Keeping the V8 roar on track

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 07 April 2013 | 19.55

WINNER: Fabian Coulthard crosses the line first - ahead of Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN

V8 SUPERCARS Australia and the State Government are negotiating a new deal to keep the V8s coming to Tasmania until at least 2017.

Talks include a multi-million-dollar upgrade of Symmons Plains raceway and creating new local jobs around the state's biggest sporting event.

Round two of the Australian V8 Supercar championships at Symmons this weekend, which Premier Lara Giddings will attend today, is the second instalment of a three-year contract between the Supercars and Government for the V8s to race in Tasmania.

Even though 2014 is locked in, talks started behind closed doors on Friday on a new three to five-year deal.

As well as an event guarantee, talks have centred on millions being spent on the track and its facilities in the next few years, with money coming from the State Government and V8 Supercars Australia.

Tasmanian Mark Perry, V8 Supercars Australia's new director of promoted events, is in the thick of negotiations.

The former boss of Targa Tasmania has just moved from Hobart to the Gold Coast to take up the post.

"Tasmania is definitely part of our future plans and we've started talking about a new three to five-year arrangement," Mr Perry said.

"The Government, us, and all the stakeholders would love to see more money spent at Symmons Plains to make the facilities better for the fans, drivers and everyone.

"That is definitely a key to our discussions right now putting a bit more into the track and also the local community and into getting more employment involved around the round and the economy.

"The Government is very much onside with that and we'll spend more money here as well and form some partnerships that will make this track better."

The investment in infrastructure would be a joint effort.

"No one expects the Government to be constantly dipping into its pocket," Perry said.

"It's unreasonable in the current world, and our sport and the fans get the benefit at the end of the day."

Upgrades may eventually include altering the track layout for the Supercars, which lap at an average 170km/h and reach 280km/h.

"This track was never built for cars that go as fast as they do these days, so we need to consider all of that for the long term," Perry said.

"Nothing happens overnight so you've got to start planning now so budgeting can be done and signed off."


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