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Fourth brand may join V8s at Bathurst

Cochrane said he believed one manufacturer would be ready in the middle of the season.

V8 Supercar chairman Tonty Cochrane gave the tip about the fourth brand yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of the Gold Coast 600, Cochrane said two other manufacturers were interested in joining Holden, Ford and 2013 newcomer Nissan. His comments follow the recent announcement by Mercedes-Benz that it had considered the category, but pulled out.

"Two more companies have expressed interest; whether they will be ready for the opening round I can't say," he said. "I can't say who they are. That's the car companies' roll, not ours."

Cochrane said he believed one manufacturer would be ready in the middle of the season. "I would doubt they would be there for the start of the season in Adelaide, but we should have one for a mid-year start," he said. "They are keen to be operational by Bathurst next year. "To be up and running for Bathurst they would at least have to do four events beforehand."

Cochrane refused to rule out Mercedes-Benz as a possible competitor. "They had 16 engineers at AMG in Stuttgart working on it so I can't see they would just walk away," he said. Cochrane was also positive about future government support for the Townsville and Gold Coast rounds, despite the new LNP Government wielding the axe on spending. "Returns on investment rank these two in the top three in the state," he said.

"The new government is about building tourism; when commonsense prevails at the end of the day I don't think they would get rid of the top two returns on investment. "No one is saying anything about getting rid of these two events." Cochrane said Premier Campbell Newman attended the Townsville event "with an open mind and went away very positive". "He's a fan of TeamVodafone and he loves the technology side of the sport."