V8 Supercars searches for Commission replacements
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton insists that the category is ‘advanced’ in its quest to find a replacement for Mark Skaife in the role of Commission Chairman.
Skaife formally confirmed to the Commission last Thursday that he would not be putting his hand up for a second two-year stint, instead taking up an advisory role offered to him by V8 Supercars.
Skaife’s Commission tenure expires next month, coinciding with that of the Independent member, Chris Lambden.
Lambden has confirmed to Speedcafe.com that he hopes to maintain the Independent spot, while former driver and current V8 TV commentator, Neil Crompton, is being touted as a potential opponent.
Key supporters of Crompton, who is currently in Singapore ahead of the weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, are known to include Red Bull Racing Australia boss Roland Dane.
Contenders for the Chairmanship are largely unclear, with speculation at Sandown linking former V8 Supercars CEO Wayne Cattach to the position.
Cattach denied that he’s already been approached by V8 Supercars when contacted by Speedcafe.com this week, although said he wouldn’t rule out such a move.
“It would be something that I am a little bit used to, if you go back into my history with TEGA and V8 Supercars,” he said of the role.
“The biggest problem I would have is the day I set foot at a race track I wouldn’t want to be confused as the CEO again.
“To make sure that that was put into perspective I’d probably need to have a long talk with James Warburton, which I haven’t done.”
Although not being drawn directly on the category’s interest in Cattach, Warburton emphasised the importance of finding the right person for the position.
“We are advanced in the process, the Commission has been thinking about that for a period of time,” he told Speedcafe.com of finding Skaife’s replacement.
“We’ve had a very robust discussion about the types of people that we should be putting forward, outside the business, people that understand the business and everything else.
“We’ve got a lot to do commercially, (but) I think that the ‘sport of the sport’ is absolutely on fire in terms of what we see.
“We need someone that will keep that process going, keep everything on track and continue to look at the critically important areas such as cost containment.
“It’s also been that time of establishment and getting everything up and running and now we’ve got to continue with the next growth path.
“There will be a lot for the Commission to consider in the coming months and years.”
The role of the Commission Chairman has been confused somewhat during the first two years of the dual Board and Commission structure due to the depth of Skaife’s portfolio.
In addition to the Commission, Skaife has led the Car of the Future project and the courting of manufacturers, as well as continuing other pursuits such as commentary and track design consulting.
“The role was a little bit more complicated with the Car of the Future coming in and other issues that Mark had, but this is a very clear role in terms of the way it works now,” said Warburton.
“(A candidate’s suitability will) come down the their capacity to chair a meeting and to look at common interests of a number of parties, a bit of corporate governance and a fair bit of discipline in terms of process,” he added.
“Clearly with a technical nature, an understanding of the sport (is also important).”
Two of the three team representative seats, Todd Kelly and Tim Edwards, are also up for re-election, as is that of non-voting observer Steve Hallam.
The Commission process has come under particular scrutiny in recent weeks thanks to arguments over parity between the four manufacturers ahead of the endurance races.