Barry Rogers says that buying a 47.5 percent share in the Australian Racing Group was a natural progression given Garry Rogers Motorsport’s involvement in its series.
Rogers’ Motorsport Events Pty Ltd is now the largest shareholder in ARG, having purchased the stake owned by businessman Brian Boyd, who was one of its founders.
GRM is the technical partner for the S5000 category and fields several cars covering three different marques in TCR Australia, which meant it was already a key player in the ARG space.
“We had invested fairly heavily in those categories which is obviously no secret,” Barry Rogers told Speedcafe.com.
“With the build of the (S)5000s, as a business, we funded and built all of those cars. (We) Also invested quite reasonably in TCR, and the brands that we brought to the country.
“From there, with the number of TCR cars that we’d acquired, we were heavily into that too, and one thing led to another.
“Brian, who has invested heavily to get ARG up and going and get the categories involved in it that he had, he’s really made a fair financial commitment to get it to where I had got to, and also his time and effort.
“He was looking to take a step back and Garry (father/GRM owner) and I often go and talk to Brian about business and bits and pieces.
“One thing led to another and that led to our shareholding coming about. Was that the plan from the start? It certainly wasn’t, it’s just how it sort of unfolded.
“To be honest, we weren’t necessarily that fussed on whether it’s public news or not public news.
“For us, it’s just about going motor racing, it’s about providing a platform. We understand pretty well what competitors want when you go racing, and it’s really looking to find some good racing entertainment that the competitors and the categories want to come and race on.”
Despite the hefty stake that he now owns, Rogers insists that little will change with regards to the operation of ARG.
“Nothing changes around how it’s run,” he stated.
“John McMellan, who is one of the shareholders, probably has more involvement; he’s leading from a shareholders’ point of view than probably what we do.
“I’m not saying we’re silent in the background – John talks to us regularly – but he’s probably a bit more of the hands-on one directly in the business (and) Matt Braid’s the Managing Director of the company.
“But, we certainly understand what competitors want and think we know what fans like to see, what entertains fans.
“Also from a business level, between Garry and myself, we’ve been in business all our lives and feel as though that sort of business know-how can only be a benefit to the ARG business.
About his input into how events are run, Rogers explained, “We were probably fairly vocal beforehand. I don’t think it’ll change from that end.
“The perception might change a bit more because ‘Oh well, they’ve got a fair shareholding in it; maybe we need to listen more to what they’ve got to say,’ but that’s not the plan.
“We’ve got our race team to focus on when we’re at race meetings, but with regards to events, we just like to get a bit of input from the competitors’ point of view about what satisfies them.
“I just really strongly believe that if you can have a really content competitor base and provide a really good platform to go and race on, you should be successful.”
Barry and Garry Rogers are also promoting the Race Tasmania pair of events which will take place in January, headlined by TCR Australia.
The former, however, says their involvement in those events is “just a coincidence” in the context of the ARG buy-in, and reiterated that it is motivated by his father’s parochialism about the Apple Isle.