New name for Surfers race
The IRL withdrew from the event in Surfers Paradise after failing to negotiate a new date for the race to better suit the newly merged American open wheel category.
After much speculation, it was announced late last year that the international ‘one make’ open wheel series’, A1 GP, will take the place of the IRL and will share one of Australia’s biggest sporting events with the V8 Supercars.
The first Super GP will be held at Surfers Paradise from October 22-25. The Events headline acts will be the A1 Grand Prix of Australia and the so far un-branded V8 Supercar Challenge and is expect to raise $60 million dollars for the state.
The Queensland Government will inject 11.5 Million dollars (Au) into the race per year.
"The Queensland Government has been committed to putting $11.5 million into this event for some years," Said Judy Spence, the Queensland Minister for Sport. “We’re not going to increase that amount of funding but we're locked into it for next five years.”
The announcement of the new category and new name for the Queensland street race has put to rest any doubts that the V8 race would not occur in 2009, due to viability issues with only the V8 Supercars on the bill.
"Although it was tough to lose the Indy race last year, I think the outcome is a very good one, I think we'll all be very excited to see this fresh, new-look event." Ms Spence told reporters.
Despite the excitement of the new name announcement, many enthusiasts are concerned about the ability to repeat the success of the Indy events and say that the involvement of the financially unstable, and so far un-popular A1 GP category, could spell the end of the event.
Other supports categories have not yet been announced, however it is expected that the V8 Ute Series and Aussie Racing Series will also partake in the event.
Only time will tell how the public will react to the new format, but for now, the V8 Supercars will be able to partake in one of their biggest annual events.