Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK
EP 005 / 09.02.2022
TALKING TOURING CARS
WITH THE CEO OF THE BTCC
Gear up for this episode of Mission Makers as we welcome the CEO of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Alan Gow, to the show. Alan cemented himself in the Australian motorsport scene before moving to the UK where he has continued to lead significant growth for the industry. The growth has seen him awarded with ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Motorsport Industry’ by the MIA at the House of Lords. In the episode, we discuss Alan’s experience of the Australian + British motorsport scene, his leadership of the BTCC, and the barriers facing the future of the industry.
We commence by taking things back to Alan’s Aussie roots and what the motorsport scene was like back then. He talks of how he became immediately drawn to motorsport from a young age and that it is cemented ‘in our culture.’ After establishing himself firmly down under, he moved to the UK to further his career where he has led the BTCC for 3 decades, while also serving as the President of the FIA Touring Car Commission. Alan delves into his c-suite role and his enjoyment in a ‘challenge to taking something and building it into something better than it is.’ That seems to be exactly what he has done in many different aspects of UK motorsport.
Alan’s business and forward-thinking mindset is refreshing as we delve into the importance of the hybrid and electric markets, as well as the need for being ‘adaptable’ to the world around us. He also affirms that the times ahead for the motorsport industry may be tough as ‘motorsport has to behave responsibly in order to secure its place in the world’.
Moving on to discuss a fairly hot topic in motorsport: accessibility. The BTCC is one of the few championships that does not require a subscription and has a partnership with ITV, unlike many competitors such as F1 that are subscription only and have a more limited audience. Alan shares that going behind a paywall with the BTCC would ruin it.
We then take a minute to appreciate the legendary Aussie driver, Peter Brock, and Alan’s experience of working alongside him. He enthusiastically shares that ‘Peter was probably the most naturally gifted driver I’ve ever seen’ and had such a way with his fans. He tells of how Peter would spend hours just talking to fans after a race and he truly understood that it was the fans that got him there. Perhaps we can all learn something from a man like Peter Brock.
Next, we take a look at the industry moving forward and the roadblocks that stand in the way, particularly around women in motorsport. Alan affirms that ‘there’s no reason why women can’t be successful in motorsport’. He states that he sees women in motorsport all the time, the more important point is why are they in the background?
Alan asserts that strong leadership is vital for the future of the sport - especially when we are faced with the climate crisis, a global pandemic, and the need for more diversity. However, with leaders like Alan paving the way, there will undoubtedly be a bright future ahead for motorsport.
Alan’s episode can be found on the video below and on iTunes and Spotify.
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