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Renewed push for Supercars AGP championship round

Tom Howard

Saturday 18th March, 2017 - 4:00am

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Organisers will push for Supercars to host a championship round at the Australian Grand Prix

A Supercars championship round at the Australian Grand Prix in 2018 is among a list of items to be discussed with Formula 1’s new owners Liberty Media next week.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) is set to discuss ways to improve the event with Liberty Media throughout next week’s F1 season opener from March 23-26.

Australia’s premier domestic series has featured on the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix support bill every year except 2007, although its races have never counted for championship points.

Supercars has long held a wish to upgrade its involvement from non-championship status only for its attempts to be blocked by Formula 1 management.

This could be set to change for future events now F1 is in the hands of new owners, who are keen to improve the fan experience at all races.

AGPC chief executive Andrew Westacott believes Liberty Media will be more receptive to ideas such as a Supercars championship round appearing on the undercard.

Fairfax Media reported earlier this month that a proposal to elevate Supercars to championship status this year was investigated.

The category will instead host four non-championship sprint races during the weekend.

“We have an unbelievably strong relationship with Formula 1,” Westacott told Speedcafe.com.

“One of their stated objectives is that they are going to amp up the fan experience.

“We will be talking about the development of the fan experience next year’s event.

“That is going to include looking at the different aspects of the track program and as part of that we will look at the support races.

“It is on the agenda. We will share offices next to one and other for the whole week, so we don’t just need to have a meeting.

“We will talk about lots of different things and Supercars is one of those things that will be part of the dialogue.

“Everything with F1 has been open but I think the new owners will be more receptive to looking at things differently and we are enthused by that.”

Meanwhile, preparations for next week’s event are on schedule with F1 teams beginning to arrive on site today.

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