Government open to Gold Coast Indy revival

Gordon Lomas

Thursday 30th June, 2016 - 1:21pm

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The IndyCars at Surfers Paradise in 2008

The IndyCars at Surfers Paradise in 2008

The Queensland government is leaving the door open to a rebirth of the IndyCar race on the Gold Coast but stresses that more details on revenues and logistics need to be tabled.

Speaking at the announcement of a three-year extension to the Gold Coast and Townsville Supercars events, Tourism and Major Events minister Kate Jones confirmed that the government has been approached by a consortium planning to revive an IndyCar race at Surfers Paradise.

While there are many hurdles at play including the late October date and the shorter 2.97km Surfers Paradise track layout (reduced from 4.5km when IndyCar ran there from 1991-2008), Jones said she is looking forward to thrashing out more specifics.

Downplaying the chances of IndyCars joining the event next year, Jones cautioned that it’s “very, very early days” in discussions with the unnamed consortium.

“I’m excited about any events we can attract to Queensland,” Jones told Speedcafe.com.

“And what I’m hearing if IndyCars were to come back they want to come to the Gold Coast and it is a real vote of confidence for the coast and what it has to offer.

“It is very early days, there are no figures on the table. It is more; ‘will we be even interested?’. And the answer is; ‘yes we would be interested’.

“But there has to be much more details and conversations for it to happen.

“It would be a number of years away yet if it was to be the case.”

The North American-based IndyCar Series reacted to Australian newspaper reports this morning that the open-wheel machines could return Australia by issuing a brief statement to its team PR representatives.

“IndyCar is in the process of investigating potential venues for the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, which includes a number of conversations with international parties interested in hosting an event,” read the statement.

“IndyCar has an extended history at Surfers Paradise and many of its teams and drivers fondly recall the great events and large crowds in Australia.

“However, at this time, we are not going to comment on specifics as it pertains to the status of any prospective venue.”