V8 Supercar Championship boss Tony Cochrane has urged the Indy Racing League to 'do the right thing' and ink a deal to confirm an IndyCar Series event for the Australian Gold Coast.
While the series will compete at Surfers Paradise this weekend with a non-championship race, no decision has yet been taken about whether or not the event will continue next year – with a decision due to be taken in the next few weeks.
Speaking during the race weekend, Cochrane said that IRL chiefs should stop trying to hold the event to ransom and sign on the dotted line, although he assured fans that V8s would continue to pound the Gold Coast streets even if the American open-wheel series wasn't there – with a number of alternatives available to fill the slot.
“There are lots of alternatives out there around the world and I don't think we should be held to ransom here,” Cochrane was quoted by Bigpond Sport
. “Australians don't like being backed into a corner and I think quite frankly they (the IRL) should do the right thing and re-sign.
“If they don't there are other alternatives out there that are very viable. You've got GP2, F3, Formula Nippon; there's just three open wheel series.”
At the moment, the main sticking point in talks to bring the IndyCar Series back to Australian shores again in 2009 centre around the date for the race – with the IRL keen for September date which would see the event run back-to-back with the event at Twin Ring Motegi.
However, that would lead to a clash with other major Australian sporting events and would take the event away from its traditional slot – leaving Cochrane somewhat bemused.
“I think it's a bit rich that they suddenly turn up and want to change the dates with no respect for the local community, for V8 Supercars Australia nor for host broadcasters, the 7 Network,” he said. “I would hope that common sense prevails.”