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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 00:00

Flashback: The V8 Supercars revolution


The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship has now dropped the V8 tag from its title, 20 years on from the time the V8 Supercars revolution had just begun.

V8X Supercar Magazine looks back at the rise of Tony Cochrane and AVESCO, as we approach the 20th anniversary of Cochrane's arrival as a major player in the Australian Touring Car Championship, in issue #93.

Issue #93 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93.

The seeds had been sown a few years earlier, when the unpopular Group A had been replaced by Group 3A for V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores.

But while the V8 era that launched in 1993 was an immediate hit with competitors and fans alike, capitalising on that change would require some outside help.

Sure, the teams had organised themselves through the Touring Car Entrants Group of Australia (TEGA). But mainstream recognition was hard to come by. After all, the championship played second fiddle to Bathurst with inconsistent television coverage and a lack of promotion.

Household names such as Peter Brock, Dick Johnson and Larry Perkins were approaching retirement, while the banning of tobacco sponsorship threatened the existence of championship-winning teams Glenn Seton Racing and Gibson Motorsport.

Australian motorsport had its own unique touring-car series that appealed to the diehard V8 fan, yet the championship events were invisible compared to the recognition of the international motorsport events visiting the country, the Formula 1 and motorcycling grands prix and IndyCars.

As fate would have it, international marketers IMG were involved in the promotion of the motorcycle event at Eastern Creek Raceway and then the IndyCar event on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

IMG's Cochrane worked on both events, fostering an interest in not just the international side of motorsport but in particular why the domestic product lagged in comparison.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93 to read the full feature.