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GPDA announce 2004 fan initiative 01 Mar 2004

Mark Webber (AUS) Jaguar.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 13 September 2003

Webber and co keen to meet Melbourne public

The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association has announced the launch of a new competition aimed at Formula One racing fans.

At this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, six lucky fans will win a money-can’t-buy guided tour of the F1 paddock on raceday, during which they will have photo opportunities with several Formula One drivers, including the four Grand Prix Drivers’ Association directors: six-time world champion Michael Schumacher, local hero Mark Webber, McLaren’s David Coulthard and Renault’s Jarno Trulli.

“One of the GPDA’s aims for 2004 is to improve the interaction between the fans and the drivers,” says Webber. “The competition in Melbourne is one way for us to give something back to the fans and I hope they will get behind it.”

To enter the competition, fans will each have to buy a small pin featuring Mark Webber’s helmet - the proceeds of which will go to Brainwave Australia, which assists young people with cancer and is the official charity of the Australian Grand Prix. The pins will be on sale at various points around the Albert Park track, as well as in Federation Square in the centre of Melbourne.

Every buyer of a Webber helmet pin will be eligible to enter the competition, the winners of which will be drawn on the Saturday evening prior to the race.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker has congratulated the GPDA on “a fantastic initiative”.

“I applaud the drivers for giving fans of our sport the chance of a lifetime and, as the organisers of the Foster’s Australian Grand Prix, we are thrilled that Melbourne will be the launch-pad of a new era of taking F1 to its most devoted supporters,” Walker said. “I’m pleased to say there are some other exciting developments to come on that front in the near future, too.”

The GPDA plans to run similar competitions at several other races during the 2004 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.