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Sep 21, 2013

SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE TO SWITCH IN 2014 SEASON

2014 season set for a Melbourne kick-off and spectacular finale’ in Sydney amongst other changes to next year’s calendar.

The following story was first published in The Racing Magazine, the official publication of the Shannons Nationals. You'll be able to download the full copy of Issue 7 on Sunday, September 22nd.

A MOVE to capitalise on Melbourne’s massive start to the motor racing year is behind a push to open the 2014 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals in the Victorian capital.

In what is set to be a straight swap between Australia’s two biggest cities, the 2014 season is expected to start at Sandown and end at Sydney Motorsport Park in November.

The move to an early-March start in Melbourne will add to the slate of high-profile racing events in and around the city at that time of year, including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, and the massive Phillip Island historic meeting.

“We hope to be able to tie in with several of those events and perhaps capitalise on Melbourne being the ‘Motor Sport capital’ of Australia for that month,” Shannons Nationals director told The Racing Magazine.

“The programming works better for the folks at Sandown and gets the Shannons Nationals round out of a busy start to the year at Sydney Motorport Park. We like the idea of ending the year in Sydney and ending the year with a bang there.”

Series organisers say they will investigate ways of working with similar events in Melbourne next March to cross-promote each meeting.

“There is a potential for us to investigate partnering with events like the Phillip Island Historics, doing some ticketing deals or something similar to boost crowds at both events,” Curkpatrick said.

“It makes sense to work together to grow all of the events and showcase the massive amount of motor sport-related activities available to racing fans throughout the month. We’re working away on that and will see how it goes.”

Outside of the first-for-last swap between Sydney and Melbourne, the remainder of the 2014 Nationals calendar looks to follow a similar course to this year, again visiting four states and a wide array of circuits.

Mallala (April), Phillip Island (May and September), a second Sydney Motorsport Park date in July, the now-annual Queensland Raceway event in August and Wakefield Park’s October date look set to potentially retain near-identical places in the calendar as this year.

“Consistency has been key for us and we are working now to build date equity and a regular following for our events,” Curkpatrick said. We want to work with our promoters to build their rounds, draw more spectators, more car clubs and, importantly, more competitors into each event and having a regular date in the calendar will be an asset to help achieve that.”