The 2018 Australian GT season will not begin on the streets of Adelaide after event organisers advised the category its application to participate at the Adelaide 500 has been unsuccessful.
It will be the first time since 2014 that Australian GT has not featured at the event, which has been the opening round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship since 2015.
“This is incredibly disappointing for Australian GT and many of our teams who look forward to starting each year at the Adelaide event,” said Australian GT manager Ken Collier.
“Our application was made some time ago and we had a good discussion with the Adelaide 500 Motor Sport Manager, Jeff Mattner, during the Supercar round at Sandown.
“In fact, we agreed to change the format of our races to fit in with the Adelaide 500 requirements, which had already written this into the 2018 series regulations draft.
“We have always exceeded the KPIs set by the Adelaide event in terms of competitor entries and other commercial requirements, so they can’t have any beef with Australian GT.”
At the 2017 Clipsal 500, Australian GT boasted a field of 28 cars, the largest entry list of any national Championship at the event.
“Some of our teams will be able to compete in the Adelaide event as Australian GT has been dismissed from the event in preference to the one-make Asian Audi R8 series,” added Mr Collier.
“There will be a dozen or so cars come to Australia from Asia, and the field will be topped up with Australian and New Zealand entries.
“This is good for the local Audi teams but the balance of our teams who compete with other marques such as Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Porsche will be excluded.
“I find it very disappointing that the Adelaide 500 event prefer another, offshore, one-make series to the diversity of the local Australian GT competition, which has history stretching back decades.”
“The investment that we as Australian teams and category managers have made in the past to support the event and the business’ in Adelaide means absolutely nothing.”
The Australian GT Championship is one of the most prestigious in Australian Motor Sport, with a history stretching back to the 1960s and boasting winners such as Leo Geoghegan, Frank Matich, Alan Jones and Allan Simonsen.
The 2017 Australian GT season is currently in its final stages, with the last round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park next weekend (November 10-12).
It follows a successful weekend at the Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500 last weekend, which saw Autex Eggleston Motorsport duo Peter Hackett and Dom Storey claim victory.
The result ensures the Championship will be decided at the final race of the season.
Work is already well advanced on Australian GT’s 2018 schedule, which will be revealed at a later date.