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State Government eyes Le Mans-style international car racing series for Perth
6/01/2001 6:00 AM
The State Government has given EventsCorp the go-ahead to commence negotiating a contract to stage another major international motor racing event in Western Australia.
Western Australia already hosts Telstra Rally Australia, which has just been named Rally of the Year for the second year in a row.
Tourism Minister Norman Moore said that the State Government had held preliminary discussions with Panoz Motorsport Australia Pty Ltd on a proposal to stage a round of the Asia Pacific Le Mans Series in Perth.
It was now time to seek to finalise an agreement.
It would be part of a seven-race circuit where 141,000 people watched a round of the Asia Pacific Le Mans Series last weekend in Adelaide. Races are also planned for Malaysia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The race would be in addition to the Adelaide event, which would retain its status as the final race of the championship season.
Mr Moore said that if the negotiations were successful, the first race would be held in Perth in February, 2002.
A site to hold the event is still to be decided.
Mr Moore said that Panoz Motorsport Georgia Inc had the exclusive rights to stage a series of international sport car endurance races in the style of Le Mans.
It also had the world-wide exclusive rights to the Le Mans Series, including the Asia Pacific Le Mans Series.
Panoz Motorsport Australia had been licensed to stage races in the Asia Pacific region.
Mr Moore said the Asia Pacific Le Mans Series race in Western Australia would need to be sanctioned by the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile, Confederation of Australian Motor Sports and the Automobile Club De L’Ouest.
“Le Mans is one of the most high-profile and oldest motorsport events in the world,” he said.
Mr Moore that the Le Mans Series in Perth would be three days of motor racing, climaxing in a six-hour, world-class motor race.
The series would bring together three classes of exotic sportscars – prototypes, GTS and GT - and attract teams from all over the world.
Mr Moore said the series would be televised throughout the world and would showcase Western Australian through signage and video tourism postcards.
It would be distributed in particular to Western Australia’s designated priority tourism markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as the developing markets of China, Italy and Thailand.
Hartley Joynt 9321 1444