As today's Driven went to press, Auckland's councillors were under the gun on a ridiculously tight deadline to make a decision on funding, via a sponsorship package, a V8 Supercars round at Pukekohe.
It is exactly this sort of pressure-cooker situation that sees bad decisions made around events like this - they're hard enough for council to get its collective, large, head around at the best of times. Ask V8 fans in Hamilton just what differing political views, backroom points-scoring and lack of knowledge and understanding of large-scale motorsport events can do. Put a 48-hour clock on it and things aren't going to be done in the best possible way - for council, ratepayers and, of course, us motorsport fans.
As a fan, I'm always happy to see motorsport get a bit of funding. But as a ratepayer, I also have to ask whether funding series like V8 Supercars is the right move? This is, after all, a very commercial Aussie series that outgrew Australia. Pressure from promoters is not a recipe for success and can eventually see the whole deal collapse into argument, scandal and cost fans the sport they love. We've seen it all before.
And is funding local motorsport more important? There are numerous series running in New Zealand that often struggle for funding. These are the classes that have seen young local drivers getting some real success overseas - look at Scott Dixon, Mitch Evans, Hayden Paddon and Brendon Hartley, and many others. These guys, their families, friends and supporters have bled from the wallet for years in order to get into the big game overseas.
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Fond farewell for Driven team member
Driven has been saddened with the news of the death of a member of our team, John Haimona. He joined the NZ Herald motoring sales rep team in 1985 and in 2002 became our sales support then administration assistant. Farewell "high plains drifter".