A1GP and Surfers make it official • Gold Coast Event to stay, with new name, and new open-wheel series
• Five year deal signed this week between Event organizers and the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport
• A1GP will replace the IndyCar Series at the Event from 2009
• A1GP will share co-headline act status with the Australian V8 Supercar Series, who along with the Queensland Government have deals with the Event up to and including the 2013 Event.
• Comment from Gold Coast 300 General Manager Greg Hooton, Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport Ms Judy Spence, as well as A1GP Chairman Tony Teixeira, V8 Supercar Australia Chairman Tony Cochrane and A1 Team Australia driver John Martin included below
• Details of a Mid-week Media Opportunity with the key representatives of the Event, V8 Supercars, A1GP and the QLD Government will be released in the coming days
The tradition of world class open-wheel motor racing alongside homegrown V8 Supercars on the streets of Surfers Paradise will continue.
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will join as a co-headline act of the Gold Coast 300 alongside the V8 Supercar Championship Series from 2009 in a five year deal which has now been finalized.
Gold Coast 300 General Manager Greg Hooton said he was excited by the announcement, as would be many thousands of motor racing fans around Australia,” said Hooton.
"This is really something to look forward to - the A1GP cars and the V8s racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise, bringing their World Cup of Motorsport to the Gold Coast and Australia.
"Our Event is Australia's premier motor sport event with four days and four nights of on and off track entertainment, and it is here to stay".
The five year arrangement sees A1GP at the Gold Coast to 2013, in line with arrangements already in place with the Queensland Government and the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
A1GP heads to Queensland and replaces the Indy Car Series as the open-wheel arm of the event, which will be officially renamed, and will be the first truly international category of open-wheel racing to head to the Gold Coast with nations pitted against each other.
In 2009, the Gold Coast 300 will hit the streets of Surfers Paradise over October 22-25.
COMMENT FROM THE MINISTER, A1GP, V8 SUPERCARS AUSTRALIA AND A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA
Judy Spence – Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport:
"The event organizers have signed a new five-year agreement with the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport," said Spence.
"The A1GP motor racing series will join the Gold Coast 300 as a co-headline act alongside the Australian V8 Supercar Series from 2009.
"Recently, we announced in-principle agreement that the A1GP motor racing series would join the Gold Coast event in place of the Indy cars.
"Those arrangements have now progressed to a finalized and signed contract."
Tony Teixeira – Chairman A1GP World Cup of Motorsport:
“We wanted to go back to Australia and this is the ideal venue for our series,” said Teixeira.
“A lot of people have worked hard on putting this deal together, and now it has come to fruition it is very exciting.
“I am aware we are being given a perfect opportunity to showcase our series to the Australian fans, who have been great supporters of both the series and their own team.
“Australia has a rich motorsport heritage and I know our TV fans worldwide will be delighted to have this spectacular race on our calendar.
“Both the Government and IMG have offered us every courtesy in putting this together, and I think we must have set a record in doing such an important deal in such a short space of time.”
Tony Cochrane – Chairman V8 Supercars Australia:
"We are delighted to finalize the new five year arrangement at what has been one of our signature events,” said Cochrane.
“Our new race format, featuring a 200km Race on Saturday and Sunday with both tire and fuel pit stops, will make for an absolute must see on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
“V8 Supercars would particularly like to thank the Queensland Government, and in particular Minister Spence and the promoter GCMEC, for their tremendous work in bringing this together.
"Once again, V8 Supercars are delighted to bring the TV production and our host broadcaster, the Seven Network to this iconic Australian motorsport event"
John Martin – A1 Team Australia driver:
“There is no doubt in my eyes that The Gold Coast 300 is the best motorsport Event in the country and I’m very happy with the news that the A1GP will be a part of it in 2009 and beyond” said Martin.
“I raced on the Gold Coast street circuit for the first time this year in Formula 3 and thoroughly enjoyed myself, I would love to have the opportunity to fly the flag for Australia in my home Event next year in an A1GP car.
“I think the A1GP cars will put on a great show for all of the fans. I’ve seen the support and passion that people have shown for the Australian drivers in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing the A1GP Team Australia outfit continue to race in the green and gold colors with pride.”