MAY 8, 1995
Melbourne F1 protesters threaten sabotage
Protesters trying to stop the Australian Grand Prix taking place in Albert Park, Melbourne, in March next year are now threatening to invade the track on race day or pour oil onto the road surface.
The leader of the Save Albert Park protest group, Ian Stewart, said that "if it is necessary for us to create a major international incident to focus the absurdity of having a Formula 1 motor race in a public park, we'll do it."
Stewart clearly has little grasp of motor racing history because racing in public parks has been going on since the sport began and this year the races at Buenos Aires, Montreal, Monza and Adelaide will all be held in public parks.
The Melbourne protesters are, however, fighting a losing battle because recent polls taken in the city indicate that the race is getting an approval rating of up to 70% and as many as 48% of the 3.2 million population is saying that they will actually attend the event.
These figures may please the organizers of the race, but it is worth noting that the circuit does not have the capacity necessary to accommodate the 1.6 million people who say they will turn up. In fact, the circuit would be hard- pressed to cope with even 10% of that figure.
The more intelligent folk in Melbourne are already buying their tickets before the rest of the city realizes that the show cannot be open to all.
The protest groups might care to take notice of this as they may not be able to get tickets to stage their international incidents if they don't book now!
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