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Re: MGs at Adelaide LeMans Series

To: MG List <>
Subject: Re: MGs at Adelaide LeMans Series
From: Eric <>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 15:12:04 +0000
Richard Spurling wrote:
> That's nice Eric, but, just to show the contempt Panoz and his mates 
> have for the city that has paralysed much of its centre to run this 
> piddling race, there is NO telecast.


I actually did not know that there was no telecast planned until just
before the race weekend and was baffled, too.  Also, and those who have
worked trackside can probably attest to this too, I have really little
idea how well the race was supported by the public even though we heard
that 130,000 people turned up.  At my far-flung section of the track
there didn't seem to be that many people around (although I walked
through the INXS outdoor concert after drinking all the free beer at the
after-race party and there was a MASSIVE crowd there).

I think there were a number of factors at play here.

Firstly, the television coverage of the whole series all year) has been
minimal with just the compressed package of clips hardly showcasing the

Secondly, the series has an unknown support base in Australia.  We have
one regular Aussie driver to cheer for (David Brabham) and in this race
we had a few more, but apart from those, many of the general public
don't know the drivers and teams or feel passionate about supporting
them (they all know the F1 big names and it isn't like Holden versus
Ford or the V8 races that get hours of coverage most weekends).

Thirdly, pre-sales of tickets weren't monstrous with a quoted "more than
a thousand" prime pit-straight stand tickets unsold by race weekend.

Fourthly, the poor coverage all-year points to a sewn-up
television-rights deal (and not with any Aussie television network.

Add to this the fact that not all the teams were coming out and put all
these together with national network commitments (like the Hopman Cup
tennis) and I think you will find that the television rights would have
been hard to sell.  This race was truly a suck-it-and-see event for
everyone  and a sales pitch for the future planned races (that will NOT
be held on New Year's Eve). 

Let's face it.  The Indy300 Champ Car race on the Gold Coast wasn't
massively covered outside of Queensland (or even inside of Queensland in
the first year) for a few years and still isn't as heavily
promoted/covered as F1 got to be.  I may stay up after midnight on a
Monday night to watch the CART series races but not everyone else does. 
And I may be a big CART series supporter (go Fernandez!) but I reckon if
the first Aussie CART race was held in Adelaide then the coverage would
have been the same.

I was initially suspicious, but if we get the full season's coverage and
get ALL (or most) of the teams coming to Adelaide in the future then I
predict that the event will take off AND will get proper television

>From an 'inside' point of view the Aussies did a GREAT job of
organisation and were praised massively for the slickness of the
officials/workers trackside.  We have a huge team of very professional
workers for these events and as usual the team at my flagpoint came from
all over Australia (with a lot of them regulars at all of the F1 races).

Richard, I think it will get better... don't worry.


PS I really have to upgrade my licence and car and get it out on the
track more :-)

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