The Sasol Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship will introduce international motorsport production experience to its broadcasts in 2017 with a newly appointed TV director, core production team and hosting lineup for the nine-episode series on SuperSport this season.
With experience predominantly in Australia and the Middle East, motorsport media specialist Filippa Guarna from Driven Productions will take on the role of television director and will also oversee category media communications, while respected motorsport television commentator Richard Craill will add a new voice to the race calling alongside SuperSport’s Leigh-Ann Paulick who takes up official hosting duties.
“Television is a very important part of promoting the Sasol GTC Championship, but motorsport is a global sport and we want to be able to show the world how great GTC is. But that comes down to us taking the initiative to be industry-leading with our television programs too,” said GTC director Gary Formato.
“Last year was a great first year for the championship, but we really want to bring to South Africa the professionalism of a category like the Supercars Championship in Australia, and open up potential international support and more manufacturers. The only way to do that is to work with people who are able to bring broad international experience to the table.
“With Filippa’s previous television experience working with Supercars, plus Richard being one of the most recognised motorsport voices, we’re excited about the new direction of our programs on SuperSport. We want to keep pushing the limits not just for GTC but to make South African motorsport television the best that it can be too,” said Formato.
A 19-year media veteran, Filippa Guarna established her career in Australia as a motorsport journalist and deputy editor before moving into Supercars TV as an associate producer. Now having over 1000 hours of live and post-produced television production experience under her belt, Guarna works as a full-time director, producer, camera operator and editor and has credits on productions including the Australian Off Road Championship, the Australian Open Grand Slam, the World Aquabike Championship in Qatar, the Formula 4 UAE Championship in the Middle East, plus most recently working with Indycar team Pirtek Team Murray at the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
Meanwhile, Richard Craill is one of Australia’s leading motorsport commentators working for broadcasters such as SBS, the Seven Network, Network TEN and FOX Sports Australia. He is most recognised for his commentary at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, as lead caller for the iconic Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race since 2007 (including the last five years for television), and as the voice of Porsche Motorsport Australia and the popular Touring Car Masters which feature on the Supercars program.
Also part of the new GTC television team will be respected SuperSport sports presenter Leigh-Ann Paulick. Most known in South Africa for hosting the Formula 1 coverage, Paulick has also been the local face of international sports coverage like the Tour de France, Tennis Grand Slams, 2010 Soccer World Cup, and Olympic and Commonwealth Games broadcasts on SuperSport. Last year’s GTC program host, Sasha Martinengo, will also return to pitlane as a guest presenter throughout the season.
While TV editor Matthew Bow also joins the GTC team to lead all post-production, having worked in television and local motorsport for more than 10 years. Bow’s experience includes various roles on the South African National Rally Championship programs, local and international rallies, two years on the Dakar Rally and Toyota Gazoo South Africa, plus various automotive corporate and broadcast productions such as La’t Wiel, which have all taken him around the world.
The 2017 Sasol GTC Championship includes nine rounds being held around South Africa, starting at Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town next week (March 24-25).
The full 2017 calendar is as follows:
Round 1 – March 24-25 – Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town
Round 2 – April 21-22 – Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg
Round 3 – May 19-20 – East London Grand Prix Circuit, East London
Round 4 – June 16-17 – Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
Round 5 – July 14-15 – Aldo Scribante Raceway, Port Elizabeth
Round 6 – August 11-12 – Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
Round 7 – 8-9 September – Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town
Round 8 – 3-4 November – Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg
Round 9 – 24-25 November – Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
[ISSUED BY GTC]