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The great race has a new, but familiar, face - and his name is Bob Jane.

The name is not new, already etched in the Bathurst history books as a former champion. But now the racing icon and Hall of Fame inductee has paid an estimated two million dollars to have the 1000km classic named after him for the next three years.

Jane's automotive retail chain, Bob Jane T-Marts, signed on as naming-rights sponsor at a launch in Melbourne today, filling a void that saw the world-renowned race without a sponsor last year.

The October event, round ten of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, will now be known as the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000.

Jane was a Bathurst pioneer. He won the event twice: the inaugural Mount Panorama endurance race in 1963 and again the following year, both over 500 miles in a Ford Cortina.

Forty years on, Jane's life has turned full circle.

"It would be fair to say we did not realise how big the Bathurst race would become, or that one day I would be sponsoring it," he said.

"I am very proud considering that I won this race and the touring car championship 40 years ago and this was the foundation from which the Bob Jane T-Marts business was built.

"This is an excellent way to celebrate 40 years in the tyre industry for our company and it also recognises the important role that motorsport has played in my building of that business."

For race promoter IMG, securing naming-rights support for one of Australia's most celebrated sporting events, after failing to do so last year, is welcome relief.

IMG Managing Director, Martin Jolly said the deal was a perfect fit.

"There are not too many names greater than Bob Jane when it comes to Australian motorsport or business," he said.

"Bob has been a great supporter of motorsport in this country for so many years and this is proof that he still realises the great value that exists by marketing his company through the highest levels of the sport."

Bathurst Mayor, Councillor Ian Macintosh, said the deal marked, "a significant point in the history of the race."

--V8 WIRE (Jason Whittaker)

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