One of the most irritating aspects of the weekend's V8 racing in Hamilton has been the reporting about reduced tickets sales. I'm unsure what planet some people are on, but we are, in fact, in a recession.

Getting the same number of people who showed up for the inaugural event was never going to be on the cards. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realise the novelty factor wears off after the first event.

Last year over 120,000 turned up and that was just before the real economic hurt started to bite. This year the three-day meeting saw over 100,000 people come through the gates. I would hazard a guess no other sporting event in New Zealand could put claim to those numbers. At recent cricket test matches in this country it would be a miracle if a day's attendance reached three figures.

Rugby's not much better - the Chief's match over the weekend would have been lucky to get over 8000. As a percentage of the population in New Zealand, the Hamilton ITM400 this weekend saw 2.3 per cent of the population front up. If anyone thinks that's bad you need your head read.

I would seriously doubt a weekend of the Rugby World Cup in one town anywhere in the country would be able to boast figures like that.

Wandering around the spectator area there were more fans than last year. Talking to the organisers, it's not motorsport fans who have turned their backs on the event; it's the corporate hospitality people. Hospitality numbers are counted towards overall attendance figures and since they have been on average 5000 down each day, of course that's going to impact on total numbers.

But it's the fans who make an event a success not those attending on a free jolly. If the fans on the ground are turning up, the future of the New Zealand round of the Australian V8 Supercars is here to stay.

One thing irks though, what's with the haka at a motor race meeting? It's motorsport - not a cultural group hug. Loud noise, the smell of petrol and fast cars have always been synonymous with grid girls, not a bunch of unfit, half-naked men leaping about.