Winton sweats on V8s
BENALLA Auto Club is awaiting confirmation of Victorian Government funding to secure its round of the V8 Supercars at Winton for the next two years.
The biggest sporting event in the North-East was locked in on a three-year deal beginning this year on a proviso the state government also came to the party as rival bids from around Australia and overseas circled the round held in May.
The Andrew Government provided $200,000 through Tourism Victoria for this year’s round.
BAC chief executive Chris Lewis-Williams said he hoped the funding could be locked in for the next two years shortly.
Confirmation of the 2018 Supercars calender has been pushed back to early October due to “several moving pieces” which include the Winton round.
“At a minimum the same amount would be good, but we are actually asking for a little bit more,” Mr Lewis-Williams said.
“The conversations we are having is around Winton’s six to seven marquee events each year.
“Rather than link it specifically to Supercars is it a better value proposition for the money they spend and economic benefit we bring to the region to spread it out?
“Everything is looking positive, but we don’t have a deal in place yet.”
Supercars chief executive James Warburton acknowledged Winton’s profitable race this year.
“It’s great that Winton had its best ever round this year, but we’re keen for them to secure funding and improve the facility,” he said.
The Winton round attracted 60,000 people.
Horrendous weather conditions on the Friday contributed to a slight attendance dip, but corporate and camping revenue was both up.
Corporate area guests were also treated to food and beverage produced in the North-East.
The 2016 Winton round alone generated $8.8 million in economic activity.
Supercars are fielding bids from Thailand and Singapore with a round locked in for the Australian Grand Prix an addition to the 2018 calendar.
Tailem Bend is expected to be on the calendar following the recent allocation of South Australian Government funding.
A Victorian Government spokesperson couldn’t be contacted on Wednesday.
Winton has only missed hosting the V8s three times since 1985.