Racefan’s Ramblings

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Govt puts brakes on Townsville V8 Supercar funding

Posted by Pat Kershaw on December 8, 2006

I am worried that this is an omen. This post in Two Sections. 1. Qld Govt. Decision and; 2. V8Supercars response…
First the QLD govt. decides not to fund another race in the streets of Townsville. OK. I can see it from a politically defensible position. The they do fund the Gold coast Indy, but that race makes the state a pile more money than it cost. With hundreds of thousands of ticket sales over the weekend it is a huge direct boost to the economy. Then there are the Thousands of jobs, and millions spent on supplies. This is spent in QLD, and that is spent and so it goes…
But the numbers have until now shown the Townsville race to be a better return on the investment. So I don’t quite understand this decision from the government…
    ABC Online …

…[The QLD] Government says it cannot afford $25 million in set-up costs to help Townsville join the international racing circuit. Townsville’s acting Mayor, Anne Bunnell, says the council is disappointed because the event would have generated millions for the Queensland economy… [Recent] costings show the capital works would cost nearly $25 million, plus operational costs of $3 million a year. [The Minister said] “The reality is I’m a motor racing fan as much as anyone … so this is not a decision that I enjoyed making, but in the end the first responsibility for all governments is to make sure they make responsible decisions and that’s what we’ve had to do in this circumstance,” he said.

Then the verbose, opinionated and controversial, but extremely cunning and effective chief of the V8 Circus rolls back into town, from the Bahrain excursion, to comment.

This is what worries me. Is he trying to pressure, to BULLY, a democratically elected, albeit authoritarian, government? This is not a good sign, But it has been a trend with the company for a while. He has been watching Bernie, and how the FIA use their international political clout to manipulate tracks and governments to do their will…
From the Gold Coast Bulletin

THE hugely popular V8 Supercars are in danger of being lost to the Surfers Paradise Indy because of a nasty wrangle over TV and race rights.

A bitter showdown is looming between key Queensland motorsport figures after Network Seven last week pulled out of its contract with the Gold Coast Motor Events Company to televise the Champ Cars at next year’s Indy festival.Instead, it has committed to only televising the V8 Supercars, which share equal billing on the Indy program with the US-based Champ Cars.This would cut broadcasting coverage of the Indy festival from 11 to three hours.

The brawl over the Gold Coast Indy follows a decision yesterday by the Queensland Government to reject a grandiose plan from V8 Supercars for a marquee race through the streets of Townsville.

[Emphasis added] Commenting on the Cabinet decision not to proceed with Townsville, V8 Supercar boss Tony Cochrane dropped a bombshell about the future of the V8s on the Gold Coast, citing concerns with the Gold Coast Motor Events Company.

“This decision may now affect V8 Supercars’ involvement with the Indy race on the Gold Coast,” he said.

“I can’t elaborate any more at this point in time … (but) the Townsville decision is part of an ongoing concern we have with the Gold Coast Motor Events Company’s commitment to V8 Supercars.”

…[what!!, will sanity prevail. I agree with the following]

New general manager Greg Hooton said last night that he did not see how the decision in Townsville could be linked to the future of the V8s on the Gold Coast.”Indy is Indy and we all know that it’s the leading motorsport event in the country,” he said.”I certainly have a concern with our relationship and that of the V8s.”I am confident that the whole race, not just one category, will be broadcast next year.”For the past decade, Network Ten has held the TV rights to the Champ Car and V8 races at Indy but Network Seven won the rights to broadcast the V8s in a $160 million, six-year deal stitched up earlier this year.Under the terms of the new contract, V8 Supercars will take over the production of the TV coverage, under the supervision of Seven’s sports boss Saul Shtein.

[Along with a similar deal to show the AFL (Aussie Rules Football) … Ahhh, {light flickers in a few heads?}… a time clash??]

The Gold Coast Indy festival attracts 316,000 spectators over the four days, making it a marquee event for V8s, right up there with Bathurst and the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

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