By JOHN MACNICHOLS, Associated Press racecourse AUSTRALIA is bracing for an influx of racers from the United States, as a new generation of Australian racers enters the Australian sport.
It is part of a growing trend to bring the country’s growing sport into Australia, which has become the largest market for the sport since the late 1980s.
In a move that is likely to spark controversy, the state government in Victoria is considering whether to offer a $2 million Grand Slam race to an American who has won the US Open.
Racecourse owner Brian Smith said he has already donated to the New Jersey-based charity, which focuses on helping children and families of the U.S. military, veterans and the disabled.
Smith said the idea to make a donation to ATS has come about because of the influx of U.C. Davis racers.
“I thought, if I can help someone, I’ll do it,” Smith said.
The event will be held in Melbourne’s Royal Melbourne Hotel, where it will feature live coverage and live-streaming on the ATS website.
Smith and ATS CEO Michael Cappella said they are looking to raise $3.6 million for the charity.
“If we raise the amount of money, we can have a Grand Slam of Aussie riders on the road to Australia, we’re looking to get more and more people into this sport,” Capplla said.
“Our goal is to raise a lot of money for a charity that’s already been doing fantastic work and is going to get even better.”
Smith said he and Cappalla were not considering the decision based on race funding.
“We don’t make the decisions about who wins,” he said.
Smith is in the process of organizing the Grand Slam with ATS in the United Kingdom.
“The big difference with us is we’re not going to be able to hold the event in Melbourne, so we’re trying to go to the US for a couple of months, and then we’ll come back and see what the results are and then decide,” Smith told the ABC.AUSTRALIAN RACERS’ ROLEIn a race between Aussie racer Andrew Brown and American Jason Williams, the American is on the front row and Brown is second in the men’s 200 meters.
Brown said he’s proud to be an Australian, even though he won’t be racing in Australia.
“It’s pretty awesome, we’ve been a bit of a bit behind in the sport, but I think that’s part of the growth that we’re seeing,” Brown said.
Australian driver Michael van der Vliet has been a regular at ATS for the past decade and will race in the U, but has never raced in Australia before.
He said it was great to see Australian racer James De Rosario win last year’s Grand Slam, which will also be held at Royal Melbourne.
“He’s a good friend and a good guy, he’s an American racer and I’m a British racer,” De Rosary said.
De Rosary was a member of the Australian team that won the UCL race last year.