The V8 Supercars Championship rounds at Townsville, Ipswich and Surfers Paradise are safe until at least 2016 after championship organisers were able to successfully negotiate a new funding deal from the Queensland state government.
The future of the Townsville and Surfers Paradise street circuit events had, in particular, been the subject of the most speculation as the state government sought to rein in its funding expenditure for major events.
While the exact funding figures won’t be disclosed under the terms of the new deal, it is understood that the state government will be injecting around $7 million a year, down by some $2 million from its previous funding levels.
The Gold Coast 600, which will run without its lucrative – and costly – international level co-drivers this year, is expected to feel the greatest pinch to its funding, although the new deal will see the Surfers Paradise event receive something of a facelift from next year.
“We can expect a lot more excitement around this event, with a refreshed look and other events planned that involve our community,” Queensland’s Tourism Minister, Jane Stuckey, told the ABC.
“[All three] events are going to have a lot more variety to them and these three races as a package offer something around the state and allow us to showcase all of our fantastic destinations in Queensland.”
The announcement of the Queensland-based events marks a major step towards finalising what is expected to be an unchanged 2014 championship calendar, with the season-ending Sydney 500 at Homebush Bay being the only event whose future beyond 2013 remains up in the air.