V8 Supercars

Super Black Racing announces drivers


New Kiwi V8 Supercars team Super Black Racing will rely on two home-grown young guns for its race debut at Bathurst with Andre Heimgartner and Ant Pedersen selected to race in the Mount Panorama 1000-kilometre classic.

Heimgartner and Pedersen currently race in the second-tier Development Series and New Zealand’s V8 SuperTourers category with Heimgartner to make his V8 Supercars debut at Bathurst, while Pedersen will make just his second career start in the series.

Auckland-born Heimgartner is just 19 years old and is proud to be part of the new Kiwi-backed team.

“It is a big opportunity and to be in a New Zealand team is great as there will be a lot of support around us,” Heimgartner said.

“Ant and I are new to the whole Bathurst thing so we go in with an open mind but everything is in place for us to do well so I can’t wait.

“It is pretty special to be chosen to drive for a New Zealand team and to make my debut in their debut race is unique. Shane (van Gisbergen) did the same sort of thing and look where he has ended up so hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.”

Pedersen hails from Rotorua and was last year’s runner-up in New Zealand’s domestic series with four wins.

The 26-year-old has been waiting a long time for the opportunity to race in V8 Supercars top tier in competitive machinery and is eager to impress.

“Firstly I am hugely excited and grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the car for what is going to be a pretty special debut for Super Black,” Pedersen said.

“With a Kiwi team, Andre and I being Kiwis, it is all just really exciting. We certainly don’t underestimate the challenge. It will be really tough and we have to keep things in check in terms of our abilities and the expectations.  Read more »

How to lose friends and piss people off


Looks like Tony Cochrane is setting about isolating himself…but then again if he has Len brown and his tame ATEED folk looking after him he probably doesn;t care:

Just a fortnight after the V8 Supercars secured a new home at Pukekohe they’ve moved to stop their drivers racing in New Zealand, and top Kiwis Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen have pulled out of the local V8 Supertourer series.

While the V8 Supercars were scrapping on the streets of Townsville, a battle plan was being formulated in the series boardroom.

Three days after Auckland pledged $10 million to V8 Supercars the Australian series moved to stop their drivers racing in New Zealand Supertourer series.

“I don’t know what’s gone on between the two factions but it sounds like a couple of boys fighting in the schoolyard to me,” says Supertourer driver Andy Booth.

In a statement Supercars said: “If a driver commits to a fulltime, professional career with a team in the category, V8 Supercars would prefer that it is their complete focus, on and off the track.

“This is in line with all elite sporting bodies where, as a general rule, athletes do not compete in other codes or competitions, particularly during the primary season of competition.”

Comments from Supertourer boss Mark Petch are though to have sparked the row after he suggested that council money would better spent on the Kiwi series.

Let the games commence?

The unfolding V8 fiasco really confirms that Len Brown really is like a Roman Emperor.

In classical times the Roman elite would trick the poor and impoverished by declaring a month of feast and games.

Ludi were public games held for the benefit and entertainment of the Roman people (populus Romanus). Ludi were held in conjunction with, or sometimes as the major feature of, Roman religious festivals, and were also presented as part of the cult of state.

That same technique now applies at Auckland Council … cash-strapped Franklin business ratepayers are being told to forget about the massive rate increase and focus on a V8 race instead.

Not only that the poor and impoverished bogans are being hoodwinked that this is a good deal for Aucklamd.

The only wonder now is when Len Brown will announce the issuance of the Grain Dole for all citizens of Auckland

Waikato Regional Council writes to Len Brown

the tipline

The Chair and Mayor of the Waikato Regional Council have written to Len Brown over the V8 Supercars fiasco. It is very blunt and raises several very, very good questions that Mayor Len Brown really needs to answer as to why he pushed fot he V8 Supercars to be held at Pukekohe.

In particular they highlight the problem Lenny may have with resource consents.

Letter to Mayor Brown Re V8s

The V8 Super Cars, ATEED and a potential Conflict, Ctd

Earlier I blogged about Jennah Wootten, ATEED, sponsorshiop conflicts…but it appears I overlooked one major thing.

Len Brown’s appointee to ATEED is Richard Jeffrey.

Richard Jeffrey is a Brown patsy. He was the one behind the shonky donation by the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre to the Brown campaign for advertising, he was also an attendee at the infamous Volare dinner that Len Brown tried to hide until I went to the Ombudsman. Jeffrey ran the coverup on the donation. So he is a donor, indirectly, aids in cover ups and now is on the board of the organisation, appointed by Len Brown, hiding details from councillors.

Richard Jeffrey is also the one who kept a seat warm for Conor Roberts allowing him to campaign on the payroll, eventually to slide into a noce ratepayer funded job as Len Brown’s political advisor.

Wherever Richard Jeffrey is involved, secrecy, murk and coverup seem to follow.

Emails via the tipline also contend that Jennah Wootten is friendly to motorsport, of that there is no doubt, nor any secret…but the tipsters also state that she is as straight as a die. Perhaps she is a little embarrassed at running sposnosrship for ATEED and also sponsorship for a racing team…while not a hanging offence it isn’t tidy.

However tipsters from within motorsport are saying that the driver behind the V8 Supercars most definitely is Len Brown. One tipster says:

The V8s are run by an exceptionally smooth talking Aussie whose wife wears great big rings made of shiny stuff. You can bet they are real, and have been paid for by many municipalities over the years.

I am a motorsport person as well, and have put my hand out to the council on behalf of motorsport bodies many times. Never got as much as Cochrane got for the Aussie V8s. Nothing like it.

The biased question I ask myself is why do we want to spend our money supporting an Australian series which sucks up good NZ sponsorship dollars and distributes them around Australia and Mrs Cochrane’s ring finger?

So we really come down to the involvement of Len Brown, and his right hand man, funder and donor Richard Jeffrey.

The V8 Super Cars, ATEED and a potential Conflict

There is something very fishy going on in the Auckland Council and ATEED.

I believe there may be a conflict of interest now about the V8 Supercars decision. It involves the ATEED Manager Jennah Wootten and her relationship with the motor racing fraternity.

It seems Jennah Wootten’s brother Alastair Wootten is a racing driver and has a website (His father used to race cars too).

Yesterday Jennah Wootten was one of the contacts (sponsorship) on his website.

Today her name and details have been wiped from the website. Why?

This V8 saga is getting murky.

Who instructed Jennah to delete her “Sponsorship Director” contact details from her brother’s website?

Where are the Jounalists? Why are they not questioning Jennah Wootten’s racing car ties and that she/now was the  “Sponsorship Director” on her brother’s website?

Google still has the cached details:

There are some serious questions that now need to be asked, especially considering it looks like ATEED hid details from councillors, despite assurances from Len Brown that everything is above board.

Councillors approved $10.6 million on Thursday to ensure the return of the supercars to Pukekohe after Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) refused to show them a report on the financial position of parties involved in the event.

Councillors and the public have also been unable to see a “detailed risk review” referred to by Ateed because Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said it did not exist as a single document, but as a “multi-faceted” review of the risks.

They say that the cover up is what undoes you. Why did Jennah Wootten attempt to hide her involvement in motor racing by removing references to it on her brothers website. Why have ATEED refused to share information with councillors?Many questions…not many answers. Perhaps Len Brown wants to have a re-think on his ringing endorsement of ATEED and that everything was above board.

UPDATE: I have received a communication from ATEED that clarifies a few things. The website was changed because it was at least a year out of date. Full disclosure by Jennah Wootten has been provided during her tenure at ATEED in every respect.

The Board and Chief Executive of ATEED have complete confidence in Jennah and her exemplary work as the manager of the major events team, that has delivered a series of successful events for Auckland.

The people are speaking Lenny

NZ Herald

The results are fairly comprehensive from the online survey at The NZ Herald.

Fully 53% are against the race at Pukekohe at all wither thinking it is a complete waste of ratepayer cash (49%) or not happy at all about it being at Pukekohe (4%).

A further 24% aren’t interested in a car race anyway, bringing the total either opposed or dis-interested to 77%

Meanwhile just 11% are enthusiastic.

Perhaps Len’s lackeys should take a bit of notice. I think it is high time we started to campaign against profligate councillors and put them on a list to rinse them in the next local body elections.

Only George Wood, Sharon Stewart, Cathy Casey, Sandra Coney and Cameron Brewer can hold their heads high over this.

I t may have been interesting to have the vote when the full council was in attendance. Len Brown, Arthur Anae, John Walker, Mike Lee, Richard Northey, Dick Quax, Calum Penrose, Wayne Walker and IMSB member John Tamihere were all absent.

I doubt Calum Penrose would have voted for this waste, nor Dick Quax.

C&R should really look now to de-select Chris Fletcher and Noelene Raffills. While they are at it they should axe the current leadership of C&R who put in place the removal of caucus whipping that allowed these two to go against the principles of C&R. Noelene Raffills has become Len Brown’s conservative poodle so desperate she is to retain her committee chair job.

People seem focussed on standing someone against Len Brown for Mayor. They should not, what they need to do is focus on a credible, cross spectrum “Auckland First” ticket focused on representing ratepayers and fiscal conservatism and clean out the council leaving Len Brown as but one vote on a council stacked against him.

I for one would be interested in establish such a ticket and campaign. C&R have lost their way, they should be retired, same goes for Labour and City Vision…time is up on petty party politics in Auckland. Time for a new way.

Cathy Casey is right

NZ Herald

For once Cathy Casey is right. I hope the Auditor-General finds out who ordered the murky cover-up around the V8 Super Car decisions. This has all the hallmarks of the Volare dinner scandal that Len Brown tried long and hard to hide:

The Auditor-General is investigating Auckland councillor Cathy Casey’s complaint that a secret report on the V8 supercars was hidden from the council by its standalone events body.

Councillors approved $10.6 million on Thursday to ensure the return of the supercars to Pukekohe after Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) refused to show them a report on the financial position of parties involved in the event.

Councillors and the public have also been unable to see a “detailed risk review” referred to by Ateed because Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said it did not exist as a single document, but as a “multi-faceted” review of the risks.

“I am dumbfounded that a council-controlled organisation can refuse to disclose to councillors a ratepayer-funded due diligence report ahead of a major decision involving $10.6 million of ratepayers’ money,” Dr Casey said in a letter to Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

“This rushed decision … was made in the absence of crucial risk and due diligence information.”

V8s gone to the birds

With the V8s gone and the financial fallout that remains it seems that Hamilton has gone to the birds.

Is this what Michael Redman and Bob Simcock meant when they set up the Tron to be the events capital of New Zealand?

I wonder if Michael got things in train for Auckland to get the V8s before he resigned from ATEED?

I wonder how watertight that agreement is with the Aussies eh, Len?

Waste of money


The Auckland Council has voted to spend up large so that Pam Corkery and her bogan mates can watch taxis race around Pukekohe. The ratepayers and taxpayers take one in the chook again:

The New Zealand V8 Supercars race will move back to Auckland’s Pukekohe raceway for the first time since 2007.

Government funding of more than $2 million has helped Auckland secure the race.

New Zealand has hosted an annual round of the V8 Supercar Championship since 2001, first in Auckland at Pukekohe and as a street race in Hamilton since 2008.

But last year Audit New Zealand issued a damning report of the processes involved in Hamilton’s hosting of the event.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown recently suggested the super city would take over hosting the race again from this year.

That was confirmed after the city’s strategy and finance committee voted in favour of a proposal to host the race – at a cost of $10.5 million over five years to ratepayers.

Taxpayers will also be picking up part of the tab.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the Government’s Major Events Development Fund would make a one-off investment of up to $2.2m to support infrastructure upgrades in Auckland.

The money will go towards an upgrade of Pukekohe Park Raceway in time for the 2013 championship.