For the second year running, volunteers working on New Zealand’s largest annual motorsport event, the ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars race, have scooped the ‘Best Volunteer Group’ award at the annual V8 Supercars awards.
The award was presented at the annual V8 Supercars Gala Awards Dinner last night in Sydney. The awards recognise achievements throughout the year, and are attended by V8 Supercars officials, sponsors, drivers, team personnel and media.
More than 500 volunteers worked on the ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars in November.
The Best Volunteer Group award is judged by V8 Supercars race directors and stewards, who rate volunteers at each of the 16 events on V8 Supercars Australia’s annual race calendar.
Volunteers at each event are judged on a number of categories, including the professionalism of race control, administration and flag marshals, and the speed of vehicle recovery from the track in the event of an accident.
James Warburton, V8 Supercars CEO, congratulated volunteers on winning the award for the second year running.
“We couldn't run the ITM 500 Auckland without the hard work and cooperation of our volunteers. Their commitment, professionalism, and courteous and friendly manner is a vital part of creating a world-class event for fans."
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) - which, on behalf of Auckland Council, invests $1 million in sponsorship annually to the V8 Supercars event as part of Auckland's major events portfolio - accepted the award on Auckland’s behalf.
Brett O’Riley, ATEED Chief Executive, says taking the Best Volunteer Group award two years in a row is a credit to the passion and professionalism of the volunteers.
“Hundreds of volunteers give their time and effort to events in Auckland every year, and they are an important part of Auckland’s track-record and reputation for hosting world-class events.
“The ITM 500 Auckland is a significant event for Auckland – the only V8 Supercars event in New Zealand, and one which brings around $7 million into the regional economy each year. It delivers about 35,000 visitor nights a year for the region’s hospitality operators and generates international media exposure, particularly in the key Australian market, all key outcomes for Auckland’s Major Events Portfolio,” says Brett O’Riley.
“At its heart, it delivers an unforgettable weekend for motorsport fans and the V8 Supercars drivers, and the 500-odd volunteers who work on the event are a big part of making it such a memorable event. I’m very proud that their contribution has been recognised for the second year in a row.”
Andrew Baker, Franklin Local Board Chair, says the consecutive awards reflect both the region’s commitment to motor racing and the close-knit community’s sense of camaraderie and pitching in.
“Pukekohe is New Zealand’s spiritual home of motor racing, and that is reinforced each year when hundreds of Pukekohe and Franklin locals step up to help make the event the huge success it is. They are joined by volunteers from around the country and even across the Tasman, who know volunteering on the event will be a great experience,” says Andrew Baker.
“We look forward to welcoming the V8 Supercars back in 2016.”
The next ITM 500 Auckland event will be held from 4-6 November 2016 at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
The 2013 and 2014 ITM Auckland V8 Supercars events returned more than $7 million each year to the regional economy.