Mar.27 (GMM) A rival city is revving up its efforts to take the Australian grand prix from Melbourne after 2014.
Since 1996, the Albert Park event has been funded by the Victorian taxpayer, but the events minister of the New South Wales government has admitted he is bidding to have the race switched to Sydney.
“There are a few hurdles we will need to overcome, but I am confident we can work through these challenges,” said minister Ian Macdonald to the local Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Sources in the F1 paddock on Friday had said the Sydney bid is for a race at Homebush, an inner western suburb.
“Sydney is better placed to be able to generate greater international interest in this event than Melbourne, because of its high international standing,” the minister added.
Rival Victorian minister Tim Holding described the New South Wales government as the “nation’s biggest blowhards”.
“First they were going to steal our tennis, then the AFL (football) grand final, then it was Tiger Woods and now the grand prix,” he said.
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker also attacked the plans.
“The NSW government does not have the focus, passion or drive to seek major events like we do in Victoria.
“(It) has been in hibernation since the Olympics — they’ve done nothing since then,” he added.