Motorsport Event Management (MEM), the agency contracted to run the Australian MINI CHALLENGE, has been put up for sale by current owner Iain Sherrin.
In a statement issued today by BMW Group Australia, MINI National Manager, Justin Hocevar said, “MINI is confident that any sale of MEM will be to a suitable purchaser who will continue to manage the increasingly popular MINI CHALLENGE series exactly in line with the arrangements MINI put in place with MEM.
“MINI had a five year plan for MINI CHALLENGE and we see no reason to deviate from that plan with the new owner of MEM. Iain Sherrin has indicated his desire to sell the category management business and focus on his multiple race teams. His team – Sherrin MotorSport – manages six cars for a number of clients, with one added to the stable last week,” Hocevar continued.
Sherrin, who currently has a Sherrin MotorSport team racing in the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE, confirmed Justin Hocevar’s comments by saying, “as a major stakeholder in MINI CHALLENGE from the perspective of a team owner, it is in my best interests to ensure the management of the category is in the right hands for the years ahead and I will do everything in my power to ensure that is the case.”
It is understood that this news is a very recent development and plans for the next round of the series at Sandown International Raceway, round 4 of the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE, will not be affected in any way. Indeed, with additional cars in line to be competing it is shaping to be the largest starting field yet for the Australian series. Round 4 will be held across the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, 7-9 June.
Given that BMW/MINI has gone on the front foot releasing this statement I would not be surprised if there are already interested parties looking to take control of MEM and that business should be able to continue as usual. Far from being the initial negative story this may appear, perhaps a positive outcome is close to fruition that yields a successful and workable solution to tie in with the long term plans of the competition. Let’s hope so, the sights and sounds of the MINIs tearing around Australian race tracks is one I hope to see for a long time yet.