x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Cregan: Local fans will love supercars

The Yas Marina Circuit's chief executive is confident that the Australian V8 Supercar Championship will be a hit with the UAE audience.

Yas Marina Circuit's chief executive, Richard Cregan, is confident that the Australian V8 Supercar Championship will be a hit with the UAE audience. The series' season opener is in Abu Dhabi today and tomorrow, and Cregan said spectators can expect an auto racing treat. "The V8 Supercar series is just so important to us for various different reasons," he said. "One is that it has a global reach that is very important to us in Australia, New Zealand and the Far East.

"The second is the fact it is just great racing and goes along to promoting motorsport within the UAE. "The V8s themselves are just very entertaining and I know it will be a great weekend of entertainment which is the business we are in," he added. Cregan expects a crowd of between 10,000 to 15,000 to attend the weekend of action at Yas Island, and while some dedicated supporters of V8 will be flying in from Australia to watch the racing, he predicts the event will also strike a chord with local auto racing fans.

"We have a very big Aussie ex-pat community here in the UAE and I think it will drive a lot of passion, home passion, in the group," he added. "What people can expect this weekend is an open paddock as we had in the GP2 [held earlier this month], great entertainment and they are going to see their drivers, they are going to see the cars and on top of that there is going to be great racing." Cregan regards the series as the second biggest, behind Formula One, that the circuit will host this year and he is confident that a corkscrew section of the track, which cuts out part of the long back straight to shorten the overall length, will add to the excitement of the event.

"We are using a new configuration of the track that we have never used for competition before which I think will really add value to the spectacle," he said. Support races on the programme are the UAE GT Championship, the Chevrolet Middle East, the Porsche Middle East Championship and the Gulfsport Radical Cup. @Email:gcaygill@thenational.ae