McConville to oversee CAMS Shannons Nationals
Cameron McConville will succeed Rob Curkpatrick as the manager of the Shannons Nationals when CAMS takes over the series in 2016.
CAMS has confirmed to Speedcafe.com that it has purchased Curkpatrick’s 50 percent stake in the Nationals, giving it full control of the company.
While promising minimal change, CEO Eugene Arocca says the governing body and its motorsport development manager McConville will aim to promote its existing programs around the Shannons events.
“Rob has done a fantastic job running the Nationals and has built it into a significant part of the Australian motor racing landscape,” said Arocca.
“We don’t foresee any major changes and we will continue to provide a platform to showcase our motor racing categories and build the profile of the Nationals.
“We see opportunities to expand our Ricciardo’s Racers, F1 in Schools, Officials training and driver development programs by adding a practical element around the events.
“Managing the Shannons Nationals is a logical step for us and we now have the appetite and operational capacity to take it on and run it successfully.
“We intend to build on what Rob and his team have achieved in the best interests of Australian motorsport.”
The change comes after CAMS’ strategic review of Australian motorsport chopped three Shannons categories from the national landscape for 2016.
Holding eight rounds this year, McConville told Speedcafe.com that next year’s Shannons calendar is likely to be condensed following the changes.
“We have to weigh up the cost not only of running a championship but for the categories to do so many rounds,” McConville said.
“That side of it is certainly up for review. I’m not sure if it’ll be five or six or seven (rounds). But potentially we may reduce it just for cost saving and to streamline it all.
“But we will engage with all the categories first to see what their plans are for 2016 before we finalise the calendar.
“We really want to try and lock the calendar in within the next four to six weeks.”
McConville underlined CAMS’ previously stated intention to hold a one-off national ‘festival’ for the categories that have been cut from national competition.
“It’s too early to say where those categories will fit because we haven’t had discussions with any of them yet,” McConville said.
“But what we do want to propose is to have a bit of a national festival, which would be a round that brings Formula Ford, potentially, and Saloon Cars for a national event.”
Curkpatrick, who is expected to continue his involvement in category management, thanked the competitors that have been part of the Nationals over the decade he was at the helm.
“I am very proud of what we have accomplished with the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals across the past 10 years and, by the end of this year, 91 rounds of top quality motor racing,” he said.
“The Nationals was formed out of a period of extreme instability in national-level motorsport, outside of the V8 Supercars program, that saw a group of categories and competitors all struggling with no real direction.
“We introduced stability, a sound business model for the categories and competitors involved and we are proud to say it has thrived since.
“Thanks must go to the great competitors and categories we have been fortunate to work with, to the team involved in running it and the support of key partners like the fantastic people at Shannons Insurance.
“I am proud of the legacy we have created and of the work our great team has put in to build it to the point it is now and am confident in CAMS’ capacity to manage it into the future and the approach they are taking.”