The push to get Surfers Paradise back onto the Izod IndyCar Series calendar has received bi-partisan support from both Queensland Premier – Anna Bligh and her Liberal-National Party (LNP) opposition – Campbell Newman.
Following on from yesterday’s front page report in the Gold Coast Bulletin – where IndyCar boss, Randy Bernard expressed he would like to see IndyCar back on the Gold Coast as early as August (following on from the Chinese round to be held on the streets of Qingdao, China) – local tourism bosses as well as the State’s highest ranked politicians have seemingly embraced the idea. This is significant given Queensland is due to go to the polls on March 24.
The proposal has received support from Gold Coast Tourism CEO, Martin Winter – who told the Bulletin that whilst the V8s were ‘still a very important part’ of the event – he’d welcome any approaches to host an international race on the glitter strip.
The Bulletin reports Premier Bligh – whose Labor Government has been a massive supporter of the event throughout its years – as saying she was ‘happy to talk to anyone’ about bringing a major event to the Gold Coast:
“Any proposal would have to be a value-for-money proposition,” Bligh said to the Gold Coast Bulletin, “they’d (IndyCar) would have to produce serious bonafides after leaving the Gold Coast in the lurch several years ago…I’m also mindful that the home grown V8 Supercars has established itself as a world class event in its own right.”
Newman – who is locked in a battle to be State Premier – was direct in his desire to bring more major events to the Sunshine State:
“I would be supportive of attempts to get major events to stimulate the tourism economy in Queensland,” he said. “We need to get this state going and that is why we have such an important focus on tourism.”
The Gold Coast last hosted an IndyCar event in 2008, won by Ryan Briscoe.
CLICK HERE to read Randy Bernard’s comments about returning IndyCar to Surfers Paradise.