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Council to consult on V8 Supercar street race

Council to consult on V8 Supercar street race

Auckland City Council tonight agreed to include proposals to host an annual V8 Supercar street race in its draft long-term plan, which is released for public consultation on 22 April 2004.

If the City’s bid to host the race succeeds the event would run annually for seven years, starting in April 2006.

“An event of this magnitude will have a huge impact on Aucklanders. If we win the right to host the event then there are huge rewards to be had, and we are well aware that there are challenges ahead,” says Recreation and Events Committee Chairperson Councillor Scott Milne.

“We need to know that Aucklanders are putting their hands up as they did for the America’s Cup and saying: ‘yes we can do it, yes we can work around the challenges, and yes we can exploit the opportunities that come with it.”

This month Auckland City and global event promoters IMG will submit a bid to host the event to the sport’s governing body - the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company Ltd (AVESCO). The bid is subject to a resource consent being obtained, and successfully working through the consultation process.

The race would be one round of the 13 race Asia Pacific V8 Supercar championship series. If the bid succeeds the race currently run by IMG and held at Pukekohe, would transfer to a new inner city track, going round Victoria Park and using Fanshawe, Hobson, Victoria and Beaumont streets.

The Council’s draft long-term plan will also feature details about the proposed commercial arrangement between the city and event promoters IMG.

“Winning the honour of being preferred city is only the first small step. Before the city can decide to proceed from there we need to carefully consider the independent professional peer review of any commercial arrangements. Equally we need to listen to Aucklanders through the consultation process. We certainly shouldn’t hold the race if we can’t tackle the traffic and other management challenges it presents us with,” Mr Milne says.

The city is looking at providing either a $3.5 million loan to or entering into a joint venture with IMG, depending on which option is most favourable for the city. A comprehensive peer review evaluating both options is currently underway and due for release in April 2004.

Mr Milne says Auckland has never faced a clearer need to work together to secure the massive carnival and benefits which will arise from hosting the street race and associated events.

“This event will be so much more than motorsport. Auckland will leverage this race, as other cities have done, with up to 40 associated events. A yachting regatta, celebrity ball, school go-kart competition, concerts and street parties…anything’s possible.

“Here’s an event we could host every year for seven years, and reap the rewards every year for seven years. Unlike the America’s Cup we don’t even have to win it to host it.”

An independent feasibility report written in 1999 estimated that a street race could attract economic benefit up to $45 million a year for the region, or $315 million over seven years.

AVESCO is expected to announce the successful host city for the event at the end of April 2004, when company executives will be in New Zealand for the PlaceMakers V8 International race at Pukekohe. Ends

Note to editors: The draft Long-Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) entitled Focus on the Future 2004-2014 is due for release and full public consultation on 22 April 2004 A summary of the draft plan will be distributed with the Council newspaper City Scene on 25 April 2004. Further copies can be obtained by calling 09 379 2020 or visiting www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/focusonthefuture.

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