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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-24-10 02:34 PM
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Aussie V8 tracks 'must lift standards'
With the V8 Supercar championship set to start its season overseas for the first time, driver James Courtney has urged Australian tracks to lift their standards.

The Dick Johnson Racing pilot says this weekend's event at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit will be raced at the "world's best facility" and it highlights the standards the V8 Supercar championship demands these days.

The Abu Dhabi event is one of three outside Australia in this year's series, with another event at Bahrain next weekend and then the Hamilton 400 in April in New Zealand.

But back in Australia, Perth's Barbagallo circuit was dumped from this year's calendar earlier this month and the event at Queensland Raceway almost suffered a similar fate, while Sydney's Eastern Creek no longer seems an option for V8 organisers after pitiful crowds there the last time a championship round was held in 2007.

While Courtney says the trip to the Middle East is "excellent" for the championship, he also feels Australian events cannot become sidelined by international races if the series is to continue to grow.

"To showcase at the best facility in the world, it's what sort of facilities our championship has grown to," Courtney told AAP.

"The downside to that is that our championship probably has outgrown a lot of the facilities that we have in Australia and we're having to go outside to keep the level of professionalism that people are expecting."
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