Virgin Australia unveiled as V8 Supercars title sponsor

The Virgin Australia airline has been unveiled as the new title sponsor of the country's V8 Supercars motorsport series.

Under the five-year deal, which will begin on July 1, the series will become known as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The value of the agreement was not disclosed, but earlier this month the Gold Coast Bulletin reported that the series’ title sponsorship had been sold in a “multi-million-dollar deal.”

As part of the deal, Virgin Australia will carry 26 drivers and their support staff from the 11 teams together with thousands of fans around the country each year through its new Virgin Australia Supercars Championship travel platform. This platform will help fans to travel to races, which take place in each state and the Northern Territory across 10 months of the year.

V8 Supercars chief executive James Warburton said that the V8 engine would not be dropped from the series, despite the change in name. The new partnership with Virgin Australia means a switch to ‘supercars’ comes earlier than expected, with fans not expecting to see the brand change until 2017 as the sport transitions into Gen2.

“Supercars generate $250m (€168m/$190m) in economic and tourism benefits to the cities and regions we visit in every state and territory and Virgin Australia will play a vital role in continuing to drive this growth,” Warburton said.

Virgin Australia Group chief executive John Borghetti added: “With two million fans attending races in 2015, V8 Supercars is Australia’s third highest attended sport and we look forward to supporting its continued growth. We will work with Supercars to generate further economic and tourism benefits for communities across Australia, including through the launch of our new Supercars Travel platform.”