Australian GP Changes Time Schedule for 2009

The organizers of the Australian Grand Prix have agreed to a later start of both practice and qualifying sessions, as well as the season opening race on Sunday. Aiming to bring the race in a more friendly time zone for the European fans of Formula 1, the Aussie organizers and F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone have worked together to finally settle the race start for 5 PM, local time (6 AM GMT).

In addition, all practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, as well as the qualifying session will be scheduled at a later time than in the previous years. The changes were confirmed earlier today by Drew Ward, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. The revised schedule will see the Friday practice sessions begin at 12.30 PM and 16.30 PM local time.

On Saturday, the official practice session will get under way at 14.00 PM, while the qualifying session was pushed to 17.00 PM (also local times).

“The changes to the Formula One session times means that each day finishes on a high note and, for Thursday and Friday, the most anticipated action will happen after school and after work. On race-day Sunday the atmosphere and anticipation builds in the lead up to the race which will decide the first Formula One winner of the year,” said Ward.

“We want to create that kind of build up on the other days also - to save the best action until last and finish each day with a bang. In the past, the Australian Grand Prix has been a "morning to afternoon" event - from 2009 it will be a "lunchtime through to sunset" event.”

“This change in timing, together with the scheduling of the best entertainment at the end of the day, should suit everyone - families, workers and those of us who want to get out and about over one of Melbourne's biggest weekends,” concluded the Aussie GP CEO.
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