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V8 plans reach starting grid

A GRAND Prix-style V8 Supercar carnival is back on the agenda

for the city following a decision by Perth City Council to continue investigations into conducting the race on CBD streets.

The PCC sent Councillor Laurance Goodman to witness a similar event held in Canberra recently and he returned with glowing reports.

Mr Goodman said both cities had received major benefits from it.

Adelaide’s V8 Grand Prix drew 150,000 spectators in its first year and 162,000 in its second.

“If they can do it, so can we,” Mr Goodman said.

In April, it seemed Perth had lost any chance to hold the Supercar event when a bid by Kinhill’s Ross Roberts was refused.

In that proposal, Mr Roberts forecast the event would draw up

to 150,000 spectators and bring $20 million to WA.

However, his proposal involved major capital works, including cutting a road through Langley Park and the Ozone Reserve.

It also required removal of some of the Cocos Island palm trees that grace the Swan River Foreshore.

Mr Roberts said the PCC had squandered a golden opportunity and the event would now go to Malaysia.

Marlin Group chief Michael Rasheed has now put forth a proposal to stage a similar event.

However, this proposal is not expected to require such extensive capital works.

“The idea of a street event is to use the streets of the city – not create a special track,” Mr Rasheed said.

“We can’t go around ripping up Langley Park.”

While details of the Marlin proposed track are yet to be finalised, it is expected to involve a ‘Belltower straight’ and use of the car park off Victoria Avenue as a pit area.

Mr Rasheed said Perth was very important to the players behind the V8 Supercar series such as the Australian V8 Supercar Company (AVESCO) and Shell Motorsport.

“Shell would like to see V8 racing as a full national series as well as expanding it overseas,” he said.

“Kuala Lumpur, Brunei and South Africa have all indicated interest in holding similar events.”

Mr Rasheed said V8 car racing was the third best-watched sport in Australia.

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