Winton confident of new Supercars deal
Winton boss Chris Lewis-Williams has moved to calm fears that the Victorian venue may miss out on a Supercars fixture next season.
The Benalla Auto Club is yet to reach a deal with Supercars amid ongoing negotiations over funding from the Victorian Government.
Winton is the only circuit to promote its own Supercars event, meaning it pays a sanction fee for the category to race and takes the financial risk on its success.
The latest deal offered by Supercars has reportedly included a greatly increased sanction fee.
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Lewis-Williams’ push for a co-promoting arrangement with Supercars has fallen on deaf ears, leading the BAC to focus its efforts on lobbying the state government.
The Victorian Government recently provided $1 million of infrastructure funding towards the circuit’s $3.35 million upgrade project, but has not previously provided an annual contribution from its tourism or major event pools.
Responding to newspaper reports that Winton is likely to be left off Supercars’ new calendar, Winton has today issued a statement asserting its confidence that a deal can be reached.
“We’re still in the process of negotiating a mutually beneficial arrangement between the Victorian Government, Supercars and the Benalla Auto Club, but I’m confident we can reach an agreement which will allow all parties to meet their objectives,” Lewis-Williams said in the statement.
“The Winton Supercars event is very important for regional Victoria and our analysis of the economic benefits to the Hume region – conducted by Urban Enterprise – has demonstrated the event brings $8.8 million into the economy.
“For many years the BAC has borne the financial and logistical responsibilities of hosting the event, with the benefits enjoyed by a wide range of businesses and individuals throughout the region.
“We have asked for support from Visit Victoria, as we believe we should be able to share in some of the commercial benefits from hosting this sort of event as well.
“We will continue working hard over the coming days and look forward to finding a satisfactory arrangement for future years.”
Winton has missed out on an ATCC/Supercars Championship event just three times since joining the calendar in 1985.