News State ACT News Summernats organisers dismiss sex industry links

Summernats organisers dismiss sex industry links

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Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez has declared this year’s meet an “amazing” success, dismissing reports the event has led to a boom for the local sex industry.

Earlier this week the ABC reported a spike in activity at Canberra’s sex shops since the beginning of the event, with one store owner reporting a 50 per cent increase in sales.

On Saturday, Fairfax also reported more than 100 strippers from out of town had been brought into Canberra, to keep up with demand during the meet.

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But Mr Lopez was quick to dismiss any connection between Summernats and the sex industry.

“It’s got nothing to do with the Summernats. I read the same as you in the newspaper but that’s not actually part of our operation,” he said.

“We stage an automotive event and what people do outside of that’s their own business.”

1972 Mazda RX3 named grand champion

Police have had a visible presence on the streets on Canberra since Summernats kicked off on Thursday, but have not reported any disturbances connected to the event.

However, the event has not been incident-free.

On Saturday, punters were warned to be on the lookout for stolen all areas wristbands being sold outside the event for $20.

Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez said there were no major issues at this year’s festival. Photo: ABC

A restored 1970 LC Torana was also stolen from the Aria apartments in Dickson.

It was later found nearby, reportedly with minor damage.

But Mr Lopez said he was proud of Summernats 29.

“We’ve had an absolutely amazing event … [There has been] nothing unusual,” he said.

“Crowd behaviour was really good … Saturday at Summernats is always a little exciting. But we’ve had no major reports.”

The event organiser said attendance figures had again been strong and at last count looked likely to get close to last year’s record of 200,000 people through the gates.

On Sunday, V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup was scheduled to entertain the crowd on the burnout before the event drew to a close.

Earlier in the day, the Summernats street machine grand champion was named.

This year the honour went to John Saad’s 1972 Mazda RX3.

A Thunderbird owned by Andrew Wallan. Photo: ABC

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