Australia aims to keep late March date

Australian Grand Prix officials intend to keep the event on its late March date despite this year's low attendance figures

Australia aims to keep late March date

The four-day attendance of 286,900 was about 3,000 down on the 1997 event, the lowest since the Australian Grand Prix has been hosted at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

The late March date clashed with the start of the Australian Football League, but Australian GP chairman Ron Walker believes there is no reason to change the date.

"In clashing with football I think we can hold our own. We've had to compete but we've competed very well," Walker told the Herald Sun.

Victoria Premier John Brumby deemed the race weekend a success despite the attendance figures being the lowest in the event's 14-year history.

"It's a more difficult environment - the economy is softer and the unemployment rate is higher. But for the doomsayers who said this event wouldn't succeed and wouldn't be supported, well look around," Brumby told the newspaper.

"There are people who have come from all around Australia and all around the world and when they rank it out of 10 they give it a 10-plus.

"In all the circumstances this is a great result for the race."

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