The Australian Auto-Sport Alliance (AASA) has welcomed the first offshore agency to its fold, with the Australasian Auto Sport Alliance New Zealand now open for business through its Auckland office.
The agency, set up by entrepreneur Dr Jacob Simonsen, is 100 per cent New Zealand-owned, but will have a close working relationship with the Benalla Auto Club-owned AASA in Australia.
Just like its Australian counterpart, AASA New Zealand can permit events, issue competition licences for competitors and officials, and provide public liability insurance to event organisers – a package which includes damage coverage for third party motor vehicles.
AASA New Zealand also shares with AASA Australia its insurance underwriting (Lloyds of London) and safety processes audited by the US-based Safety Foundation Inc. (SFI).
Benalla Auto Club Group CEO Chris Lewis-Williams said the expansion into New Zealand demonstrated the suitability of AASA products and services for markets outside Australia.
“Here in Australia, the formation of the AASA heralded a new approach to managing, sanctioning and promoting motorsport events, and presenting cost-effective products by minimising overheads,” Mr Lewis-Williams said.
“Because the BAC owns two circuits and promotes events, we understand the needs of customers, as we’re able to implement that knowledge and experience into our AASA operations.
“As it turns out, promoters and operators of New Zealand events have recognised the benefits of our approach, and Dr Simonsen has seen the potential to create a New Zealand AASA agency as a successful business.”
Mr Lewis-Williams said while AASA New Zealand will be supported by AASA Australia, the NZ agency will have a high level of autonomy in its activities.
“While there are a lot of similarities between Australian and New Zealand motorsport activities, there are also a lot of differences. That’s why we felt it was most effective to have a totally NZ-owned and controlled agency of the AASA, because it needs to be run by people who understand the specific characteristics of NZ motorsport,” Mr Lewis-Williams said.
Nevertheless, the alignment of AASA Australia and New Zealand paves the way for cross-pollination between the two countries.
“Having such close co-operation between the AASA in two different countries certainly opens up potential opportunities for some trans-Tasman racing,” Mr Lewis-Williams said.
“If we could use the alliance to facilitate competition across both countries, that’s something that could be very exciting for a lot of motorsport competitors and categories.”
For more information on the AASA NZ, visit https://www.aasa.org.nz/.