A lifeline for V8 Supercars in New Zealand

Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) Chairman Tony Cochrane today offered New Zealand one last chance by offering a two-year conditional lifeline. Mr Cochrane announced that AVESCO has successfully reached agreement with a new ...

Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) Chairman Tony Cochrane today offered New Zealand one last chance by offering a two-year conditional lifeline.

Mr Cochrane announced that AVESCO has successfully reached agreement with a new promoter to stage a V8 Supercar Championship Series event at Pukekohe Park Raceway in 2006 and 2007.

The event will be known as the PlaceMakers V8 Supercars, with the prominent New Zealand company PlaceMakers announcing that it will continue to support the event as naming sponsor for at least the next two years.

As part of the agreement AVESCO and Capital Streetrace Management Limited have agreed to meet the new requirements including the airfreight of 32 V8 Supercar Teams and the commitment to continue to search for a new location in New Zealand from 2008 onwards.

"AVESCO greets this decision with great enthusiasm given the tremendous support of the New Zealand Supercar fans. This is good news given the difficulties, great financial cost and countless hours that went into trying to raise a new venue, firstly in Auckland and then Wellington," Mr Cochrane said.

"This decision to return to Pukekohe in the interim was made as a commitment to the people of New Zealand and Motorsport in general in this country. We stated that we would do all we could for the New Zealand fans and that is the case.

"It was also made as a commitment to our teams, in particular those New Zealanders within our teams, to ensure that they can continue to race in a country that has a special place in our Championship. This is the first step to ensure the event has longevity in New Zealand.

"We are delighted to work with Capital Streetrace Management Limited and Motorsport New Zealand for the next two years on the event and the continued future of V8 Supercars in New Zealand."

Mr Cochrane would not comment on potential locations beyond 2007. No proposals of any substance have been tabled to AVESCO.

The new promoters are headed by Dean Calvert, previously General Manager of IMG NZ, which promoted the Pukekohe event for the last five years.

"This event attracted 90,000 fans to Pukekohe this year," Mr Calvert said.

"It is a proven major sporting event in this country and the Motorsport fans here deserve to have it retained. We have already received some tremendous support from the existing key sponsors of the event who have pledged their continued backing of the event."

Mr Calvert said he had reached agreement with both Counties Racing Club and Auckland Racing Club for use of the circuit for a further two years. AVESCO had also agreed to continue at Pukekohe for two further years in order to work with all interested parties to develop a new venue for the event.

Mr Calvert said while V8 Supercars were an undoubted success in New Zealand, it had developed into a massive opportunity to window shop the country around the world.

The television coverage of the event has increased this year to a potential global audience of more than 850 million homes in more than 110 countries.

This includes live coverage to New Zealand's biggest tourist market of Australia as well as other major tourist opportunities including China, which now hosts a round of the event.

"The Motorsport fans, the sports fans watching on television and the sponsors all know what an enormous event this is. That's why we've taken it on and will work tirelessly with all interested parties to develop a new home for the PlaceMakers V8 Supercars.''

Mr Calvert is grateful that AVESCO has given New Zealand this opportunity and encourages all Motorsport fans and enthusiasts to show their support and commitment for this event.

We will do everything in our power to find a new venue after the two years to ensure that the event does not leave our shores as if this happens it will be gone for good."

Mr Cochrane said that after the success of V8 Supercars into China this year, several international venues were in line to replace New Zealand as one of four international locations on the calendar.

The 2006 PlaceMakers V8 Supercars is likely to be staged in April and tickets are already on sale through Ticketek.

-avesco-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Tony Cochrane