News 17 Jan 2012

Phillip Island locks in Australian Endurance title for next three years

World championship return for Australia in the plans of Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Phillip Island will continue to be the home of Australian Endurance Championship racing.

Phillip Island will continue to be the home of Australian Endurance Championship racing.

The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit has secured the rights to the Australian Endurance Championship from 2012 to 2014, with news today that Motorcycling Australia has granted the Victorian circuit a three-year contract to host the national championship.

Phillip Island circuit managing director Fergus Cameron announced today the championship, to be called the Phillip Island 8 Hour, will be held on 1-2 December 2012, and will also be staged at the Victorian seaside track in 2013 and 2014.

The circuit’s first 8 Hour, modelled on Japan’s famous Suzuka 8 Hour, was held last December. Twenty five teams and close to 100 riders started the event, with the Team Suzuki squad of Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Robbie Bugden claiming a decisive victory.

“This three year contract provides a great foundation for us, to invest and build the event. We are confident the 8 Hour will gain momentum, will gain more national teams and more international riders,” said Cameron.

“Even our first event last December created a lot of interest from the industry, from sponsors and from the media and attracted a Japanese team.

“We’re hoping that the 8 Hour will do for endurance racing, what the Island Classic has done for historic motorbike racing.”

The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit has a solid focus on motorcycle racing and the Australian Endurance Championship adds to the stable. The circuit hosts the Australian rounds of the MotoGP and World Superbikes, the Island Classic and three rounds of the Australian Superbike Championship.

Now as home to the Australian Endurance Championship, the circuit will start to actively market the event both nationally and internationally.

“We have made no secret of the fact that long term we would like to gain a round of the World Endurance Championship and having the Australian title locked in for three years will give further credence for our vision,” Cameron added.

“Importantly for the teams and riders there is no uncertainty. We are locked in and ready to go. We’ll be racing December 1 and 2, entries will open in August, and the teams can plan and budget for the next Phillip Island 8 Hour.”

Last December, the Josh Waters led Team Suzuki steered the GSX-R1000 from pole position to establish an unassailable lead. They took the chequered flag after eight hours, 279 laps or 1241 km of the 4.445 km circuit, five laps in front of the second Team Suzuki aboard the GSX-R600.

The two-hour TV package on the race has been screened throughout January on SPEED TV and will next be featured on 27 January at 6.30 pm.