Just one week after an epic 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour, Melbourne-based Zagame Automotive has officially launched its new track-focussed division, with the program to be headed up by Australian motorsport icon Cameron McConville.
Launching with much fanfare – and with the help of athletics superstars Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, and new Zagame customer, Australia’s own John Steffensen – Zagame Motorsport will take on fellow Melbourne-based company Maranello Motorsport (winners of last weekend's Bathurst 12 Hour) in offering sales, servicing, and support for customers keen to chase or live out their racing dreams.
Now, motor racing has always been aspirational – a sport for the financially secure – however, new Zagame Motorsport general manager Cameron McConville told CarAdvice, if you're fortunate enough to be in the position, and want to raise the bar from road to racetrack, Zagame are good people to talk to.
“What we’re trying to do here, particularly for the Zagame retail customers, is try and help them with that transition,” McConville said.
“The whole Zagame Motorsport venture was started as a way of adding another level to the Zagame Automotive retail brands, and as the Australian distributor for McLaren Motorsport, we’re trying to align the GT4 product with our gentleman racers and club-level racers.”
Encompassing a wide spread of manufacturers, including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, Morgan, and Rolls-Royce, Zagame Automotive’s latest enterprise is aimed at supporting customers to whatever level of motorsport they may wish to participate in.
For example, McConville told CarAdvice about one gentleman who was a customer of the retail brand, didn’t want to track his road car anymore, so has recently purchased himself a [circa-$300,000)] GT4-spec McLaren to learn in, receive professional driver coaching in - and eventually go racing in.
“The GT4’s a good price point,” McConville said, “It’s a good product to tick those boxes.”
“That’s one element, but, again, we’ve got multiple brands, so it doesn’t have to be a McLaren, but so far we’ve got two on the way. From there they could do state level, national level, professional GT3 level – we can take them through each step basically.”
Along with Zagame Motorsport being involved in GT3- and GT4-level racing, led by McConville, the organisation will also be racing in Porsche Carrera Cup – with one car to be driven by Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympic Games silver medallist John Steffensen – and in the Formula 4 championship, with the Zagame Motorsport Juniors program.
Just in case you’re curious, if you can get yourself along to a Zagame Motorsport track day, and have or buy yourself a Level 2 Speed CAMS licence, McConville says you can jump into a demo McLaren and, provided you like it and can afford it, you can then proceed with purchasing it and get training.
From there, customers will need a CAMS National Level competition licence to compete in state-level motorsport. “So CAMS make it quite easy,” says McConville – previously CAMS’s motorsport development general manager.
Also unveiled at the Melbourne launch event was the V10-powered Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car of gentleman racer Adrian Deitz, who, with support from Zagame Motorsport, former Supercars driver Cameron McConville, and key sponsor Timken, is aiming to take on the Bathurst 12 Hour.
“His goal is to do the Bathurst 12 Hour next year,” McConville said.
“He’s raced two seasons in Australian GT – this will be his third year – so he feels like he’ll be ready next year to step up to the 12 Hour, and I met him via an identical process. I met him at a track day for Maranello Motorsport, I was his instructor, he asked for me the second time, I spent a year sitting next to him on eight track days, and then he got into racing.
“So, what we want to do is facilitate more gentleman drivers, like Adrian, and allow them access to various brands.”
With the Zagame group not short on high-end, high-performance brands, it makes sense that, in this case, if you can, you probably will. And, if you're anything like us, why wouldn't you?
Click on the Photos tab for more images by David Zalstein.
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