‘Miss Supercars was empowering’
Former winners of the Miss Supercars contest who have used it as a career kickstart are gutted to see its demise.
Supercars will no longer endorse the Miss Supercars program as of this coming October's GC600 on the Gold Coast where the contest final has been held for decades.
Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard confirmed to the Bulletin yesterday: "The Miss Supercars program will be replaced by a junior development program on the Gold Coast which has been more than a year in the planning."
Details would be unveiled in coming weeks.
"Supercars has evolved and is focused on creating career pathways for young girls and boys across a number of areas, from a whole of sport standpoint.
"This program aligns more closely with our strategic plan to develop young talent," Mr Howard said.
Miss Supercars supporters had feared its demise after a recent overhaul from a bikini contest into a hunt for a corporate ambassador.
It ditched a two-piece bikini wear segment for a one-piece and placing more emphasis on public speaking.
Gold Coast's Procon Leisure has run it since it launched but did not respond yesterday.
The 2015 winner Katie Stevens, a Miss Supercars Ambassador, said despite being "on the cards" with talks ongoing for a year the axing was still "a surprise".
"It's disappointing, it's really sad to see the program come to an end, especially after being such an iconic part of Supercars.
"(But) Supercars 100 per cent back women in power and women in sport, I actually think there's something else to come.
"It had changed really for the better. Where it used to be Miss Indy, all about bikinis and being in pubs it's transformed into more a corporate integration," she said.
"The last few years it's had a really positive impact on women's lives."
A Gold Coast winner Charlotte Cush, the co-ordinator of Gold Coast University Hospital's cancer ward, said it had been an iconic part of the GC600: "There's going to be a gap in the whole exciting realm of Supercars.
"It's such a shame it won't be there anymore.
"There's going to be a definite missing presence."
Hawkins was a Miss Indy finalist before two years later winning Miss Universe.
Ex-Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke's wife Kyly won in 1999.