Throbbing V8 Engines Accompany Boost Mobile Launch
Throbbing V8 Engines Accompany Boost Mobile New Zealand Launch
The first appearance of a full field of V8 Supercars in New Zealand in November, an international motor racing event expected to draw more than 80,000 spectators, will coincide with the involvement of a major new sponsor for New Zealand motorsport.
The naming rights sponsor of the V8 Supercars at Pukekohe on November 9-11 is Boost Mobile, the newest player in the competitive New Zealand mobile telephone market. Boost, an international mobile youth brand, has recently launched in New Zealand as a partner with Telecom Mobile. The IMG-promoted V8 event will be known as the Boost Mobile V8 International.
Speaking at the official event launch, IMG's Australasian Motorsport Director Geoff Jones said, "We're delighted Boost Mobile has joined us as our naming rights sponsor. The Boost name is very strong in Australia with teenagers and young adults, and we're sure this sponsorship will further strengthen the appeal of motorsport among young New Zealanders."
Boost Mobile New Zealand CEO Peter Adderton says, "Boost Mobile is all about supporting youth activities and helping to bring exciting international sporting events to New Zealand."
Greg Murphy also sponsored by Boost Mobile At Boost Mobile's public launch in Auckland last Sunday (12 August), the company also announced it has recently signed a sponsorship deal with Kiwi racing driver Greg Murphy. Greg is one of the most popular V8 Supercar drivers competing in the Shell Championship Series, and he's enthusiastic about the challenge of bringing the Kmart Racing Team Holden Commodores to New Zealand.
"One of the philosophies of Boost Mobile is to support local talent and Murph is among the best," says Peter Adderton. "He joins our New Zealand and international team of action sport personalities including surfers, skaters and freestyle moto-cross stars."
Greg Murphy said it had been a long time coming for fans - getting the V8 Supercars on a New Zealand circuit. "It's payback for all the support we get as Kiwi drivers in this series, for all the people who travel to Australia regularly to watch us race. The last time the V8s raced in New Zealand, it was awesome. I reckon this race will rock New Zealand, it's just going to be huge. I can't wait to race on home turf, and I know the other Kiwi guys feel the same." Trans-Tasman battle With four talented New Zealand-born drivers - Paul Radisich, Greg Murphy, Jason Richards and Steve Richards - in the Shell Championship Series, the scene is set for a great trans-Tasman showdown at Pukekohe.
"The series really seems to be going from strength to strength," says Paul Radisich, who drives the No 18 Ford Falcon for the Shell Helix Racing team. "I'm particularly excited about heading to New Zealand at the end of the year, because these days it's not often that I get the chance to race in front of friends, family and all the Kiwi Ford fans. "It will be great to see a big crowd at Pukekohe, a circuit on which I've spent plenty of time."
Steve Richards said racing at Pukekohe for the first time is something very special. The New Zealand-born son of Kiwi racing great Jim Richards, Steve races with the Ford Tickford Racing team in a 480 kW AUII Ford Falcon.
"I try to win every time I go out, but to win the first championship V8 race in New Zealand would be a career highlight. My father, Jim, raced many times at Pukekohe with Nissan and BMW during the Group A days and our entire family always travelled over from Australia for those events. It was as much about catching up with family and friends, as it was about racing. This year will be no different and I expect a large contingent from Weymouth at the track to come and cheer me on. I know the track very well, even though I've never actually raced on it. As for what people can expect to see - well, this is the closest championship anywhere in the world. The rules make the cars extremely even, so don't be surprised to see the entire grid separated by around one second after qualifying!"
Team Kiwi Racing owner, David John says as the only 'local' team, they have a huge weekend planned with over a thousand supporters attending the Boost Mobile V8 International as part of its Team Kiwi hospitality village.
"People may expect we'd have some home advantage, but under championship rules, we actually haven't spent any time testing the Commodore at Pukekohe as it hasn't been nominated as a test track by any of the Australian teams. However, as with every race, our objective is to give it our best shot, keep out of trouble and simply finish the races. Jason Richards has been very happy with his debut season, where we have achieved five top-16 position finishes and four top-20 finishes. When you consider the closeness of the qualifying and racing - all 32 cars at Oran Park on July 28 qualified within 1.5 seconds of each other - we believe we've shown we can match it with the best of the Australian teams."
Ford vs. Holden The classic Ford vs. Holden battle is fought out week after week throughout the Shell Championship Series and New Zealand fans will be keen to see their share of this great racing duel at Pukekohe in November.
"Ford has made a massive investment in V8 Supercars in 2001," says Howard Marsden, general manager of Ford Racing Australia. "Ford doesn't just concentrate its efforts on one team - we officially support 11 teams and 14 drivers. Results to date have seen Ford take three wins in a row from three different drivers - Steve Johnson and Paul Radisich from Shell Helix Racing, as well as new-boy Marcos Ambrose in the Pirtek Racing Falcon, campaigned by Kiwi brothers Ross and Jimmy Stone.
"With the likes of Craig Lowndes (Gibson Motorsport) and New Zealand born Steve Richards (Ford Tickford Racing) making the switch to Ford in 2001, as well as established stars Glenn Seton (Ford Tickford Racing) and John Bowe (Cat Racing) all part of the Ford Falcon stable, Pukekohe is set to see the Blue Oval charge, said Howard Marsden.
"Our teams want to win every time they are on the track. We have tremendous support from the New Zealand race fans, and I'm sure our teams and drivers will go all out to win the inaugural New Zealand V8 International."
Possibly not since the Wellington street races of the late eighties has there been so much interest from New Zealanders in a motorsport event according to Holden's public affairs manager Aalbert van Ham.
"For Holden fans, the Boost Mobile V8 International is a chance to 'get up close' and see what is arguably Australasia's leading and most recognisable motorsport team driving New Zealand's most popular and best selling car - the Commodore. For Holden, as an associate event sponsor, the Holden Racing Team perfectly captures the values to which we as a company, and undoubtedly the race organisers, aspire to: excellence, professionalism and success," Mr van Ham said.
The event The promoters of the Boost Mobile V8 International, International Management Group (IMG), have extensive experience in motorsport event management and promotion. They currently promote or are involved in the management of five major Australian motorsport events - the Bathurst 1000 on the famous Mount Panorama, the V8 Ultimate at Sandown near Melbourne, the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, the GMC 400 in Canberra and the Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast. The Boost Mobile V8 International is their first major motorsport event in New Zealand and looks set to draw a crowd exceeding 80,000 over the three day racing extravaganza. Associate sponsors for the event include Ford Racing, Holden New Zealand, TVNZ's One Sport, Sky City, VB (Victoria Bitter) and Allied Finance.
The November event at Pukekohe will be the first time the V8 Supercars have competed internationally and is a landmark event for New Zealand motorsport, and sport in general.
Spectators can see their V8 racing heroes in action during practice and official qualifying on Friday 9 November, the top 15 shoot-out competition and the first 100-kilometre race on Saturday 10 November and two 100-kilometre races on Sunday 11 November.
Event director Geoff Jones says the thundering V8 action will be accompanied by the very best of New Zealand circuit racing action.
"The Tranz Ams are always a crowd favourite and we have great action from the New Zealand Touring Cars and Formula Fords, all of whom will be competing in their own championship races. Over the three days, we'll see a fantastic range of on and off-track entertainment - stunt motorcyclists, special hot laps from the V8s and motor cross demonstrations, as well as many automotive displays, food and activities for everyone," says Mr Jones.
"We urge people to read their newspapers, buy NZ Autocar magazine (which is producing the official event programme) and listen to Radio Hauraki and Radio Sport closer to the time to plan how they will get to and from the Pukekohe circuit each day," says Mr Jones. "We are expecting a huge crowd and if people take advantage of the alternative means of transport, such as the special Tranz Rail trains from Auckland City and Henderson, and various bus services from the city and park 'n ride facilities, we feel sure track access will be smooth. Our official radio stations will be up to date with the latest information in the weeks leading up to the November event.
"We'll be building new temporary grandstands around the circuit to accommodate the expected numbers of people. It's just one of those events that can't be missed and we know there will be strong support from fans outside the Auckland region with car clubs and Radio Hauraki's regional stations organising coach trips to the event," says Mr Jones.
"We welcome Television One as our official broadcaster. The Shell Helix Motorsport team will be providing unprecedented live coverage - 10 hours in total over the weekend - of a motorsport event in New Zealand. Producer David Turner promises to show viewers the Pukekohe circuit in a way it's never been seen before, with new camera points, live cross-overs and in-car footage.
The official event headquarters are based at Sky City. "It's a great venue for all the teams and drivers and the Sky City team has shown its skill and enthusiasm for motorsport events with its involvement with the Rally of New Zealand. We're hosting a number of public events at Sky City, such as 'meet the drivers' on Thursday 8 November from 5-7 pm," says Mr Jones.
"Fosters International is also a key partner for the Boost Mobile V8 International as providers of the 'official beer' VB."
AVESCO Chairman Tony Cochrane says it is tremendously exciting to be packing up the entire Championship Series and taking a round offshore for the first time in the history of V8 Supercars.
"V8 Supercars are as fast becoming as much a part of New Zealand culture as they are Australian. The series enjoys huge television success in New Zealand, consistently winning its timeslot. Our teams and drivers are all looking forward to the New Zealand round I would like to thank IMG and MotorSport New Zealand for everything they have done to make this a reality," said Mr Cochrane.
Team Pukekohe The Boost Mobile V8 International is receiving fantastic support from the Pukekohe and Franklin district.
Murray Wood, executive officer for Business Franklin, says, "When you consider the V8 round in Canberra last month attracted 105,000 spectators, the value to their economy was posted at $A13 million for the week. That is a lot of money in anyone's language, and while I'm not saying that the Pukekohe round will be as big as Canberra's, there is no doubt it will be bigger than any event ever held here before, and will be a huge boost to our economy."
Business Franklin has created the "Team Pukekohe" festival which runs from Saturday 3 November through until Sunday 11 November. Locals are invited to wear a "Team Pukekohe" uniform, themed street decorations will be erected, and a "V8 Pukekohe Guide" will be produced with many details of what to do, where to go and where to stay.
Boost Mobile Boost Mobile has undertaken a joint venture with Telecom Mobile in New Zealand to provide affordable and quality youth-focused telecommunications products.
Boost Mobile products include pre-paid mobile phones, re-Boost cards, international calling cards and accessories, and it's aim is to ensure that its products can be purchased readily where the young, and young at heart, shop.
Boost Mobile's sponsorships are specifically chosen to support key youth interests and activities. In the past year, Boost Mobile has sponsored events such as the Quiksilver Boost Airshow surfing competition, the Billabong Boost Junior Surf series, the Crusty Demons Moto-cross Tour and the Blink 182 Australian tour. Boost Mobile is committed to supporting exciting activities in New Zealand, such as the Boost Big Air Snowboard event in Wanaka on August 18 and 19.
"The Boost Mobile V8 International is our biggest event involvement to date, and we see it as an ideal way to introduce Boost to a wide New Zealand audience in an exciting and action packed fashion," said Peter Adderton, CEO of Boost Australasia.
The company's launch in Auckland on Sunday included freestyle moto-cross, skate, DJ and break dancing demonstrations.