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DATE News (chronologically)
10/24/08
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V8 boss says IRL must agree to long-term deal
American IndyCar officials have been accused trying to hold Australia to ransom by threatening to turn their back on the Gold Coast.

V8 Supercars boss Tony Cochrane is urging the US Indy bosses to sign a long-term deal to retain the Gold Coast IndyCar race, instead of trying to force the Queensland Government and local organizers into a suicidal date change.

Instead of the traditional late October timeslot, the Americans want the race switched to late September or early October, which would put the event head-to-head with the AFL or NRL grand finals.

Their attitude is seen as disrespectful to Australia, which has hosted the US open-wheelers for the past 17 years and stuck with the sport through a damaging decade-long Super League-style split.

Cochrane, whose V8s share the bill with the IndyCars at the Gold Coast, went on the offensive, accusing the Americans of a complete lack of respect for their long-term hosts.

"For many years this government and this organization have paid out an awful lot of money for the open-wheelers to come out from America and enjoy this fantastic atmosphere," Cochrane said.

"It's a little bit rich when they suddenly turn up and want to change the date, with no respect for the local community, V8 Supercars and the host broadcaster. 

"Australians don't like being backed into a corner, and quite frankly they (the US Indy officials) should do the right thing and re-sign.

"If they don't we'll work through that, but I can assure you the V8 Supercars will be back racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise next year."

Perhaps indicative of an anti-IndyCar backlash, the crowd at a V8 lunch broke into spontaneous cheers as Ford's Craig Lowndes said a stand-alone Supercars event could successfully replace the recalcitrant Americans.

Holden's leading driver Garth Tander also spoke up.

"The Champ Car guys in the past have been a great support race for us. The IndyCar guys will be a great support race for us this weekend," Tander said.

"If they decide not to come back next year, we could have a great Adelaide-type (V8) event at the end of the year here.”  Fox Sports

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