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Canberra Supercars bid rejected by minister

A bold plan to bring a Supercars street race back to Canberra has been firmly rejected by Australian Capital Territory chief minister Andrew Barr.

First lap

A promoter group operating as Turcin Avis has been working on the revival of the short-lived Canberra street race for several years now.

The plan involves a circuit built around the Exhibition Park precinct rather than the Parliamentary Triangle layout used in 2000-2002.

However according to a report in the Canberra Times the bid has hit s significant snag, with chief minister Barr declaring that he won't support it.

According to the paper, Barr feels the outlay of "tens of millions of dollars" doesn't make financial sense.

“The assessment from the directorate was that it didn’t stack up,” Barr said. “It would have required a significant investment from the territory government in infrastructure at Exhibition Park that we were not in a position to make.”

Russell Avis, one of the proponents of the plan, expressed disappointment both at the rejection of the bid, and the failure to engage Barr in a face-to-face meeting to address the financial concerns.

“Yes, there would be up-front infrastructure costs involved but our intention was to leverage commitments that had already been made to upgrade the road network and the new Exhibition Park facility,” said Avis.

“These [races] are big events in other states and territories; they bring in millions of dollars.

“This event really deserved a more considered study than we believe it was given. We had tried a number of times to get that sit-down meeting with the chief minister to walk him through what was proposed but we couldn’t get time in his scheduled, which is really unfortunate."

Avis added that while the Barr rejection is a set back, the dream of a Supercars race in Canberra is not over.

"We still believe in this idea," he said. "We have an alternative plan to bring a V8 Supercar race to Canberra."

The ACT is currently the only Australian state or territory that Supercars doesn't visit.

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