/ 10 March 2010

Motorsport SA ‘understands’ contract canning

Motorsport SA (MSA) says it understands the Gauteng government’s decision to cancel its international contracts with the sport beyond 2010.

Whilst it was a huge disappointment not to have an event like the World Superbikes on home soil, it supported the government’s stance, Francois Pretorius, managing director of the sport’s controlling body in South Africa said in a statement.

Provincial minister of economic development Firoz Cachalia announced on Monday the provincial government’s decision to cancel its contracts with the sport beyond 2010, saving about R700-million. The savings had been re-allocated to the provincial treasury.

The remaining two motorsport events scheduled for 2010 would still be funded by the government.

Cachalia said all contracts were cancelled in an amicable manner to avoid legal action.

In the 2008/09 financial year the department spent R167-million on hosting rights for motorsport events and in 2009/10, R118-million was to be spent.

Cachalia said the benefits of the province hosting motorsport events were inflated.

Pretorius said MSA once again urged promoters to work through and consult with the controlling body, prior to entering into any commercial agreements with rights holders of international motorsport.

“MSA was not party to the negotiations, nor has it had sight of the contracts between the parties,” he said.

Pretorius confirmed a round of the World Superbikes would be held at Kyalami on May 16. — Sapa