since then including Mark Pejic (chief strategy and revenue officer), Tim Holden (general counsel and company secretary) and Tim Watsford (chief innovation and sustainability officer).

“It has gone fast, hasn’t it?” Nettlefold reflected to V8 Sleuth.

“When you take over a company… there’s a lot to learn and a lot of idiosyncrasies that we need to look at and understand.

“We’re starting to get a really good team in behind Shane Howard.

Shane Howard (middle) on the Bathurst grid. Pic: Nathan Wong

“I’m really comfortable and satisfied with the executive team that he has pulled together and moving into the future it’s going to really put us in great stead.

“For me, to get in behind and give them the support that they needed to make change was a much improved thing and they’re doing it which is great.”

As for what to expect from their next 12 months at the helm: “You’re going to start to see a lot more fan engagement,” Nettlefold replied.

“We’re going to really start to work closer and harder with the fans.

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“Hospitality is going to change, entertainment is going to come back bigger and better than you have ever seen, so get ready for that.

“We’re really excited about what we have got in store for the next 12 months. We really want to start to make it a day out.”

The litmus test for the Repco Supercars Championship will be the long-awaited debut of its Gen3 regulations next March at Newcastle.

That will involve the Chevrolet Camaro replacing the Holden Commodore, going up against the newly updated Ford Mustang S650.

There will be all-new engines and, crucially, significantly reduced aero in a bid to facilitate closer racing.

Nettlefold has also been vocal about expanding Supercars’ footprint into the international sector once more, with a place on the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix support card among the prime targets.

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