V8 Supercars boss Tony Cochrane says that former 500cc motorcycle racer Daryl Beattie was the first person to flag the chance of V8 Supercars racing at Austin, Texas.
Cochrane says that Beattie mentioned in October last year that the new Texas circuit boss Tarvo Holland was interested in having V8 Supercars join Formula One and MotoGP as the track’s first international guests.
Cochrane was speaking to the media in his first public appearance since returning from America, complete with a five-year deal to race at the new Texas track – the Circuit of the Americas.
At the press conference, Cochrane explained how Beattie, a special comments commentator for Network Ten, gave him the first sniff of taking V8s to America.
“The very first phone call I had on it was from Darryl Beattie,” Cochrane said.
“It was late October last year and Darryl rang me and said that he’d just been visiting Kevin Scwantz in Texas and his buddy Tarvo Holland.
“Darryl said “look mate, they’re very keen to engage with you on the possibility of being the third big event that they want to bring to their new circuit in Texas.”
“(At that time), they’d already confidentially signed Formula One, they’d already confidentially signed and about to announce MotoGP, and they wanted to have a serious conversation with me, (so we asked) “how do we set that up?”
“Darryl bravely played matchmaker and we started discussions from there and those discussions carried on through the whole of the … I didn’t have Christmas off. I kept working through Christmas and I visited Texas a couple of times, and the second time I took the opportunity to see our alternatives and we made a management decision back in early May that Texas was the right choice for us.
“Basically, the last few months we’ve been looking at all of the contractual issues which are extensive, which you could imagine.”
During the press conference, the V8 boss also revealed that the demise of the Symmons Plains event will be replaced by a new Australian event, and the Clipsal 500 could return to the opening event slot next year.
CLICK HERE for more on Symmons Plains replacement.
CLICK HERE for more on the chance of the Clipsal 500 becoming the opening event of the year.
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