CHAMPCAR/CART: Australia race leader Geoff Jones retires

"The Lexmark Indy 300 has been a tremendous achievement for Queensland and it has the potential to grow for many years to come," Lexmark Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones said today upon announcing his resignation. Jones was ...

"The Lexmark Indy 300 has been a tremendous achievement for Queensland and it has the potential to grow for many years to come," Lexmark Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones said today upon announcing his resignation.

Jones was instrumental in the Event's growth and success since assuming the role of CEO in November 1998.

He is now ready for a new chapter in his life after accepting the appointment of General Manager, Queensland, for Carlton and United Breweries. CUB is a major sponsor of the Lexmark Indy 300 with a contract until the 2005 Event. Jones will finish at the Lexmark Indy 300 in late March.

"The Lexmark Indy 300 is a great Event and one that all Queenslanders can be proud to own," said Jones.

"I have certainly enjoyed every moment and have been fortunate to lead a great team in putting together a truly magnificent Event.

"Indy has grown every year particularly in the diversity of entertainment it provides. This remains an area of growth that will see spectator numbers, corporate support and general interest continue to go up."

Although sad to depart an Event he has nurtured, Jones said it was pleasing it could be to an organisation that has been a long-time major partner of Indy.

"This was a difficult decision, but I will continue to stay involved with the Event. Perhaps now I can sit down over the four days and actually watch the racing and entertainment."

Lexmark Indy 300 Chairman John Cowley said the new CEO has "big shoes to fill" but will benefit from the policies, strategies and procedures that Jones has established.

"The Board has been delighted with Geoff's performance and he will be a difficult person to replace," said Cowley.

"He has great corporate potential and will be a tremendous asset to CUB. I wish him extremely well, and look forward to doing future business with him."

Whilst CEO of Indy on the Gold Coast, Jones has enjoyed too many highlights to list. He prefers to look at the Event's growth and achievements including:

- The record four-day attendance increasing from 225,000 in 1997 to 297,835 in 2002;
- The economic impact on the state of Queensland growing to in excess of $52 million;
- The support of more than 250 national and international sponsors in 2002;
- The on-track program incorporating a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series from 2002 -- creating a marketable 'Doubleheader' concept with the Champ Cars;
- Construction of the circuit being streamlined to achieve a maximum result with minimum disruption. It now takes 102 days in the full construction and dismantling of the circuit, a big reduction on the 199 days it took six years ago;
- Securing Lexmark as the new naming rights sponsor of the Event for four years from 2003;
- Developing consultation networks with all key stakeholders to the Event;
- Being inducted into the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2000, 2001 and 2002;
- Developing the off-track events program to include more than 60 events in 2002. The diversity in entertainment both on and off-track has played a major part in the Event's growth.

The 2003 Lexmark Indy 300 will be held from October 23 to 26. The new naming rights sponsor, Lexmark, is a global technology leader dedicated solely to printing solutions.

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Series Supercars , IndyCar