V8 Supercars' executive chairman Tony Cochrane is to retire from his role at the end of the season.
Cochrane was instrumental in the creation of the V8 Supercar brand that took over from the Australian Touring Car Championship as the country's premier tin-top series in 1996 and has overseen its expansion since then. The series now features rounds in several countries, and is expected to race in the United States at Austin's Circuit of The Americas next year. It has also visited the UAE and Bahrain. The V8 series will also feature four manufacturers next year with Nissan and Mercedes joining series stalwarts Ford and Holden.
"It is with a mixture of enormous pride and nostalgia that I will be stepping down as executive chairman of a sport that has been such an integral part of my life for almost two decades. I have been honored to represent this great sport and importantly the Teams for a very long time.
"Since the successful completion of the sale process last year, I have been in ongoing dialogue with the board about my future role and aspirations, culminating in this announcement today. Like all of these things there is never a perfect time to step down, however the sport is in tremendous shape, has an unbelievable future and we have delivered on a number of key initiatives, including the confirmation of two new marques entering the sport, delivering new events in Texas and New Zealand, and the upcoming 50th year of Bathurst which is set to be a milestone event for our sport.
"The board and the senior management team are in great shape and the time feels right.
Cochrane will remain involved on a part-time basis as an external senior advisor to the championship board.
The championship confirmed that it is actively seeking a replacement for Cochrane, who will bring forward his retirement if a new chairman is appointed before the final round at Homebush on Dec. 1-2.