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Report into GC600 success pending

Source: The Gold Coast Bulletin
By: Shannon Willoughby, chief reporter

cochrane_goldcoast600A SECRET report into the stand-alone success of the V8 Supercars and the possibility of bringing in another international race to the GC 600 is under way.

The Bulletin understands the report -- commissioned by Events Queensland -- has looked at a range of factors including the event's return on its multi million dollar investment and its financial and social impact.

It is understood it will also look at whether the GC 600 brand fits with the city and whether the event has retained its "gloss" from previous years.

The report was promised two years ago -- after the A1GP debacle, which left the Gold Coast red-faced after the open-wheeler cars failed to show up -- and follows the success of Indy, which previously dominated the tourism calendar.
While many Gold Coasters would welcome the event's growth, securing an international race has been made harder because of the proposed light rail track.

When the light rail is completed, the track would not be suitable for an open-wheeler like Indy cars.

"There are very few international race cars which will be able to race on the track (through Surfers Paradise)," said an industry expert.

Sources close to the report said they thought it might have been released before the State Government went into caretaker mode in the lead-up to the election.

However, Events Queensland said it had not yet been completed.

V8 Supercars boss Tony Cochrane (pictured right) said he was aware of the report and was awaiting its release.

He said the report was designed to establish three things -- whether all parties were happy, the possibility of adding an international category and whether the event needed more funding.

Mr Cochrane said he would welcome the arrival of an international event.

He also said that the financial benefit the V8s brought to the city was crucial to the tourism industry's survival.

"We know this has a net impact of $35 million into the economy," said Mr Cochrane.

"The Gold Coast must retain every major event it can get right now.

"Tourism spend is so important and until we put up the full sign, every event that is on the Gold Coast -- whether it be GC 600, Magic Millions or a surf carnival -- is important to the city."

He said any event that attracted 170,000 people should not be dismissed lightly.

"There are so many sports which would give their right arm to attract 170,000 people to an event."
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