AVESCO boss Tony Cochrane (pictured) predicts ‘unstoppable growth’ for Australia’s premier motor racing category after an 11.2 per cent net profit increase in 2009.

The organisation will splash a record $11 million on marketing this year after securing pop-punk idol Pink as the face of V8s in Australia – a $5 million increase from 2009.

“We have the hottest female artist in the world on board and it has been a significant spend, but it’s a great investment,” says Cochrane.

“Pink gives us access to a much younger, global demographic and we have experienced a dramatic increase in traffic to our site. It’s a great investment.”

The globalisation of the V8 Supercar brand will see races telecast in North America and throughout Asia following a new slate of TV deals, while another Australian event will be added in 2011/12 following strong proposals from three prospective cities.

“We see no stopping to the growth, we are in a very exciting phase this year. We are now in four countries and have 15 events,” says Cochrane.

“There has been three serious offers for another Australian event to be added in 2011 or 2012 and we will be closer to making a decision on that in June. They understand what a tremendous economic injection the V8s are.”

Cochrane says AVESCO throttles $100 million annually into the South East Queensland economy. Turnover (all entities) in 2008 was $25 million.

This year the streets of Surfers Paradise will rumble in a new era of motor racing when the V8 Supercars SuperCarnivale roars to life in place of the calamitous SuperGP event.

Cochrane received an SOS call from the Bligh Government to take over management of the bungled event following the sacking of IMG and has gathered six of the historic Gold Coast Indy Carnival’s most successful management personnel to ensure a successful event ‘rebirth’ this year.

In anticipation of a throwback to Gold Coast motor racings’ ‘glory days’, previous event identities Shane Howard, Geoff Jones, John Howe, Ken Jeffress and Brett Murray join Cochrane to launch the new Gold Coast Supercarnivale framework later this month.

Cochrane says the expertise of the newly-formed management team will oversee the event return to the forefront of the Gold Coast’s tourism and entertainment industry.

“Somebody had to take control after the complete debacle of last year,” he says.

“We have seen enormous growth, our events team is world class and we are delighted to take up the challenge and work with State Government and the Gold Coast City Council on SuperCarnivale.

“We put forward our case and sought to rectify some of the misconceptions that have been left for too long with the existing event on the Gold Coast.”

The State Government will invest $11.6 million a year into events on the Gold Coast, with $6.5 million going towards the SuperCarnivale.

The event will be conducted over three days from Friday to Sunday, including an international driver race on Friday and a 600km endurance race run in two 300km phases over Saturday and Sunday.

AVESCO will increase staff to 60 this year, including the appointment of UK motor racing supremo Martin Whitaker to be appointed CEO in April.

“We are debt free and have great financial scope,” says Cochrane.

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