Jul 11, 2011
Look out, NASCAR! Here Come the SupercarsBy JR Nerad
V8 Supercars, Australia’s favorite racing series, has inked a deal with Circuit of the Americas, the race facility in Austin, Texas. Circuit of the Americas has also made a tentative deal with Formula 1 to host a Grand Prix race in 2012, so the supercars are coming to America whether we’re ready for them or not.
Formerly the Australian Touring Car Championship, V8 Supercars is one of Australia’s largest sports both in attendance and television viewership. In 2010, approximately 1.7 million people attended V8 Supercars events, including V8 Supercars’ 20-millionth spectator who showed up for the colorfully named Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Although a series involving Australian passenger cars may seem like an odd fit for the new U.S. facility, V8 Supercars has been airing on SPEED Channel for some time now. When the series comes to Austin, SPEED will televise the two 200-kilometer (i.e., 124-mile) races live throughout North and South America.
The deal was accompanied by serious fanfare. Texas Governor Rick Perry and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the five-year agreement to bring the series to the new Circuit of the Americas beginning in 2013. According to its sanctioning body, V8 Supercars is among the fastest-growing motorsports in the world, and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) recently sanctioned it as an international series.
In a relatively short period of time, the yet-to-be-completed facility in Austin has signed a lot of big deals. The pact with V8 Supercars comes in addition to already-existing 10-year agreements it has to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in 2012 and the MotoGP World Championship in 2013.
“The addition of V8 Supercars into our lineup at Circuit of The Americas will add to what we already know will be a rich and exhilarating fan experience,” says Steve Sexton, president of the new track. “We’re thrilled the racing world is so excited about our facility. Austin is poised to become the premier North American destination for international motorsports. In addition to hosting the four-wheel and two-wheel world championships, the United States will now enjoy the world’s best touring car series here in Austin.”
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