Barbagallo V8 race “didn’t make sense”

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Monday 15th February, 2010 - 3:08pm

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WA sports minitser Terry Waldron with V8 Supercars executive chairman Tony Cochrane at Barbagallo Raceway last year

WA sports minister Terry Waldron with V8 Supercars executive chairman Tony Cochrane at Barbagallo Raceway last year

The West Australian Sporting Car Club has issued a statement, outlining its disappointment in losing its round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series.

Last Monday, V8SA announced that the category would not compete at its scheduled fifth round of this year’s series in June.

The WASCC said in its statement that a raft of factors, including a five-year mandated agreement and other racing activities that weekend in WA were just some of the club’s concerns.

“It is disappointed that V8 Supercars have made a decision not to come to Perth this year,” said General Manager of the WASCC Peter Thornell.

“The main area of concern for the WASCC was a requirement to lock into a five-year agreement. As each year has passed, the business case for the V8s is becoming increasingly marginal.

“The June long weekend was always going to be a big ask, given the number of other motor sport events on over that weekend, and this is in addition to the requirement for us to run two V8 events in one financial year (and pay the huge V8 sanction fees of more than $1 million within the seven months of the two events).

“Nearly all of our corporate clientele only budget for a once in a financial year V8 Supercars event.”

Thornell further outlined V8SA’s alleged promises to assist in the improvement of the infield where a temporary pit lane was to be constructed.

“As late as last week, our consultants (GHD) were in Queensland in an attempt to work with the V8s, to ascertain what they required to improve the in-field,” he said.

“We were disappointed that we had to rely on the State Government to follow up on offers that were made by the V8s last November. These promises of assistance have not materialised. These improvements were supposedly to be in place for the 2011 V8 event.”

The five-year agreement was also a contentious point for debate.

“While the V8s have stated they have reduced the sanction fee in 2010, that fee would almost double (plus 90 percent) over the five-year agreement,” he said.

“An increase that is difficult to justify, given the V8s have not committed to the minimum number of support events they would include in the program. Based on the recent evidence i.e. number of competing teams/cars, attendance and subsequent falling revenues, there is no business case that can support the financial commitment that the club would have to make.”

Another area of concern was the long-weekend date that was allocated to the race. A race meeting that weekend would have clashed with the popular Albany street race event, plus the local AFL ‘Derby’ between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers.

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