IMG Motorsports Bathurst Preview

If you are little busy in coming weeks, spare a thought for IMG's Director of Motorsports Geoff Jones and his team. Jones and his relatively small crew have the job of putting together and running four major motorsport events in the next two ...

If you are little busy in coming weeks, spare a thought for IMG's Director of Motorsports Geoff Jones and his team.

Jones and his relatively small crew have the job of putting together and running four major motorsport events in the next two months and the workload steps up this weekend with the V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama.

Just three weeks later it is to the streets of the Gold Coast for the Honda Indy 300 where more than 250,000 will fill the stands over four days to watch the 20th and penultimate round of the FedEx Championship Series.

A fortnight later it is across the Tasman to Auckland for the inaugural Boost Mobile V8 International where the biggest crowd ever is expected to pack Pukekohe Raceway to watch the V8 Supercars in action.

Everything then needs to be packed-up and shipped immediately back to Australia for the final round of the Shell Championship Series, the inaugural V8 Ultimate, to be run at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne.

Short of breath yet?

Jones and his crew will organize everything from media centre phones to on-track signage and everything in between.

"The logistics of these events are quite enormous and I think it takes a special type of person to be involved in events this big - especially as many as we now have," said Jones.

"You have to have a passion for what you do and that certainly gets tested when you have four major races in two months."

While IMG has built a massive reputation in sport management worldwide during the last 40 years, the company's involvement in Australian motorsport in the last six years has been an influential role in the sport's massive growth and popularity.

IMG's first real involvement in Australian Motorsport came in 1997 when it -became a joint-venture partner with the Queensland Government in the Honda Indy 300.

The company now promotes four rounds of the Shell Championship Series, including the V8 Supercar 1000, Boost Mobile V8 International, V8 Ultimate and the Canberra 400 it also plays a major role in the sales and licensing of the Adelaide Clipsal 500.

IMG also manages V8 Supercar drivers Marcos Ambrose and Jason Bright and internationally has contracts with F1 Superstar Michael Schumacher and Champ Car stars Gil de Ferran and Jimmy Vasser.

A continued involvement in the Honda Indy 300 has seen the event grow into the most successful round of the FedEx Championship and the world benchmark for that series.

IMG has adopted many of things it has learned from the Gold Coast race to its other events, especially when it comes to on and off track entertainment.

This year, the Honda Indy 300 has non-stop on-track entertainment package and more than 70 off-track events which form a 10-day spectacular.

All these elements have been developed to help IMG mold motorsport into one of Australia's premier forms of entertainment.

"I think it would be fair to say we have earned our title as a major player in Australian motorsport," said Jones.

"There are always risks involved when you are talking about events of this magnitude and we have been prepared to take them. In some cases it has been a case of biting off as much as we can chew and chewing like mad.

"We have a belief in the sport and look forward to a terrific future and possibly even more events. We probably shouldn't tell my team that."

Jones and the majority of his motorsport team are based in IMG's Gold Coast office and that alone poses logistical problems with events scattered all over Australia and New Zealand.

"Obviously you cannot have offices everywhere, so there is a massive amount of logistics alone in just getting our team to events and setting them up for anything up to a couple of months at a time," said Jones.

"With any luck things get a little easier each year, but you are always annually posed with a new set of problems at each event.

"We take a lot of pride in all our events and are constantly looking for ways to improve them and in a lot of ways it is an evolutionary process.

<pre> V8 SUPERCAR 1000 FACTS & FIGURES

Title: V8 1000 for V8 Supercars What: A 1000km endurance race for V8 Supercars. Round 11 of the 2001 Shell Championship Series Where: Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW When: October 4-7, 2001 Event Promoter: IMG Website: www.v8supercar1000.com Tickets: Available through Ticketmaster7 on 136 122, Ticketmaster7.com or at the gate.

TICKET PRICES Adults - GA Season - (Thurs-Sun): Advance $85.00 Gate $90.00 Weekend: Advance $75.00 Gate $80.00 Sunday: Advance $55.00 Gate $60.00 Concession GA - Outer Circuit Only Season (Thurs-Sun): Advance $70.00 Gate $75.00 Weekend: Advance $60.00 Gate $65.00 Sunday: Advance $45.00 Gate $50.00 Grandstand Outer Circuit: Advance $155.00 Gate $160.00 Paddock Passes Paddock passes are valid for all four days of the V8 Supercar 1000. They must be purchased in addition to a General Admission or Grandstand Ticket. Numbers limited. $30.00 (advance of at the gate)

HOW DO I GET THERE? Bathurst is located approximately 200km west of Sydney. It is about a three-hour drive from Sydney's CBD. It is also serviced by airline, train and buses services. Coach Interstate express coaches operate on a regular basis. Coach companies that operate between Sydney and Bathurst include: Selwoods - ph (02) 6362 7963 Rendalls - ph (02) 6884 4199 Rail A variety of services both east and west, supplemented by coach services. Travel time from Sydney via the XPT service is 3.5 hours. Phone Countrylink Travel Centre on 02 6332 4844 for more details. Self Drive From Sydney by car takes around three hours. The main route to Bathurst from Sydney is via the Great Western Highway over the Blue Mountains.

ACCOMMODATION All accommodation inquiries to 1800 681 000. Bathurst Visitors' Centre manages the availability list of B&B's, hotels, motels, self-contained and the home hire programme.

TELEVISION TIMES Network Ten will be providing a massive 15 hours of nation-wide live coverage from Mt Panorama. It will also be televised live to New Zealand and Europe with a delayed telecast to North America and Asia. A total potential viewing for 400 million homes. Saturday's Network Ten telecast will be from Noon-5pm Sunday's telecast will be from 7am-5pm

-IMG

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Series Supercars
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright