ASTC: Super Tourers to return to Wakefield

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13: The BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship motor racing series will return to Wakefield Park in January as a feature part of Goulburn's Australia Day weekend celebrations. Championship organisers TOCA Australia ...

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13: The BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship motor racing series will return to Wakefield Park in January as a feature part of Goulburn's Australia Day weekend celebrations.

Championship organisers TOCA Australia announced today that Wakefield Park would host the seventh and penultimate round of the 2000-2001 series on January 26-28.

TOCA Australia Chief Executive Kelvin O'Reilly said Wakefield Park would replace Victorian circuit Sandown, which had been scheduled to stage round seven on the original championship calendar.

O'Reilly said the calendar change followed Wakefield Park's successful debut as a championship venue in the fourth round of the series on October 29.

"Wakefield Park has proved beyond all doubt it is capable of staging top-class motorsport, and we are delighted to have reached an agreement to return there over Australia Day weekend," said O'Reilly.

"Everyone associated with the championship was impressed with the facilities and organisation on our first visit to Wakefield Park, plus the strong support of the local community and businesses."

Garry Holt, Managing Director of the consortium of Wakefield Park owners, said securing a second round of the Super Touring championship proved the value of spending $500,000 since June upgrading the circuit.

"When the Super Tourers came to Wakefield Park last month it was our first major national championship event, so getting a second round of the championship is great news," said Holt.

"It proves we are on the right track with the circuit's upgrading and development program, and we are planning a number of things to make this a highlight of Goulburn's Australia Day weekend festivities."

O'Reilly said the second championship round at Wakefield Park would pour another estimated $250,000 into Goulburn's economy, and the circuit and region would benefit from a national two-hour telecast of the race meeting on the Seven Network.

Holt said the television exposure from the Super Touring championship rounds was a crucial factor in developing the profile of Wakefield Park, which opened in 1993 and until this year had been used mostly for club and historic meetings.

"The television showcases what a fantastic race track we have and has tremendous value," said Holt.

Queenslander Paul Morris leads the series after five rounds with 76 points in a Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i, followed by Sydney policeman John Henderson in a Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra. The sixth round will be at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on December 10.

Mike Porter <mikep@qldnet.com.au>

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Series GENERAL