Wellington future event receives support

Wellington Street race wins total AVESCO support Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) Chairman Tony Cochrane has offered the absolute support of Australia's premier motorsport category for a bid from the New Zealand capital...

Wellington Street race wins total AVESCO support

Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) Chairman Tony Cochrane has offered the absolute support of Australia's premier motorsport category for a bid from the New Zealand capital Wellington to stage a street race from next year.

Mr Cochrane was answering to a host of rumors and innuendo suggesting that a planned race in Wellington would not proceed. Mr Cochrane met with the Mayor of Wellington Kerry Prendergast yesterday with a view to moving forward with the planned event.

"The AVESCO board will ensure Wellington is given every possible opportunity to get a street race happening through the city streets from 2006," Mr Cochrane said.

"We love coming to New Zealand and wish to continue doing so. There is a tremendous synergy between our great championship and this country.

"We will not walk away from this country and our New Zealand supporters easily."

But Mr Cochrane said that New Zealand was still not guaranteed a race post the final event, the Placemakers V8 International at Pukekohe just south of Auckland this weekend.

"Reality is we might not succeed in Wellington and we might have to miss a year or two," he said.

"But the people of New Zealand have my word that we will do absolutely everything humanly possible to make sure this Wellington race proceeds. What is important to us is bringing our Championship to New Zealand."

The people of Wellington will have their say via a consultation period before the decision is taken to a council vote next month. If approved, the AVESCO Board will include Wellington in the 2006 calendar, probably in the same April timeslot.

"We are great believers in democracy," Mr Cochrane said.

"If the people of Wellington want us we will come. If they don't we will run with the majority view."

A likely track has been identified in Wellington. It is being designed by Australian engineers Weathered Howe who also design the circuit for the Lexmark Indy 300 and the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge through the streets of Surfers Paradise.

That event attracted 309,000 spectators last year and is run through the high rises of the tourist strip along the Queensland beaches.

"Staging street races is tough for a number of reasons but they do work and the outcome is more than worthwhile for everybody," Mr Cochrane said.

"It doesn't matter where you are in the world you won't please everybody. There is a minority of people in Monaco still complaining 59 years on. What needs to be done is to listen to those people and try to make the few days of racing as easy as possible.

"In this regard the International Management Group (IMG) does a sensation job on the Gold Coast as does the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide that this year hosted 267,000."

-avesco-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Tony Cochrane