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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-18-02, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Canberra 400 axed

The ACT Government and AVESCO today announced that plans to run the Canberra 400 V8 Supercar race for the next two years would not proceed.

In a joint statement, both parties said they had agreed to terminate the Canberra event due to the unacceptable outcome of a cost benefit analysis and the continuing burden this placed on the ACT rate payer.

CTEC had successfully negotiated a contract with AVESCO in 1999 for the rights to stage a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series from 2000 - 2004 inclusive. AVESCO has agreed to a financial settlement on the remaining two years of the contract

The decision comes after scrutiny of race results for the past three years and acceptance that original plans for a V8 Supercar race in the national capital, in the middle of winter, could not be realised.

ACT Tourism and Sports Minister, Ted Quinlan said he can't understand why the previous Liberal Government decided to hold an event of this calibre in the middle of a Canberra winter.

"Severe winter conditions have done little to show Canberra at its best and images of freezing fans huddling in the grandstands say it all. Extensive TV coverage and other publicity is negated by images that reinforce a stereotype that our city is cold and bleak," Mr Quinlan said.

"A prime concern for both AVESCO and CTEC has been the mid-winter timing, but advice from the National Capital Authority has unequivocally ruled out a different date for the event.

"Moving the event to a warm time of year was essential to attract visitors, sell tickets and enjoy a successful event. Retaining the event in winter posed unacceptable financial risks to the ACT rate payer."

AVESCO Chairman, Tony Cochrane, agreed that a change of date was essential for the viability of the event.

"AVESCO has publicly supported a change of date to a warmer month where Canberra could achieve the proven combination of a street circuit race and a carnival or party atmosphere," he said.

"As a result of this decision we will be reviewing other options to add another showcase event to the V8 Supercar calendar in 2003.

"The race formats developed for the Canberra event received positive reviews from fans in general and generated strong television ratings, these may be used at other rounds of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in the future.

V8 Supercars remain Australia's premier motorsport category with crowds at all other V8 Supercar event experiencing growth of between 10% - 25%. The slide in crowd support for the Canberra event can only be attributed to the timing of the event.

AVESCO and the ACT Government have agreed that should there be an opportunity to create a carnival atmosphere around a car race at a more appropriate time of year, then this option would remain available for a period of 5 years.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-18-02, 09:23 PM
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Hmmm, I can see their point but what a shame. Apart from some of the controversy that seems to happen there each year it was still a great event.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-18-02, 11:04 PM
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It was the best event to watch on the tele to.

It's a shame!!!!!!!!
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 02:13 AM
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I only went the first year (the last two I have been away o/s for work) but the organisation left a lot to be desired as well as the weather. The PA system didn't work, poor general admission viewing, only a few superscreens, overflowing toilets at lunchtime, cramped walkways, etc.

Having been to many other motorsport events in capital cities it was a third rate effort which put many locals off after the first race and set the tone. Don't know what the last two have been like but I think the damage was done early on. And then of course you have the local whingers who see themselves as self appointed guardians of what constitutes culture.

Pity really as it was nice having some local motorsport. So now we go back to a flower festival being the big tourist event of the year. Maybe if we could get a ride on mower race for the last day of Floriade everyone could be happy ...

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 03:12 AM
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Shame to lose the event - having been for the last few years it is a great spectacle. All the other things like freezing your vital bits off and the general level of boredom (even for old bastards like me) that is Canberra - will not be missed.

Shows exactly how much Governments know about running anything!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 03:46 AM
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If the cold is the problem how come Winton works? Does this mean Tassie will get back?
Gotta luv the politician trying to pass the buck to the other guy!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 06:22 AM
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Is a big shame as the GMC400 was one of the best events to hit Canberra.. well.. ever. Really livened up the place & was a great weekend of action.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 06:39 AM
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Like the cheap shot ALP gave to the Libs, at least they gave Canberra the V8's, not dumped it.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 02:26 PM
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It really was a crappy circuit for racing though

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-02, 06:42 PM
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I went the first and last year,,,,,,Damn, now I'll have to travel to sydney if I want to see the V8's.... And canberra was so good, 2.5 hours drive, stay at queenbeyan, park right at the track ( don't know why hardly anyone parked there) what more could you want... And watch the race at home on video later...
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