Australian businessman Paul Little has been named chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, replacing John Harnden, who will become chief executive of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is the company that operates the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is hosted in Melbourne.
Little is well-known in Australian motorsport, and was previously the owner, and then a sponsor, of V8 Supercars team Toll HSV Dealer. He also chaired AFL Australian rules football team Essendon from 2013 to 2015. He is currently the chairman of state tourism body Visit Victoria, a role he will relinquish to join the AGPC. Melbourne is in the state of Victoria. Little’s tenure at Visit Victoria has been marked by a 22-per-cent increase in visitor expenditure to $30bn (€27.1bn).
Daniel Andrews, the Premier of the Victoria, said: “I’m delighted that Mr Little has agreed to take on this important role – as we saw under his stewardship of Visit Victoria, his drive and experience will help ensure that the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix remains one of the great events anywhere in the world.”
Little said: “I am looking forward to helping shape the best motor racing events in the world – events that project the success and energy of Melbourne and Victoria around the globe.”
Australia has hosted a Formula 1 grand prix since 1985, with Adelaide staging a race until 1995 when Melbourne assumed hosting rights. Melbourne has hosted the Formula 1 season-opening race every year since, with the exceptions of 2006 and 2010.
The Australian Grand Prix is one of the most popular on the F1 calendar. Over the past three years, more than 900,000 fans have attended the event. Next year’s race is due to take place on March 12-15.