CHAMPCAR/CART: Gold Coast race on schedule

Queensland's award-winning Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast remains on-track and ready to go from October 25-28. Honda Indy 300 CEO, Geoff Jones gave this assurance today in light of concerns expressed following developments in the United States...

Queensland's award-winning Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast remains on-track and ready to go from October 25-28.

Honda Indy 300 CEO, Geoff Jones gave this assurance today in light of concerns expressed following developments in the United States and with Ansett Airlines this week.

Jones assured race fans, sponsors and local residents there were no foreseeable threats to this year's event, and that it was "business as usual" in the planning and marketing of all off and on-track activities.

"While the Honda Indy 300 is part of the US based CART FedEx Championship Series, there have been no indications that the tragedies in that country this week will impact on our race," said Jones.

"The CART teams are in Germany at the moment and, weather permitting, will compete this weekend. They then head to the UK for the race at Rockingham next weekend before traveling home for two races before flying out to Australia."

Mr Jones said he suspected that if the FedEx Series was scheduled to run in the US this week, it, like most other major sports in the country, would have been postponed out of respect to those who died in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

"As we know, America is a resilient nation and it will bounce back from adversity, no matter how tragic this week's terrorist attacks were," said Jones.

"The Honda Indy 300 is five weeks away, and knowing CART as I do, they will be doubly determined to work with us in presenting one fantastic show on the Gold Coast. And when that happens, all Australian race fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects and show their support for our American friends."

Mr Jones said the apparent demise of Ansett presented the Honda Indy 300 with some challenges, but stressed they were far from insurmountable.

"We rely heavily on the airlines to bring many of our patrons to the Gold Coast," said Jones.

"Qantas is a major sponsor and the event's official airline, and will bring the majority of international, interstate and intrastate visitors to the Gold Coast.

"Nobody knows for certain the developments that are likely to occur in Australia's airline industry in the next five weeks, but prospective visitors can be assured if they want a seat, there will be one for them.

"In the meantime, we can only do what we do best, and that's continue planning for what is shaping as a sensational Honda Indy 300. Early ticket sales are indicating another record event and there's a great buzz in the marketplace. We are going to ensure that we meet and exceed everyone's expectations."

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Series Automotive , IndyCar