Gold Coast “Super GP” General Manager Greg Hooton has addressed the Australian Media regarding doubts over the A1 GP event scheduled in only seven days time.
In a prepared statement Mr Hooton emphasised the fact that the meeting would go ahead with the V8 Supercars as the main attraction.
“I need to make it clear that this event is happening next week. Do not lose sight of the fact that I’m standing in V8 Pit Lane where next week the V8 Supercars will for the first time ever have two, 200km races. The V8 Supercars are absolutely a major aspect of this event and will be here in force next week,” said Hooton.
Mr Hooton did acknowledge that their were doubts over the appearance of the A1 GP and his statement did little to inspire confidence that the situation had changed.
“There are certainly rumours surrounding the appearance of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Nikon SuperGP at this time, there is no question about that.
“At this point in time, I need to make clear that A1GP has not breached any terms of contract with GCMEC (Gold Coast Motor Events Company*).
“The current situation is as follows:
- “Operational staff within A1GP continue to work with our staff on preparing for their race.
- “A1GP have released their teams list. I have letters from the competing teams committing to racing on the Gold Coast. A1GP have paid deposits on accommodation.
- “A1GP have paid deposits on the hire of general equipment. A1GP have approved and completed their on-track signage. Where necessary, A1GP Teams have been making visa applications.
- “They (A1GP) have released their 2009/10 series calendar and yesterday further released details on their next round in Zhuhai, which will follow our round.
- “They have had their series rules for racing approved. They have provided a provisional driver listing to us but under their rules of racing this in fact can change up until the Wednesday before the event and in fact driver changes can occur between races within an event.
- “A1GP are responsible for their own freight bookings and movement to ensure the cars are here for racing next Thursday.
- “The taxpayer has not lost money, nor does the taxpayer face any risk of losing money at this event. This event, as has been stated previously, is completely underwritten by IMG.”
Despite this the Brisbane Airport Corporation yesterday confirmed to the local Gold Coast Bulletin that it has no bookings for any freight aircraft of a type needed to fly the cars for their appearance in Australia.
Brisbane Airports Corporation spokesman Jim Carden said the airport was not expecting any freighters carrying A1GP cars.
“It is a fairly rare event to have this kind of cargo and we would need to be notified because they would require our services and groundstaff,” he said.
The A1 GP have scheduled a test for Monday at the Queensland Raceway, an according to track owner John Tetley all is going ahead as planned.
Meanwhile a row continues over reports that the cars will need to be further modified to comply with new FIA safety regulations.
A1GP Australia chairman and Confederation of Australian Motorsport director (there’s an interesting mix!) Alan Evans has confirmed the vehicles would need to be modified before they could be shipped to Australia.
Confederation of Australian Motor Sport CEO, Graham Fountain disagrees however saying that the changes to the safety bars only needed to be done before the cars hit the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Either way the whole A1 GP farce is doing little to enhance the sports already tarnished image with Queensland Taxpayers and Race fans who booked ticket’s, travel and accommodation on the promise of seeing the A1 cars in action.
With Nikon Super GP Media Release and The Gold Coast Bulletin