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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
    The Honourable Judy Spence

    Gold Coast Indy secured for another six years

    Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
    The Honourable Judy Spence

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Gold Coast Indy secured for another six years

    Sport Minister Judy Spence today announced the Gold Coast Indy 300 is secure for at least another six years.

    Ms Spence said: “Following the merger of the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series we needed to finalise a new deal.

    “We’ve now reached agreement with both the IRL’s new-look IndyCar Series and V8 Supercars Australia.

    “Therefore, I’m pleased to announce the Gold Coast Indy 300 is secure until and including 2013.

    “This is great news for the Gold Coast and for Queensland with the October race now regarded as one of the world’s iconic motorsport events.

    “It’s estimated Indy is worth $60 million in economic benefits to Queensland and I am sure that figure will continue to grow.

    “There are plans already underway for a massive 20th anniversary celebration in 2010,” Ms Spence said.

    Ms Spence revealed:

    • The IndyCar Series will be revising its previously announced 16 race schedule for 2008, to include some former Champ Car venues, including Australia, in the immediate future
    • This year’s event, from Oct 23 to 26, will be attended by a full contingent of cars and drivers, up to 26 entries.
    • The V8 Supercars will continue to have equal billing with the IRL Series following positive discussions with V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane.

    Today’s announcement follows a visit to Indianapolis this week by Gold Coast Indy 300 Chairman Terry Mackenroth and General Manager Greg Hooton.

    Ms Spence said: “The Gold Coast Indy 300 has been a part of the Queensland Major Event landscape for 18 years and I am delighted that it will continue to showcase Queensland for many years to come.

    “It will also be fantastic to see two talented young Australian drivers like Will Power and Ryan Briscoe racing wheel to wheel on the streets of Surfers Paradise, while the V8 Supercars will continue to bring out the passion for Ford and Holden,” Ms Spence said.

    Gold Coast Indy 300 Chairman Terry Mackenroth said today’s announcement is a reward for so many people who have made the Gold Coast Indy 300 an event of international significance.

    “We are proud of what we have achieved with the Gold Coast Indy 300 in its first 17 years and I think the unification of open-wheel racing in the US provides an exciting new era for our event.

    “Tony George and his team at the IRL welcomed our involvement with tremendous enthusiasm and see the Gold Coast Indy 300 as one of their signature events going forward.

    “I also have to thank Tony Cochrane and V8 Supercars Australia for their enthusiasm to get this long-term deal in place and remaining an important part of our event.

    “The new-look IndyCar field combined with the V8 Supercars and an always exciting off-track program means that we are shaping up for a memorable event in 2008 and beyond,” Mr Mackenroth said.

    IRL founder and CEO, Tony George, welcomed the inclusion of the Queensland event with open arms.

    “The Gold Coast Indy 300 has become one of the world’s truly great motorsport events and we are delighted that it will be part of the IndyCar Series schedule.

    “I know so many of our teams and drivers, who have been to the event previously hold it in high regard and we are delighted that it will be one of the highlights of the IndyCar season,” Mr George said.

    V8 Supercar Chairman, Tony Cochrane, was also delighted to cement his category’s future involvement in the Gold Coast event.

    The Surfers Paradise event became a part of the V8 Supercar Championship Series six years ago and will be round 11 of the 14-round series this year.

    “The Gold Coast has really become the home of V8 Supercars with our head office here and so many teams located within in a short distance from our front doors,” said Cochrane.

    “V8 Supercars is the leading touring car championship in the world and we are happy to be sharing equal billing with the new IndyCar Series at a world class event.”

    IMG Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asian Pacific, Martin Jolly, added the news that today’s announcement also cements the joint-management partnership of the event between IMG and the Queensland Government for the length of the new agreement.

    “We have enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with the Queensland Government for many years and together we have developed one of the world’s great sporting events,” said Mr Jolly.

    “I think this is the dawn of an exciting new era for open-wheel racing and the Gold Coast Indy 300 in particular.

    “We look forward to producing the best event and the best result possible for Queensland during the next six exciting years.”

    The new-look event is expected to provide new corporate opportunities with companies now able to make confident, long-term commitments, according to Greg Hooton.

    “The great thing about the commitment from the IRL and V8 Supercars is the stability it provides and that is one of the greatest assets any event can have,” said Hooton.

    “We can now seriously go into the market place and offer partnerships of up to six years.

    “I think such a commitment will also bred a whole new group of fans who will be able to get behind young Australian drivers like Will (Power) and Ryan (Briscoe) as they continue to forge careers for themselves. At the same time they will be able to continue their loyalty to their favourite Ford or Holden V8 Supercar drivers.”

    Tickets for this year’s event are available through www.indy.com.

    DOT POINT SUMMARY

    • The Gold Coast Indy 300 is secure until and including 2013
    • The new-look IndyCar Series will involve at least two Australian drivers with Will Power driving for Team Australia and Ryan Briscoe continuing with Team Penske.
    • The Gold Coast Indy 300 will celebrate an amazing 20th anniversary in 2010
    • This year’s race will involve a full contingent of 22 to 26 cars.
    • The V8 Supercars will have their seventh start for championship points at this year’s event.
    • The new arrangement allows for confident, long-term commitments from corporate partners and increased media exposure and publicity.
    • This year’s event will see the return of some great open-wheel names like Rahal and Andretti to the streets of Surfers Paradise. Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal are the sons of former IndyCar Champions Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal.

    Media Contact: 3239 6218