GP hits head-on with footy again

 -  -  43


GEOFFREY HARRIS reveals that sports fans in Melbourne will have to make the choice in March between the footy and the Grand Prix:

Melbourne’s Formula One grand prix is set to clash with the opening round of the AFL season again next year. Footy and F1 ran up against each other on the last weekend of March this year, with the GP the big loser in terms of local media exposure – and the same is virtually guaranteed again. The Australian Grand Prix Corporation wanted next year’s F1 season-opening race to be a week earlier on March 18.

However, the recently-announced 2018 F1 calendar – with a record-equalling 21 GPs, including a return to Germany and France but without Malaysia – has the Australian round in Melbourne on the last weekend of March again, with race day Sunday the 25th. F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, which has taken control of the sport from long-time supremo Bernie Ecclestone, has not acceded to the AGPC request, after earlier indications it would. Indeed, there was something of a “lovefest” between the parties in the wake of this year’s event, with the local race organisers sensing that the seemingly affable Americans at Liberty would be more amenable to their requests. Liberty has agreed, at least, to allow the Supercars support races at the GP be part of Australia’s premier racing championship rather than non-points virtual demonstrations. While the AFL fixture won’t be announced for several months yet, its opening round is set to be on the same dates as the GP. That will leave the GP struggling again in the footy-mad AFL capital for media traction and to increase revenues on an event that constantly loses $60 million a year.

Supercar sponsor’s profits dry up

Round seven of this year’s V8 Supercar Championship (it’s now just the Supercars Championship, but the only cars competing are still all V8s) is in Townsville this weekend, sponsored by Queensland company Watpac.
However, Watpac recently advised the Australian stock market that it now isn’t expecting to have made any profit in the financial year just ended, raising doubts about whether the sponsorship will continue.
Watpac is a construction, property development and civil and mining services company.

In its stock market announcement, Watpac said its board “anticipates [the company’s] financial year 2017 underlying result will be broadly break-even”.
“This is lower than the underlying profit before tax result of $8.5 million reported in the previous financial year,” it said.

“Despite an initial expectation of a stronger second half in the construction segment, cost escalation pressures in the sector and other unforeseen market factors have persisted beyond original reasonable expectations.”
Watpac is “anticipating impairments” in the “carrying value of its plant and equipment and associated inventory assets”.
“Earnings are anticipated to remain adversely impacted by unfavourable market conditions over the near-term,” it said.

This year’s Supercars Championship is being dominated by New Zealanders, with DJR Penske teammates Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin at the top of the standings in a pair of Ford Falcons on 1330 and 1320 points respectively.
Reigning champion Shane Van Gisbergen, another Kiwi, is fourth on 1152 points, behind Triple Eight Race Engineering teammate and six-time champion Jamie Whincup – a Queensland-based Victorian – on 1314, that pair in Holden Commodores.

Motor racing – of all sorts – and Australian Football are the sporting passions, even obsessions, of GEOFF HARRIS, the journo known to family, friends and Sun News-Pictorial, Herald Sun and sportshounds.com.au colleagues as Harry.

mm

Author: Geoff Harris

Motor racing – of all sorts – and Australian Football are the sporting passions, even obsessions, of GEOFF HARRIS, the journo known to family, friends and Sun News-Pictorial, Herald Sun and sportshounds.com.au colleagues as Harry.

Comments

comments

43 recommended
comments icon 0 comments
0 notes
bookmark icon

Leave a Reply