It used to be that car companies would kill to have their cars seen with stars. That seems to be changing if a frightening development in Melbourne is an indicator. The Melbourne F1 Grand Prix used to attract spectators and sponsors with a celebrity race. The celebs of course did not race their own cars. To make it a fair and even-handed race where only driving skill decides, they were handed cars supplied by a sponsor. This year, the luminary laps are a scratch. Oh, there is no shortage of stars. There just aren’t any cars. The organizers could not find a sponsor that was able to supply the more than 25 cars needed.
“We’ve just finalized the line-up and the celebrity challenge is not part of that,” Melbourne Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott told the Herald Sun.“It simply came down to the fact that we couldn’t find an auto provider that had cars coming on to the market that they could supply in time. It was not through lack of trying.”
Last year, Lexus sponsored the event and supplied CT200 hybrids worth $39,990 each to celebrities “such as aerial skier Jacqui Cooper, models Rhys Uhlich and Kasia Z and former AFL star Saverio Rocca.”
Westacott said it was a sign of the tough economic times the auto industry was facing.
Could be. Or maybe cars are selling so well that they are in short supply? Or the budget has been blown on influencing social media influencers? Or sponsors expect (this should rile the Aussies) real stars in exchange for a fleet of cars?
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