$80 million worth of contracts for Asian Supercars races

Supercars has “$80 million worth of contracts” ready to go for its expansion into Asia, according to Supercars CEO James Warburton.

$80 million worth of contracts for Asian Supercars races
Race action
Todd Kelly leading the start, Nissan Motorsports
Craig Lowndes leads the field on the opening lap, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jason Bright and Andrew Jones, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Tim Slade and Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Race winners Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team

The Australian series is set to expand into Asia in 2018, with a street race near Bangkok in Thailand and a round at the Sentul circuit in Indonesia. There is also scope for the KL City Grand Prix to finally hold a full-blown Supercars round in ’18, although that would require the event’s legal troubles to be cleared up.

According to Warburton, there are $80m worth of contracts “sitting there” for the Asian swing.

“I’ve been very clear about what we do, we’re very open and honest and transparent in terms of what our strategies are,” Warburton said on Fox Sports’s Inside Supercars.

“Look at our Asian expansion plan – we’ve been able to secure the number one, number two and number five country in the world on a per capita basis that will have motorsport – Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. So there’s $80 million worth of contracts are sitting there.”

Warburton also defended the decision to push the expansion back to ’18, rather than include the new races on the calendar for 2017.

“It’s taken almost five years for MotoGP by the time they get into Indonesia to get that round up, [and] we’ll do it within two,” said Warburton.

“Sure the critics come out and will have a swing in terms of, ‘they’re not on the calendar for 2017’ but for us it’s actually about getting them right, making sure they’re sustainable and really moving towards that future in Asia, which we’re really committed to doing.”

2017 demo for Thailand

While it is unlikely there will be a championship round in Thailand in 2017, there is set to be a five-car demonstration event take place next year.

While not going into detail, Warburton revealed that the introduction of Supercars to Thailand will mirror what happened in KL last year, with a five-car, toe-in-the-water demo.

“There’s things in the Thailand race that will be announced either late this year or very early next year,” he said.

“We’ll do what we did in KL and take a five car demo into that round.”

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