The sun came out to shine on Day 1 of the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, as an estimated 69,400 fans flocked through the gates to celebrate “Heritage Day” and commemorate 60 years since the first Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
To celebrate the milestone, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) opened the gates of the Albert Park track for General Admission patrons resulting in the second highest Thursday attendance since the event returned to Melbourne in 1996.
The first Australian Grand Prix was held on 21 November in 1953 and the AGPC is encouraging all Australians to get behind the momentous 60 year milestone by visiting the iconic street circuit over the next three days of the event.
CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Andrew Westacott, was delighted to be celebrating the milestone with local and international guests.
“It’s such a great thrill to be able to celebrate the heritage of motor racing at Albert Park not only with the Melburnians who have embraced this great race for years, but also guests visiting from interstate and abroad,” said Westacott.
“Whilst much has changed since the first Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in 1953, the sheer passion and love of Formula One is still well and truly alive amongst all race goers.”
In addition to Heritage Day, a range of activities have been planned to celebrate the origins of what is globally recognized as one of the world’s best Grands Prix.
In an exciting new initiative, the AGPC also unveiled the Industry and Innovation precinct today with thousands of school children in the company of Mr Craig Ondarchie MLC, Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region, AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott and V8 Supercars Ambassador Mark Winterbottom.
Formula One action will start tomorrow with the first practice session kicking off at 12.30pm.
“The stage is set for an exciting show. Being the first race of the season anticipation is high and we would all love to see the two Aussies (Webber and Ricciardo) perform,” Westacott added.