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Aussies petition to keep IndyCar race
Indy boss Tony George had better bring a mighty big suitcase when he arrives in Surfers Paradise early next week -- to take home the petition from passionate Indy fans Australia-wide who want the race planted firmly in the IndyCar calendar.

The Gold Coast Bulletin has been flooded with the pleas of motorsport fans who want to see the race stay, amid the uncertainty over the future of the great Surfers Paradise event.

You have your chance to voice your support by filling out the petition at the top of the page and posting it to The Bulletin.

"Keep Indy, forget the rapid rail," suggested Trevor. "OMG! Surfers without Indy?

"I don't think so! It puts the Gold Coast in front of millions of people every year," complained Rick of Surfers Paradise.

Even the Croweaters chipped in: "The Gold Coast Indy event must be saved! Who cares if it's on the same weekend as the AFL Grand Final? Australia is a big country and anyway the AFL is on Saturday, Indy is on Sunday," said Rohan from Adelaide; (see below for more comments, or go to http://www.goldcoast.com.au/).

Mr George is expected to arrive in Surfers Paradise early next week in his personal jet, thought to be touching down at Brisbane Airport. The Bulletin understands Mr George will be staying at the Marriott Surfers Paradise along with some of the drivers. Other drivers are believed to be split between Conrad Jupiters and Palazzo Versace.

Along with Mr George, native South Australian and US-based billionaire Kevin Kalkhoven is expected to arrive early next week at Gold Coast Airport in his Gulfstream jet in what has become an annual pilgrimage for the KV Racing Technology team boss.

Meanwhile, Premier Anna Bligh, on the Gold Coast yesterday, played down the uncertainty over Indy, saying she was looking forward to the event 'for many years to come'.

"I am very much looking forward to Indy this year and am very pleased the Indy bosses will be here next week and meeting directly with the Minister for Sport who will be finalising negotiations to nail down dates and other arrangements for Indy beyond 2008," said Ms Bligh.

"Details have to be settled but we are gong into negotiations very positive, very optimistic ... Indy loves coming here and so I am sure we will find a way through it."

Keep our Indy comments:

I JUST love the whole 'boats, babes and boozing' aspect to Indy. -- Frank Newnham, Gold Coast.

INDY would have to be the best thing the Gold Coast has going for it -- please don't take it away. -- Tammy S, Gold Coast.

JUST let it be here every year. It's the best time of the year and the drivers like to come down under and we love it too. -- Ove Padkjaer, Broadbeach.

AS a volunteer since the first race I believe the event is an important facet of the Gold Coast calendar as well as an international exposure of what the Gold Coast has to offer. -- Janine Aitken, Cairns.

THIS is a fantastic event and is best held on the Gold Coast where the people, sun and surf showcase Australia at its best. -- Bev Borgas, Elanora.

IT is important to the Coast economy to have this international event in the centre of the tourist strip. -- Nigel Mercer, Elanora. goldcoast.com.au

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