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Aussie GP organizers now threaten lawsuit, switch to IndyCar

Mar 28, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Race Getty Images

From 1991 to 2008, American open-wheel racing annually made a visit to Australia at the beloved Surfers Paradise Street Circuit. But what if the current Verizon IndyCar Series was able to make its way back Down Under at the home of Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix?

Race organizers are still agitated over the lack of noise from F1’s new V6-powered machines, which they say detracted from the atmosphere during the Grand Prix earlier this month.

Now, after alleging that the quieter cars may have breached their contract with F1 management, the organizers have continued their saber-rattling by not only threatening a lawsuit but also bringing up IndyCar as a possible replacement at Albert Park.

“We may as well go and buy an IndyCar race for $3.5m [AUS]. It would be hugely louder,” Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker told the UK’s Independent this week.

“It would be a drastic change to switch to IndyCar but we cannot go on like this.”

Walker also added that the new sound of F1 was “a disgrace” and that as a result, promoters will resort to having to “go and get an IndyCar race or something like that to keep the fans.”

As for the matter of the possible lawsuit, Walker says he has written F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to inform him that F1’s Promoters Association group (of which Walker is the chairman) will meet in two weeks’ time to discuss the matter.

“We can’t just sit back and wait,” he declared. “There’s a strong wind blowing here. Legal action would not be very difficult. Bernie is clearly in breach of his contract because this is not what we bought…”

“I didn’t buy a wimp. Originally, I bought a giant with noise.”

Ecclestone himself has said that he was talking with FIA president Jean Todt about ways to make the cars louder, like their V8-powered predecessors. However, he has told Sky Sports in Malaysia that the noise was louder than he expected and that if it were raised a little bit more, “it will be alright.”

Todt himself appears open to the idea of louder engines, even though he has said he finds the V6 tones “fascinating” from his perspective.

  1. testover6370 - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Which is a sillier notion, the idea that Long Beach could upgrade to F1 standards for only $9 million, or switching series just for the noise?

    Indycars do sound better than F1, but a better reason is the sanctioning fee. If money is tight for this event, and it is hard to think democratic governments aren’t looking to reduce payments for events like this, then a cheaper series like Indycar does become attractive. Albert Park is a nice street circuit that’s not just a concrete canyon so it could be a good Indycar stop, especially if they want to start their season sooner.

  2. chad4208 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    What babies. People all over the world are silly, idiotic no common sense Morons.

  3. techmeister1 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    If all people care about is noise they’re just clueless sheeple.

  4. chad4208 - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Turn the volume up..LOL

  5. kitnamania13 - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Australia was in the unfortunate position of being the first race in this new era. Over time, the hysteria will die down. The cars do sound a lot better in Malaysia. I don’t know if it’s me getting used to it, better microphone placement, or the longer straights, but it seems better than two weeks ago.

  6. aquariumracing - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    Yes. Get rid of a race because it has V6 turbos, and replace it with a race using V6 turbos. Sensible

    • 1994i500pushrodpower - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      “Get rid of a race because it has V6 turbos (that sound like a race between Bissell and Dyson vacuum cleaners) and replace it with a race using (thoroughbred sounding) V6 turbos (that make PAYING fans feel like they are at a racing event)”. Yes that does make “cents”. And “cents” is what puts the cars on the track.

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