Garry Rogers: V8 Supercars world's best and we should all be proud
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
Garry Rogers has always had one of the best eyes in the sport. Now he has declared V8 Supercars as the best racing of its kind in the world, bar none.
Rogers has been racing V8 Supercars since day one. He has seen the sport evolve into what it is today and while watching Europe's equivalent last week, Rogers was adamant V8 Supercars is without question the best racing and entertainment package.
"The [European] racing, whilst competitive in spasms, certainly was nothing like the ferocity of our category," Rogers said. "There were 24 cars in the field and the variation between pole position and the final qualifier was far greater than a V8 Supercar field.
"The pit stops, which I concede were well orchestrated, lacked the visual excitement of ours, because perhaps they are too well orchestrated.
"No one could dispute that the race vehicles are very well designed, however - to put it in Aussie terminology - they lacked the blood and guts of ours and looked and behaved too clinically."
He continued: "The presentation of the (V8 Supercars) show is immaculate and exciting for both television and our fans watching from the fence. Our on grid presentation, both from the teams and V8 Supercar organisers, coupled with the behind the scenes promotions, is without equal ... the majority of people watch sport to be entertained and excited. Our Australian product, V8 Supercars, continues to generate this.
"I have been in our business from day one and it makes me extremely proud to be a part of what all the teams over time have achieved and built. I am a believer that if you keep persevering benefits will come ... our category, whilst at the moment is financially difficult, still has a strong presence of commercial sponsors, offering varying signage and colour."
When asked why he felt compelled to share his thoughts Rogers, as always, was to the point.
"I just think a lot of us don't realise how good what we've got is," he told v8supercars.com.au. "As I said ... in my view, what we have is a very saleable product commercially. I just figured we should never undersell ourselves. People watch sport to be entertained and excited - and our category continues to do that."
Having discovered and nurtured a number of current V8 Supercars stars from young up-and-comers, Rogers has a unique ability to recognise talent and potential.
Last year, while celebrating 50 years in Australian motorsport, he did it once again, placing then teenage rookie Scott McLaughlin in the Championship.
McLaughlin went on to break the record for the youngest Championship race winner in V8 Supercars, has since claimed a number of race wins and ARMOR ALL Pole Positions, and become a household name with his gutsy driving and genuine joy for racing.
Rogers also reinvented his Valvoline-backed team for 2014 with factory Volvo support, fielding two S60s on the grid, and successfully introducing the fifth manufacturer to V8 Supercars.
A lot of enthusiasm from Volvo group Australia, a little bit of history and a solid awareness of the closeness of the category was enough to tip the fifth manufacturer into the sport for this year, according to Rogers - and he has served them well, with the team delivering strong results and the S60s looking striking on track.
Always one to be philosophical about life, Rogers will no doubt continue to power forward with his Volvo team, looking to take the team's second Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 win later this year, and propel McLaughlin higher in the points to reach the young gun's goal of finishing in the top five.
McLaughlin won at Queensland Raceway last year,and toppedthe combined times of yesterday's practice.
Is Rogers looking forward to three days of racing in sunny Queensland?
"I'm absolutely looking forward to this weekend. Let me tell you mate, I look forward to every single day, but certainly more so when there's some racing activity to be had."
And while he believes many motor racing purists consider European racing of all kinds the pinnacle of the sport - for Rogers, that simply isn't the case.