Formula One Debate in High Gear

by Ed Kennedy

Formula One fans celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first Grand Prix at Albert Park last month.

This milestone has come alongside the revelations of the events cost, which have amplified debate surrounding the Grand Prix. It was the first time since the Kennett government brought the race back to Melbourne in 1996 that the annual hosting fee of $57 million was made public following a leak in January.

It also comes just before negotiation of a contract extension is due to get under way in the second half of this year. The current contract expires in 2015.

Given that we host the Australian Open, Melbourne Cup and Australian Grand Prix, we love to boast we are Australia’s sporting capital.

Central to the Grand Prix debate is its impact beyond Australian shores. Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott says more than any other sporting event the race cements Melbourne as an international city.

“The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix remains the jewel in the crown of Victoria’s major events calendar,” said Mr Westacott.

“There is no other annual sporting event that compares to Formula 1 when it comes to positioning a city on the global stage.”… Click to continue reading

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Geelong Gears Up Again for Racing

 

The Geelong Revival festival was held over the weekend along the waterfront of Corio Bay and stretched all the way from Eastern Beach to Cunningham Pier. Over a kilometre of road and parkland was closed off for car lovers to admire classic machinery, talk a language only fellow motor lovers can understand – and race.

Geelong has held sprint trials in one form or another held since 1956. The trials are a rare opportunity for racers to see (legally) just how fast their vehicle can drive on a metropolitan street. Struggles with financing led to a nine year absence since 2003 when the event was last held. While in the intervening years smaller events were held this year marks the first time sprint racing has returned, and the event was held to a similar scale of its glory years.

Steve and Cate Schreck attended the festival as competitors with Steve racing his Mazda 1982 RX8. Entered into a competitive class with some purpose-built machine the self-built Mazda ultimately placed 5th with a best time of 13.8 seconds.

For Steve, alongside the competitive showing in the trials it was the atmosphere surrounding the event that made it so special.

“There … Click to continue reading

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