Melbourne GP stalwart Ron Walker steps down

709 views

Ron Walker will retire after the 2015 event.

Mar.21 (GMM) The long-serving chairman of Australia's Grand Prix in Melbourne is stepping down.

Ron Walker, a stalwart of the almost twenty-year-old Albert Park race and a close friend and political ally of Bernie Ecclestone, will retire after the 2015 event.

"I'm 75 this year and it's good governance to let someone fresh take the reins," he told News Limited publications in Australia.

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing with Ron Walker, Chairman of the Australian GP Corporation and Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing with Ron Walker, Chairman of the Australian GP Corporation and Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia Toro Rosso

Photo by: XPB Images

Walker, a former Melbourne lord mayor and a multimillionaire businessman, selected his own replacement, current cricket world cup chairman John Harnden.

"It's not public knowledge," said Walker. "We haven't made the announcements, because we wanted to continue to do what we do without any fanfare."

The fact that Harnden will only take over for the 2016 race is a clear sign that Melbourne wants to keep the Grand Prix beyond its 2015 contract.

Walker, who was recently battling lung cancer, revealed last week that he has negotiated a basic new deal with Ecclestone.

"I think the foreplay is over so to speak and it's now a case of talking to the government about whether it is worth it or not," he is quoted by the AFP news agency.

"I think everyone in the government wants the race. The assessment is going to be made over the price," Walker added.

He told News Limited: "We are asking for three extra years. We are not like the Arab states and some other countries -- we have to be very careful the way we spend taxpayers' money."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series F1
Article type Breaking news
Tags melbourne, ron walker

User photos

akazoinho
F1

akazoinho

4 photos
Tim Holmes
F1

Tim Holmes

25 photos
EuroRacer
F1

EuroRacer

38 photos
Evan_DeCiren
F1

Evan_DeCiren

27 photos
jimmykwoods
F1

jimmykwoods

2 photos
nickmossdesign
F1

nickmossdesign

1 photos
EricDebris
F1

EricDebris

411 photos
hanmerdesign
F1

hanmerdesign

7 photos
Upload photo