EXCLUSIVE: Frosty talks put Ipswich Supercars event in doubt
THE future of Ipswich's largest event is in serious doubt after negotiations about upgrades to Queensland Raceway stalled ahead of next weekend's event.
Ipswich City Council and Supercars executives are trying to find a solution to keep Australia's premier motorsport series racing here beyond next weekend's Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint.
It is understood the discussions hinge on whether the council will again commit to investing in Queensland Raceway after previous plans were shelved.
A $52 million upgrade of the circuit and a 10-year event deal was announced in 2017 but dropped months later by then Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli.
Next year's Supercars calendar is expected to feature two fewer events.
Queensland hosts three Supercars races annually.
A source familiar with the negotiations confirmed talks over the future of the Ipswich event were frosty.
"Supercars want to knock off a few races," he said.
"There is a strong possibility the track will go.
"It is in serious doubt."
The source said the council was unlikely to budge on its refusal to upgrade Queensland Raceway.
"It is a problem and it is a big worry because it's such a good event for Ipswich," he said. "Council has very different priorities at this stage."
A spokesman for Ipswich City Council refused to comment on the state of the talks.
"Tourism Events Queensland is currently negotiating with Supercars officials on the future of the motorsport events in Queensland," he said.
"Ipswich City Council cannot comment further on these negotiations.
"Council has made a substantial commitment to long-standing ongoing financial support for this event."
A spokesman for Supercars said conversations were ongoing, "making it too early to comment at this point".
"We are working with all of our partners on the make-up of the 2020 calendar, which we hope to unveil very soon," he said.
The $32 million Queensland Raceway facility hosted its first V8 Supercars event in 1999.
The six-corner circuit was noted as notoriously smooth when it opened; a contrast to the bumpy surface that now greets drivers and teams each year.