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DATE News (chronologically)
07/10/11
irl
IndyCar eyes Perth, Australia
Clockwise from top left: Sunset at City Beach, Black swan and family by the Swan River, St Georges Terrace at night, the city skyline from Kings Park, Sorrento Beach, and Parliament House
Perth has emerged as the possible venue for a new IndyCar street race in Australia.

Flamboyant US chief of international IndyCar series Randy Bernard has told Auto Action magazine that he has had preliminary discussions with Australian entrepreneur Paul Dainty about a possible Perth event.

The IndyCar series has not been held in Australia since it ended an 18-year stint on the Gold Coast in 2008. Mr. Bernard said the drivers and teams would favor a return to Australia.

Mr. Bernard took over at the helm of the IndyCar series last year after a successful stint as the boss of the International Bull Riders tour. He first became involved with Dainty Consolidated Entertainment during a bull-riding event on the Gold Coast in 2007.

This involvement prompted Mr. Bernard to contact Mr. Dainty about reviving an IndyCar event in Australia.

"When I took this job, I asked Paul if he'd be interested (in staging an Australian IndyCar event)," Mr. Bernard said. "He said: 'Yeah, I'd be interested if we could find the right opportunity'.

"The Red Bull Air Race pulled out of Perth, so they (DCE) called me and said there might be some opportunities over there."

An Eventscorp spokesman said no official proposal had been received, but they would be happy to consider a submission.

Shortly after being elected Premier, Colin Barnett revived the idea of a street race - and suggested Fremantle and Joondalup as possible venues.

"If there was a part of Perth that had the right sort of atmosphere and you could design a circuit we would look at it," Mr. Barnett was reported as saying at the time. "They are exciting events, they are always controversial, but people go in their hundreds of thousands to watch a spectacular event.

"I would like to see them in WA. I am very conscious that motorsports fans are probably the biggest group of any sporting groups.

"The Perth City Council, I understand, is not keen for a race around Perth city and it certainly would be very disruptive to the operation of the city. I think the city would be good, but they don't like the idea."

Since Mr. Barnett made these comments, his Government has committed $10.5 million to upgrade Barbagallo Raceway to ensure the V8 Supercars series raced in Perth.

A spokesman for Mr. Dainty yesterday declined to comment on the Auto Action article. The West Australian

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