Backlash against shock Miss Supercars axing

The decision to axe the Miss Supercars event by GC600 organisers has been labelled a "sad day for the Gold Coast", with one critic claiming the decision was the #metoo movement going "too far".

Other sources close to the pageant branded the decision "a sad day for the Gold Coast", saying it "didn't tarnish" the GC600.

Procon Leisure International General Manager Aaron Ainsworth said the long-running competition had "touched the lives" of participants.

"The event has an amazing history and has given many young women a start in many industries - media, TV, film and corporate," he said.

"It's not just the winners who have benefited as it has touched the lives of every contestant in the event."

The Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday revealed the organisers of the GC600 made the decision to axe Miss Supercars to make way for a program which they say will create career pathways for young men and women.


Gold Coast 600 Colour. Miss Supercars Gabriella Bottarelli with Hudson Mikulic, 5, from Ormeau. Picture: Mike Batterham.
Gold Coast 600 Colour. Miss Supercars Gabriella Bottarelli with Hudson Mikulic, 5, from Ormeau. Picture: Mike Batterham.

But Mr Ainsworth said he was "extremely proud" of the Miss Supercars event, which he defended as a vehicle for young women to gain valuable skills and training while enjoying the GC600 experience.

"We're extremely proud of the event and for Procon, it's business as usual as we have a number of national events in the pipeline including Faces of Origin and our 2020 calendar coming up," he said.

Mr Ainsworth said his company would be available to assist the GC600 organisers if they required it.

"What they have got planned as an experience looks really exciting," he said. "We're there to help in any way."

Miss V8 Supercars 2006 Riaha Crehan.
Miss V8 Supercars 2006 Riaha Crehan.

One source close to the pageant said it was a sad day for the Gold Coast event as it "really added a lot of colour and fun to the race," but said the decision was a "sign of the times."

"It didn't tarnish the race, they were respectful, they presented well in public and they had a great time being part of something bigger than themselves," the source said.

"The competition had evolved in the past few years, we had removed swimwear, there was no lycra, the girls had knee-length skirts on and the confidence that these girls have from the experience is just unbelievable."

The source said the decision was made in the wake of the #metoo movement and had "gone way too far".

"The axing of the Grid Girls from the Formula One Grand Prix was the tip of the iceberg," the source said.

"No-one knows these girls raised $25,000 for charity or had the opportunity to participate in corporate training from speakers who often command $5000 for an appearance.

"It's not an old school bikini model search."