Australia to be second race in 2008

The organisers of the Australian Grand Prix, traditionally the opening race of the F1 season, have announced that the date of 2008 race will be moved back slightly, so it will be the second event on the calendar. The Australian Grand Prix ...

The organisers of the Australian Grand Prix, traditionally the opening race of the F1 season, have announced that the date of 2008 race will be moved back slightly, so it will be the second event on the calendar. The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) confirmed that, subject to FIA approval, next year's race will take place on March 16th.

AGPC chairman Ron Walker explained that the new date allowed the V8 Supercar series to rejoin the schedule and would avoid any clashes with other major events in Melbourne. "Taking all factors into account, this is the best option for our event and the people who support it," he said.

In regard to the suggestion of a night race, Walker commented: "Our investigations have convinced us that as things currently stand, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Instead, we have decided to run the F1 race later on Sunday, moving the start time from 2pm to 3.30pm."

"We need to ensure all of our partners are comfortable with this and we're working through that process now. Going later will benefit fans at Albert Park who will enjoy an even bigger day of entertainment and people watching the race live in other parts of the world -- especially Europe where fans will be able to get up closer to breakfast time."

The provisional calendar for 2008 has not yet been released but it's thought that Bahrain may be the first race. In 2006 Bahrain was the season-opener when Australia deferred its usual slot due to hosting the Commonwealth Games.

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Series Formula 1