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The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has paid tribute to retiring V8 Supercars executive chairman Tony Cochrane.

Tony Cochrane has announced he will retire at the end of the 2012 Championship season.

“Tony Cochrane has become one of the most influential figures in Australian motorsport and has made V8 Supercar racing one of the most successful touring car formulae in the world,” said CAMS president Andrew Papadopoulos.

“His influence is widespread. It has resulted in state and community support for V8 Supercars and has brought about a strong understanding of, and support for motor racing as a whole.

“Tony has set a high benchmark for category management, and it is one to which all divisions of motorsport should aspire.”

Beginning in 1996, Tony Cochrane built V8 Supercars out of the former Australian Touring Car Championship.

The category has become one of Australia’s most popular and well covered sports of any code according to Mr Papadopoulos.

“The impact of V8 Supercars is felt throughout the sport and it has become an aspirational target not only for young drivers but for technical crews,” he said.

“It has been at the base of the development of the professional business of motor racing.

“The requirements of V8 Supercars have resulted in improvements throughout the sport, including circuits, facilities and management structures.”