No V8 Supercars at Willowbank
The Queensland TimesJanuary 09, 2010
V8 SUPERCAR officials yesterday said they had no intention of including Ipswich in their 2010 calendar, but Mayor Paul Pisasale said he would not take no for an answer as he tried to negotiate its return.
On Thursday V8 Supercars Australia said they would not put on a race at the Queensland Raceways track at Willowbank this May due to a breakdown in negotiations.
Millions will be wiped from the Ipswich economy – with hotels saying they alone could lose more than $100,000 over the weekend – if emergency negotiations could not change V8 Supercar’s position.
Cr Pisasale said he had been involved in emergency meetings with Sports Minister Phil Reeves to try and save the race.
“I won’t rest until this is sorted out. It’s absolutely essential this race goes ahead and I’ll keep going until it’s back on the calendar,” he said.
A V8 Supercars spokesman said they would work out their final 2010 calendar “without Ipswich in mind”, but Phil Reeves confirmed he had been involved in emergency negotiations to save the race.
“I’ve been working with Mayor Paul Pisasale to see the annual V8 Supercars event at Queensland Raceway continue,” he said.
Metro Hotel general manager Alex van Kersen estimates the cancellation of this year’s V8 Supercar race in Ipswich would cost his business more than $100,000 this year.
Mr van Kersen said he was in disbelief that the money-spinning event could fall by the wayside.
He called on the State Government and business leaders to come up with a solution to ensure Ipswich did not lose the event for good.
“We, just like every other hotel in Ipswich, were already completely booked out. For me, that’s 97 rooms across four nights completely full,” Mr van Kersen said.
“People have already started to cancel their bookings. Along with the money they spend on the bar, restaurant and conferences over that weekend, we’ll lose more than $100,000.
“For too long people have probably thought ‘she’ll be right’ and left it to fester. Now we know it’s not alright, and we’re in a terrible position.”
Quest Ipswich general manager Scott Bellingham said his serviced apartments would stand to lose about $70,000 if the race was cancelled.
“People are already cancelling bookings so it’s devastating as a business owner and disappointing as an Ipswich resident that the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement,” Mr Bellingham said.