V8 Supercars race from Surfers live on SPEED

V8 SUPERCARS Australia has pulled off another international coup with a lucrative TV deal to stream images of October's Armor All Gold Coast 600 into more than 80 million North American homes.

The Gold Coast-based series will today announce US television network Speed will send a full commentary and production team to the Bathurst 1000 and the GC600 to broadcast the races live in North America in prime time.

The announcement is a major shot in the arm for the Gold Coast's struggling economy. Speed is available in almost 84 million homes across the US and Canada and is set to promote both events heavily in the coming weeks, as is its parent FOX network.

It is a huge windfall for the city with free advertising over a sustained period in the world's most lucrative TV market.

It comes weeks after V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane announced the series would race in Austin, Texas, for at least five years from 2013 at the under-construction $1 billion Circuit of the Americas, which will also host Formula One and MotoGP events.

Mr. Cochrane yesterday told the Bulletin intensifying interest in V8 Supercars in the US had led to significant investment by the TV motorsports network.

"This is a massive announcement for Australian sport and a tremendous endorsement of V8 Supercars, which has been steadily expanding its international reputation," he said.

"Our sport is acting locally and growing globally every single month. We are on the march internationally and being recognized as such.

"North American motorsport fans are in for a real treat, with our prestigious races from Bathurst and the fabulous Gold Coast live into their homes in prime time.

"The GC desperately needs big events that create tourism interest, not just for that weekend but by showing quality pictures all over the world to make sure the Gold Coast stays as a key tourism destination."

V8 Supercars will provide Speed with a purpose-built set in pit lane for both events. It will also convert its graphics and information specifically, for example converting kilometers into miles and liters into gallons.

Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves said it was an exciting announcement for the event and state tourism.

"These pictures, money can't buy and will give millions of Americans a bird's-eye view of one of the world's great tourist destinations, showcasing Queensland as the events state," he said.

Mr. Reeves also praised GC600 organizers on positive early ticketing and corporate sales results, which were up on those at the same time last year.

The GC600, with 28 international drivers sharing top billing with the V8 Supercar regulars, is from October 21 to 23.

It features a rock'n'race format with headline acts Bliss N Eso on the Friday night and Simple Minds on the Saturday.

Three-day passes, which include admission to both nights of live entertainment, are on sale from Ticketek for $136.

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