AUSTRALIA'S INAUGURAL A1 GRAND PRIX OF NATIONS LAUNCHED * NSW Government confirm major commitment * A1 Team Australia team announced * Ticketing, broadcast rights, support card announced SYDNEY, Australia -- SEPTEMBER 5, 2005: The ...
AUSTRALIA'S INAUGURAL A1 GRAND PRIX OF NATIONS LAUNCHED
* NSW Government confirm major commitment
* A1 Team Australia team announced
* Ticketing, broadcast rights, support card announced
SYDNEY, Australia -- SEPTEMBER 5, 2005: The inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations was officially launched in Sydney on Friday amid confirmation that the New South Wales Government would be a major supporter of the event set down for Eastern Creek International Raceway, November 4-6.
The release of details, made jointly by the event Chairman and A1 Team Australia principal, 1980 World Formula One Champion, Alan Jones and New South Wales Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, the Honorable Sandra Nori MP, confirmed:
* Government funding to upgrade the Eastern Creek track to required FIA Grade 2 specification;
* A national marketing and advertising program to promote the event;
* The appointment of Fox Sports and Network Ten to show the event and the global series live and via delayed telecast respectively;
* The release of ticketing details for the event; and
* Confirmation of the support program for the three days of racing.
"Sydney is the natural place to host the Australian leg of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations," Minister Nori said. "Our infrastructure and experience in hosting global sporting events has put us in a great position to host this event. That is why the NSW Government is contributing $1 million towards it."
A key element of the Government's commitment is the upgrade to Eastern Creek International Raceway to FIA Grade 2 specification, making it Australia's highest rated permanent racing facility.
"The upgrade of Eastern Creek Raceway will be a great investment for the future of motor racing in our city," she said.
Jones praised the Government for their assistance with the event:
"The A1 Grand Prix of Nations in Sydney will be the next in a long line of world class events that the New South Wales Government have supported over recent years," Jones said.
"I have absolutely no doubt this will become Sydney's biggest annual international sporting event, delivering huge economic benefit to the city and the state. Images from the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Eastern Creek will be beamed to a potential worldwide audience of over 4 billion people."
The event will see 25 national teams converge on Eastern Creek, which will be the fourth event of 12 globally.
"This event is set to become one of the leading international motorsport events held annually in Australia," Jones continued. "It will be a spectacle that few other sporting events held in Australia can match."
The 'core' of A1 Team Australia's driving team for the 2005/2006 series was confirmed as being Christian Jones, Will Davison and Will Power.
"As all three have existing commitments around the world to various race teams, I anticipate that you will see several other drivers guest driving for the team from time to time throughout the 12 round series," Jones said.
Tickets for the event go on sale today (Monday) through Ticketmaster, with ticket prices starting at just $20. Special Stay and See travel packages for interstate visitors are being offered through Showbiz.
Jones confirmed the action packed support card for the event would include the penultimate round of the Australian Formula 3 Championship, a 60 minute endurance race for the Australian GT Championship, incorporating the Porsche Drivers' Challenge, races for the Australian Formula Ford Championship and a special historic open-wheeler event encompassing some of the best known racecars from yesteryear.
During his announcement, Jones stated that all twelve events on the A1 Grand Prix calendar will be beamed into Australia live through Fox Sports and all Australians will be able to follow the fortunes of their national team through delayed telecasts on Network Ten.
"Above all, A1 Grand Prix is a breath of fresh air on the world sporting scene," Jones concluded. "By the time the 25 countries arrive at Eastern Creek for the fourth round of the A1 series, the landscape of world motorsport will be changed forever."