James Strong, chairman of the V8 Supercars Championship has passed away, aged 68.
Strong assumed the role in November 2012 following founding V8 Supercars’ chairman Tony Cochrane’s decision to step down after 16 years at the helm.
Strong died in a Mebourne hospital on Sunday after a short illness.
A leading Australian businessman, Strong chaired the board at Woolworths’ before stepping down to replace Cochrane at V8 Supercars. He was also a former chief executive and managing director of Qantas from 1993 until 2001, and a former Director of the Australian Grand Prix, and held the position as Chairman of the organising committee for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
In a statement on the V8 Supercars website, V8 Supercars CEO David Malone and V8 Supercars Director Andrew Gray from Archer Capital paid tribute to Strong.
“It is with immense sadness I mark the passing of our Non-Executive Chairman James Strong,” said Mr Malone.
“He was an astute businessman with an extensive motorsport passion and knowledge. He offered so much to the sport of V8 Supercars. Sadly James was unable to make the contribution he had wanted and was so enthusiastic about.
“James leaves an indelible mark on the business world in his lifetime of work across corporate Australia as a humble and esteemed business man. We offer James’ wife Jeanne-Claude and family our heartfelt condolences.”
“As a Board we were aware recently that James was not well; but this still comes as a terrible shock,” added Mr Gray.
“James joined us with an incredible drive to help the business grow and prosper. We were tremendously excited by what James’s extensive experience in both business and motor sports was going to bring to V8 Supercars.”
“We will miss him dearly and our thoughts are now with James’s family.”