Fan support crucial to Queensland Raceway event future
The future of the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 rests with fans continuing to support the Queensland Raceway event, says V8 Supercars’ chief operations officer Shane Howard.
With the post-2013 existence of the Gold Coast and Townsville street races currently under a cloud, Queensland Raceway could find itself as the Sunshine State’s sole surviving venue in the coming years.
V8 Supercars’ deals with circuit promoter John Tetley, the Ipswich City Council and the Queensland Government will expire next year, with negotiations to extend the contracts yet to commence.
While the government has been on a ‘slash and burn’ mission in recent months, trimming up what it deems as unnecessary spending in the public arena, the local council is understood to be keen to maintain its signature events.
V8 Supercars chief operations officer Shane Howard suggests that the future of the event rests with continuing interest from the fans.
“Events are safe when people support them,” Howard told Speedcafe.com.
“If the people want them, then the events are here. If spectators roll up and you have strong crowds, I would see this event having a long-term future.”
Howard also emphasised the importance of continual improvements to the Ipswich facility in recent years, including the 2011 resurfacing.
“The venue has been improved with its resurfacing,” said Howard.
“We’ve been very conscious of developing the fan experience here, just looking at revised layouts, the merchandise area, and I think that’s working well.
“It’s a great venue for GAs (general admission). It has the amphitheatre effect so you can see the whole circuit.
“We’re committed to the venue and the Queensland government has seen the value in promoting out in this area. As a circuit, it’s the only circuit we have for our Queensland teams to test on.
“As long as there is small, constant improvements to the circuits and its surroundings, then that’s our focus with this event.”
The 2012 Coates Hire Ipswich 300 concludes today with Race 17 of the V8 Supercars Championship.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Coates Hire Ipswich 300 Race Guide