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The management team of the only New Zealand round of the Australian V8 Supercars has announced a naming sponsor for next year's event on April 16-18.

The 2010 event will be sponsored by ITM, New Zealand's largest group of independent trade building supply merchants, for the next three years and will be known as the ITM 400.

The deal shows that the Hamilton V8 street race is in fine health and looking to continue its popularity growth. The announcements are an exciting development for the race that has attracted 300,000 fans in the first two years at its new venue.

"To secure a naming sponsor of this significance provides increased commercial credibility and to achieve this outcome in the current economic climate speaks volumes for the stature of our event and our belief that V8 Supercars can deliver a value-for-money, positive return on investment for sponsors," said event director, Steve Vuleta.

The announcement has met with a positive response from V8 Supercars. "The ITM 400 in Hamilton is without doubt the best sporting event in New Zealand. It is also a vital part of our championship and its long-term future," said V8 Supercars executive chairman Tony Cochrane.

The organisers, pleased with a favourable date in the last week of the school holidays, said they felt it important to recognise the current economic climate in ticket pricing.

In launching the 2010 event, the organisers released details of the new Flexipass ticket - the ultimate general admission ticket - revised and larger gold-level grandstands and significant lowering of pricing in all silver grandstand and general admission categories.

"We have reduced our pricing for general admission and silver grandstands by approximately 30 per cent," said Vuleta. "Fans will be able to come to the event for as little as $19 (one day pass for the Friday) or a three-day grandstand seat for only $95. We believe that is excellent value for money."

The new Flexipass ticketing is extremely good value for money. It gives ticket holders a guaranteed elevated seat in one of the four stands - High St, Frankton, Empire and Pit Entry - for the whole weekend. While not allocating a specific seat, the Flexipass does reserve a seat for you in any one of the four grandstands on a first-come first-served basis.

Rest assured that doesn't mean if you rock up to a stand all the seats will be gone. It means that for every Flexipass sold there will be an allocated seat somewhere in the stand.

"We have converted four of our existing grandstands to the new flexi-ticket seating. Basically this is an enhanced general admission ticket but with the benefit of an allocated grandstand seat - all for only $95 for all three event days," said Vuleta.

The early notice of the date for next year will help fans plan ahead. It's a much better date as it falls right at the end of the school holidays and clear of other public holidays like Easter.

More importantly, the organisers need to know the demand for seating, as they have to build the stands well in advance. So get your order in quick and Vuleta and his crew can build enough seats for you all.

"Help me, help you," said Vuleta. "I want to make sure that the seat you want to be in, I build for you. But I don't know to build if I don't know you're coming. Don't leave it too late; we're a temporary facility and not a permanent stadium. So we need people to buy early so we can provide them with what they want."

A cut-off date will be announced in the near future and rest assured, this is not a revenue-gathering stream. The organisers of the weekend's event do not get paid a cent from Ticketek until after the event has finished. "It's not about the money, it's just about catering adequately for those who want to come," said Vuleta.

The Hamilton 400 is also planning a road show throughout the country later this year; keep reading Superwheels for an exciting announcement in the next few weeks about support class news and on- and off-track entertainment.

Purchase any Grandstand or Flexipass ticket to the ITM 400 before December 15, 2009 and go in the draw to win one of 10 double holiday trips to the 2010 Bathurst 1000 - the ultimate motorsport prize.

* The Flexistand ticket has it all

The ultimate general admission ticket at $95 is priced at $10 below the 2009 general admission ticket price and just $16 more than the new general admission price for 2010 at $79.

This ticket not only gives you all that the standard general admission ticket does - access to venue, parklands and viewing track side - but the big plus is a guaranteed elevated grandstand seat.

The organisers have converted four existing stands on High St, Frankton, Empire and Pit Entry to the new flexistand ticket. This gives the ticket holder the flexible option of any and all of those stands during the weekend. You can move around and watch the racing action from different vantage points throughout all days.

The organisers are not planning to build general admission bleacher seats trackside, as for only $16 more than a general admission ticket the holder can view the circuit from an elevated grandstand seat.

Tickets are on sale now. All information is available on the website, www.itm400.co.nz, with ticket sales online from the website or at all Ticketek outlets.