A plan to install vital safety upgrades at Queensland Raceway has been agreed to ensure July’s Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint Supercars round goes ahead.
The Ipswich circuit requires improvements to secure the necessary FIA Grade 3 licence needed to host Supercars which are due to visit the venue from July 20-22.
Safety upgrades were initially highlighted following an FIA track inspection last year which put the future of the Supercars round in jeopardy.
Ipswich City Council (ICC), which is to fund the upgrades, has given its blessing for the work to be carried out following an agreement by councillors at yesterday’s committee meeting.
The upgrades are set to be reviewed by ICC next week where it is hoped formal approval will be ratified.
The move to install upgrades is part of a revised two-year agreement to host a Supercars round at the venue until 2019.
While the full details of the updates remain confidential, pit wall catch fencing is among the list of items required to meet the FIA’s safety criteria.
Supercars has been forced to use temporary tyre barriers for the past three years to ensure the circuit meets the criteria to secure a temporary CAMS track licence to operate the round.
A report from Tuesday’s City Management, Finance and Community Engagement committee meeting has confirmed the plans for works to begin.
The document states: “Council is satisfied pursuant to section 235(c) of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (the Regulation) that the exemption under s235(c) of the Regulation applies and that a genuine emergency exists, for Council to enter into a new contract with Queensland Raceway for the following reason:
“To meet Council’s obligations under the terms of agreement with Supercars to host the 2018 V8 Supercar event, and the ability of the Lessee to deliver the works without detrimentally impacting on the facilities operations during the delivery of the works.”
Upgrades are expected to be completed in time for July’s race.
“It’s fantastic to see the works are progressing and will be on track at Queensland Raceway later this year,” said Supercars spokesman Cole Hitchcock.
“It’s a very strong ongoing working relationship between the council who understands the value of the event to Ipswich and the region.”