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Support for motor racing event A1GP event

Support for motor racing event A1GP event

Eds/photodesks: Trevor Mallard will officially announce the funding in Wellington at the A1 Team.NZL roadshow featuring the New Zealand racing car Black Beauty and her drivers - today at 6.15pm at Team European Motors, 74 Cambridge Tce, Wgtn.

The government is to provide a $750,000 grant to help get the international motor racing event A1GP off the ground in New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

The inaugural New Zealand round of the event, to be held in Taupo in January, is expected to be the biggest motorsport event in New Zealand for 50 years.

Trevor Mallard said more than 75,000 people are expected to attend the Taupo event over three days from January 19 to 21.

"More than 20 countries compete in the nation-versus-nation series, which started its second season in the Netherlands on 1 October. The New Zealand team last year finished fourth in the inaugural A1GP series.

"This motor racing spectacle will give New Zealand world-wide media coverage, and provide major economic spin-offs. In season one, A1GP had an average live television audience of 7.7 million for each round across 37 networks in 120 countries, with 127 different programmes generated per round. Some 2000 media representatives attended the 11 events.

"Such exposure will be a huge boost to New Zealand’s tourism industry, and our economy generally. It is estimated that the event could contribute up to $50 million to the New Zealand economy."

The government earlier this year provided $2 million to help Taupo Motorsport Park become a world-class facility, including a pit-lane complex and other facilities in keeping with the stature of an A1GP event. The securing of a major event race such as A1GP was one of the conditions to the receipt of that grant.

Taupo’s race will be the first meeting of 2007. The event has been sanctioned by MotorSport New Zealand, and will be managed and promoted jointly by A1GP, MIT (the operators of the Taupo Motorsport Park) and A1 Team.NZL.

The $750,000 grant is from the New Zealand Major Events Development Fund, aimed at supporting major events that bring significant benefit to New Zealand. For more information go to www.majorevents.govt.nz.


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