International rallycross promoter Ron Dixon is determined to stage another championship next summer, despite suffering hefty losses after forecasts of stormy weather deterred thousands of potential spectators.
"I am keen to give it another go, I do not like failure," the father of IndyCar champion Scott Dixon said after last month's inaugural event at Tauranga's Baypark attracted only 3500 fans.
However, he was unsure if the proposed series format raced over four or five rounds would include Baypark, unless he received support from Bay Venues Ltd to hold the grand final at the stadium.
I am keen to give it another go, I do not like failure.
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Baypark was transformed for New Zealand's first arena international rallycross on February 27-28, but unfavourable weather forecasts kept potential out-of-town spectators at home.
Looking on the bright side, Mr Dixon said the non-arrival of the rain at least meant locals turned up, otherwise his "substantial" losses would have been massive.
The prospect of a washout forced him to cancel the cameras and big screens that would have allowed spectators in the stadium to watch the tarmac section of the race through the pits. He said he had to take the criticism for this decision on the chin, although it reduced his losses by about $25,000.
Mr Dixon declined to say how much he had lost: "It was not a financial success, end of story."
Financial lessons learned from holding the event at a major motorsport arena like Baypark meant he was now looking at a new format involving a series of meetings at smaller more affordable club speedway tracks where he could hire the whole venue, including food and beverage outlets.
The series would culminate in a grand final which he said could be held at a larger venue like Baypark, although he suggested Bay Venues might need to "give him a hand" to make it work.
Mr Dixon said the base cost to hire Baypark for the two days was $30,000, plus substantial additional charges.
"The biggest problem was the cost of the venue."
He said big operators like Baypark controlled the other income, like food and beverage sales and corporate hospitality.
"If we go to the small venues and keep costs right down, we could make it economic."
Mr Dixon said he had the basic infrastructure and support of drivers, and it was now a matter of building on what he had learned. He expected to know within a month where he was heading with rallycross, with the aim of getting the series under way as soon as the rally season ended in November.
Bay Venues chief executive Gary Dawson said the strategy for Baypark was to have more speed-type events and they were always looking for innovative ideas. He said they would listen to whatever Mr Dixon had to say, but it would have to be a compelling case to assist him in the way he seemed to be suggesting.
Mr Dawson said a lot of staff time went into assisting Mr Dixon to get the rallycross set up and packed down.
"We are always open to look at different ways to do things."
He said Bay Venues tried to work in partnership with anyone who had a good idea: "We are happy to sit down with him, but we are making no commitments at this stage."