ANDRA issues urgent member statement

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ANDRA chairman Michael Fotheringham has released an urgent member statement ahead of what could be a major split away from Sydney Dragway, Willowbank Raceway and Perth Motorplex.

Those three venues issued an ultimatum to ANDRA on June 6, which until now has stayed behind closed doors.

However in the statement to members, Mr Fotheringham made clear what the list of demands included:
– ANDRA not reappoint the current CEO.
– Terry Jongen and Phil Parker as Divisional Directors representing members on the board resign.
– ANDRA return to being a sanctioning body only.
– ANDRA return the Group 1 rights to an entity set up by the three venues (Drag Ltd V2).
– The three tracks have a direct line to ANDRA to make rule changes and circumvent the formal process
– Costs to tracks are immediately reduced.

Mr Fotheringham said ANDRA has always respected the role of tracks in drag racing, but could not agree to the ultimatum as they believed it was not in the best interests of its members and the sport as a whole.

“ANDRA has already changed its strategy for the better to return the sport to 
growth. With massive member support for and involvement in change, we are getting there,” he said. 

“The door remains open for the three tracks to engage with ANDRA. The championship is secure and we will make sure the ANDRA Drag Racing Championship continues.

“With an upcoming increase in tracks we will have a broader reaching championship across the country. This will increase awareness and support in more regions around Australia.

“We will continue to chase corporate partners for ANDRA Drag Racing. Whilst securing a replacement sponsor for the Sportsman Series it will have a knock on effect for other categories.

“We plan to have regular releases this year especially in regards to Group 1. We will continue to reduce costs to members. We saw the first of this last year with reduced insurance costs for ALL tracks and license reductions for S/ST and Juniors.

“The TV show has improving ratings and is getting more affordable with further reductions possible.”

Mr Fotheringham emphasised that ANDRA exists only for its members – who are the sport.

“This is not to say we ignore tracks, sponsors and spectators, as they are also very important to the sport and to ANDRA. But the threats from the tracks are absolutely counterproductive to the sport as a whole. ANDRA will survive as we have survived in the past.

“ANDRA is Australian for drag racing and we all make up a part of that. No individual or group is more important than the sport itself and the sooner we acknowledge this and all move forward together the better off the sport will be. ANDRA has invited the three tracks (to) mediation however this has been rejected.

“We will provide regular updates to members as we endeavour to seek an outcome for this current challenge.”

As part of the statement to members, ANDRA also included a list of its development in the past few years including:
– A doubling of tracks under construction and in the development phase.
– ANDRA membership growth of 7%.
– Move to a ‘fit for purpose’ head office.
– Refined and grown the TV product (currently 340,000 views per show).
– Formally implemented flexibility into racing formats (e.g. Three Round Format)
– Restructured ANDRA staffing to provide additional functions and services without increasing wages costs.
– Enhanced street car engineering compliance and introduced bolt in roll cages.
– Substituted plaques with Silver Christmas trees.
– Changed season back to financial year as requested by the tracks.
– Implemented online shop and merchandise range.
– Engaged with a number of sponsors and business partners e.g. Snap-on, Hi-Tec Oils, Crow Cams etc.
– Secured Summit Racing Equipment for Sportsman series.
– Reduced costs to tracks and introduced greater flexibility in event levels.
– Improved financial performance.
– Rationalisation of ANDRA’s asset base (strong cash position).
– Recovered from our own GFC after taking on the debts of Drag Ltd. 

“There have been many changes – some more successful than others – and we will continue to grow and evolve our sport,” Mr Fotheringham said. “We appreciate the ongoing input from our passionate members and while not all ideas can be implemented, we want people to keep giving us their thoughts.”


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