Billionaire businessmen make bid for Supercars

The brothers behind one of South Australia’s biggest petrol station and convenience store chains are making a play to buy the Supercars business.

Wide World of Sports can reveal racing duo Sam Shahin and Yasser Shahin are in talks to acquire the famed touring car championship.

The brothers recently sold the OTR brand to VIVA Energy for $1.2 billion, the latter which is the licensee for Shell in Australia.

Watch the 2023 SpeedSeries on 9Gem from 2pm or all the action streaming ad-free, live, and on demand on Stan Sport.

OTR was formerly under the Peregrine Corporation masthead, which operates Tailem Bend circuit The Bend Motorsport Park.

The facility is Australia’s newest fully-fledged, FIA-graded track and has played host to Supercars, the Asian Le Mans Series, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia.

The Shahins recently renamed the South Australian circuit Shell V-Power Motorsport Park as part of the new deal.

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It’s the second such attempt to buy Supercars by the Shahins after the business was put on the market in 2021. In the first instance, the Shahins didn’t make it to the final stage of the bidding process which was facilitated by Miles Advisory Partners.

A consortium dubbed RACE (Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd) headed by Australian private investors formed by Henslow and led by QMS APAC CEO Barclay Nettlefold and the Australian Racing Group.

The Australian Racing Group has sold most of its shareholding since then, although Barry Rogers is still a part owner.

The other finalist, which failed in its bid, was led by Boost Mobile owner Peter Adderton,  British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow, five-time MotoGP champion Mick Doohan, transport magnate Pete Smith, and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris.

The bid comes as something of a surprise as there have been no recent suggestions RACE would look to sell Supercars.

Exactly how much the Shahins have laid on the table to buy Supercars has not yet come to light. However, it’s believed the last deal was worth $60 million to acquire the entire business. The Shahins were the lowest bidders in their previous attempt.

An ownership change would likely see a shake-up to the Supercars landscape. The championship has been bogged down by the design, development, and build of its Gen3 touring cars that have been plagued by parity issues. 

The platform was thrice delayed and has been the subject of intense criticism from star drivers and team principals. Whether the cars would be replaced entirely remains to be seen.

In any case, Sam and Yasser are two of the most well-known and widely respected businessmen in Australian motorsport.

Sam is a regular in Porsche competitions in Sprint Challenge and Carrera Cup while Yasser is a fixture in GT World Challenge Australia. The pair have both raced in the Bathurst 12 Hour among other endurance events.

The pair will both race at the forthcoming SpeedSeries event at Queensland Raceway on August 11-13, which is live on Stan Sport and free-to-air in part on 9Gem.

The brothers have an extensive car collection, which includes multi-million dollar vehicles including a McLaren P1 GTR, a Porsche 918, and a McLaren Senna among other race cars.

The Palestinian brothers migrated to Australia as teenagers. Their father Fred Shahin started Peregrine Corporation, which began in retail and fuel alongside a small property portfolio.  

Peregrine Corporation is South Australia’s largest private company and prior to the sale of OTR to VIVA Energy employed more than 4000 staff.

The build of The Bend Motorsport Park was a landmark moment in Australia, becoming one of the longest, purpose-built circuits in the world at 7.7km long. 

Sam Shahin would not comment when approached by Wide World of Sports.

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