THE United States will get an annual dose of Australian motorsport after the V8 Supercars today signed a milestone five-year deal to compete in Texas.

From 2013, the V8’s will contest two, 200-kilometre races held on a regular Friday to Sunday race weekend at The Circuit of Americas in Austin.

The 5.5km circuit is under construction and will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix Circuit in the United States. The US is home to the all-conquering Nascar, where former Australian V8 Supercar ace Marcos Ambrose is competing.

V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane, says the groundbreaking export deal includes the event being broadcast live through North and South America via the Fox-owned SPEED network, which covers the existing races of the Gold Coast-based championship.

“North Americans have embraced V8 Supercars through the SPEED network in a way that is beyond anything we could have imagined,” says Cochrane.

“It’s an amazing feat for an Australian-born sport, or business, to have such popularity in the world’s largest motorsport market. This is a huge deal for V8 Supercars and one that all Australians should be proud of.

“Our sport is delighted to have entered this partnership with Austin and the incredible Circuit of the Americas. This is a truly amazing place and one we hope many Australians will travel to.”

In announcing the deal alongside Cochrane, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Circuit of the Americas president Steve Sexton, described the V8 Supercars as ‘the world’s best touring car series’.

“The addition of V8 Supercars into our line up at Circuit of The Americas will add to what we already know will be a rich and exhilarating fan experience,” says Sexton.

“We’re thrilled the racing world is so excited about our facility. Austin is poised to become the premiere North American destination for international motorsports. In addition to hosting the four wheel and two wheel world championships, the United States will now enjoy the world’s best touring car series here in Austin.”

The new partnership will make the US the fifth offshore venue to host the V8 Supercars Championship in its history, joining New Zealand, China, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

The continued international expansion comes after Sydney investment firm Archer Capital purchased 60 per cent of the V8 Supercar brand for $300 million.

When announcing the sale in May, Cochrane told Gold Coast Business News the investment from Archer through its Australian Motor Racing Partners subsidiary would allow the brand to further extend its international reach.

In congratulating the V8’s on securing the US deal, Premier Bligh reaffirmed the State Government’s commitment to October’s Gold Coast 600 event.

“The five year deal between V8 Supercars Australia and Circuit of the Americas is a vote of confidence for other sports and Queensland businesses looking to expand to the US,” says Bligh.

“We've also secured the continuation of motor racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise through providing $6.5 million to V8 Supercars Australia to stage the Armor All Gold Coast 600 and helped ensure the Ipswich 300 remains a key event on the annual V8's calendar.”

V8 Supercars employs about 70 staff from its Nerang headquarters and an additional 800 people across the state. The motorsport is also set to capitalise on a partnership signed with Etihad Airlines in May that sees the UAE-based transport group become the official air travel provider.

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