Travis Auld, the Australian Football League’s (AFL) executive general manager of finances, has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, organizers of the Melbourne Formula 1 (F1) motor race.

Auld replaces long-standing chief Andrew Westacott, who departed when his contract ended on June 30. Since then, the organization has been led by acting chief executive Dale Nardella and acting deputy chief executive Anthony Connelly.

Auld will start his new role on August 14.

Outgoing AGPC chairman Paul Little said: “I am very pleased to announce Travis as our new chief executive who brings a wealth of sports, entertainment, and business experience.

“Travis is an outstanding leader and person, and he joins the corporation at an exciting growth period for both our major international events in Formula 1 and MotoGP.”

Auld has served as the AFL’s finance chief since 2014 and was named as a leading candidate to replace the organization's outgoing chief executive Gillion McLachlan, a role that eventually was handed to Andrew Dillon.

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He also previously served as chief executive at both the Golf Coast Suns and the Essendon AFL clubs and led the league’s Covid-19 response during the pandemic.

Auld said: “I am looking forward to leading one of the biggest and best international events in the country. I want to thank the Victorian Government, specifically the premier and sports minister along with the AGPC board led by Paul Little for the opportunity to lead the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

“The possibilities are endless on the back of the extraordinary growth that F1 has experienced globally along with Moto GP going from strength to strength. My role is to ensure we deliver two world-class events that are the best possible experience for drivers, riders, teams, and fans from across the globe.”

Westacott announced in December he would not be seeking to renew his contract as AGPC chief executive. He first joined the company in 2006 as general manager of operations before becoming deputy chief executive. He was then appointed chief executive in February 2011.

Little will also step down from his role in September after leading the search for Westacott’s replacement.

AGPC has a contract to host F1’s Australian Grand Prix until 2037 and motor cycling’s premier MotoGP race until 2026. In December the Victorian government signed a two-year extension to its 10-year contract it had signed shortly before.

As part of the new deal, Melbourne will host the first race of the F1 season for at least four years between 2023 and 2037. Bahrain hosted the first Grand Prix this season and Saudi Arabia is due to stage the first race of 2024 due to the Muslim holy occasion of Ramadan.

Image: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images