Martin Whitaker has been confirmed as V8 Supercars Australia’s new Chief Executive Officer today.
Whitaker will assume the role of CEO from April and has signed a four-year deal with V8SA.
Also in V8 management news, V8 Supercars Chairman Tony Cochrane has also been re-elected to the position of Chairman for a further two years, taking his reign as Chairman to 15 years.
UK-born Whitaker, currently the CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, boasts an extensive background in the sport, including significant positions as Director of Motorsport at Ford Motor Company, working for two Presidents of the FIA, Formula 1 Management (FOM) and McLaren International.
Whitaker is highly regarded as one of motorsport’s leading businessmen and brings a wealth of international knowledge to V8 Supercars Australia.
He will move to the Gold Coast and take up his position following the opening round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Bahrain.
Chief Operating Officer of V8 Supercars Australia Shane Howard will continue to fill the role of acting CEO until that time.
Whitaker said he looks forward to his new challenge.
“This is a magnificent opportunity for me and one that I am very much looking forward to” said Whitaker.
“It is difficult to imagine a better time to be involved with V8 Supercars as its reputation and widening global appeal is going through a significant increase.
“V8 Supercars Australia is now one of the foremost series in global motorsport with a vibrant business platform and a growing fan base not only in Australasia but throughout the world.
“Since my involvement with the Championship began some four years ago I have continued to be impressed by the power of the brand, its unique competitiveness and the professionalism of the organisation. I look forward with immense enthusiasm to being part of V8 Supercars at a time when the sport has so much to offer.”
Cochrane said that by attracting Whitaker to the sport is justification that the category is now a world player on the motor racing scene.
“Enticing someone of Martin’s expertise to the CEO position is an outstanding testimony to the size and quality of our business and our sport,” he said.
“The fact that we are so well positioned on the world motorsports stage means that we can now attract and afford the best people as we move forward in our next five year phase.
“Martin will join an excellent management team and help build the sport throughout Australia, the Pacific, Asia and the Indian sub continents.”
Cochrane added that his unanimous re-election as Chairman is “an honour.”
“It is a tremendous honour to be Chairman of this sport for such an extended period, as I look back over the terrific progress made over the past thirteen years with V8 Supercars,” he said.
“However, with big plans to be unveiled in the coming months, the Car of the Future on our door step and the appointment of Martin to the CEO role, I believe the next five years will be even greater than the substantial achievements to date.
“We have big plans, exciting plans and we intend to double the size of our sport and our business in the next growth phase.”
More announcements on the future of the sport are expected with the coming months, including major new media and TV deals, a new marketing campaign headed up by female artist Pink and new major sponsorship signings.