Australia`s V8 series looks to follow F1 to India

Sydney: Australia`s V8 Supercars series is in talks to follow Formula One by taking its brand of touring car racing to India from next year, a government trade official said on Friday.

The inaugural Indian Grand Prix will take place at a purpose-built circuit outside New Delhi on Oct. 30 and V8 officials are hoping to stage a race there and another on a street circuit in the southern city of Chennai.

Peter Linford, Australia`s senior trade commissioner in New Delhi, said the first step would be to get an Indian driver and Indian team racing in the series.

"Having an Indian driver with an Indian team racing against all of the other Australians makes a lot of sense because that will give us the opportunity to televise the series more popularly in India," he said.

"Then when the series does come to India it will have a fan base already established."

The V8 series, which has attracted crowds of more than 200,000 on home soil, has its origins firmly in Australia but already opens its season at the Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Linford conceded that although there had been a "base sponsorship commitment" from Australia, India was very much focused on making sure the Formula One debut goes without a hitch.

"There`s a bit of work to do, and in fairness to the Indians front of mind for them at the moment is their first F1 race," Linford said.

"To talk to them about V8s is a little bit difficult because they`re so focused on getting the track ready, especially as they haven`t run an F1 race there before."

Bureau Report

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