Wednesday, 19 September 2018

4 9 2018 AMCA banner

GENERAL

High-profile motorsport administrator Damien White has been appointed to oversee a $220 million upgrade of the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct at Willowbank, with plans to include speedway.

Mr White, who resigned as a V8 Supercars director late last year to take up a position at the South Australia Motorsport Park, was unveiled as the IMP's general manager on Monday.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said Mr White's appointment was a coup for Ipswich, as he had "the ability to turn fast cars into fast money".

"He's well-known in the V8s, he's well known in the go-karts, he's well known throughout the industry but, more importantly, he was the mastermind behind the viability of V8s," Cr Pisasale commented.

"You can race cars around, but unless you turn it into a business, unless you make sure the fans are happy, you don't have a business and that's what's really important about today."

Willowbank

The first stage of the Willowbank upgrade would include an extension to the main Supercar track, but Mr White said it was about more than just the V8s.

"Motorsport, as an industry, deserves what we are going to build," stated White.

"It's not about Supercars, it's about the industry as a whole and, as you see on the plans, there are other sports that will be accommodated here; speedway, for example.

"So Supercars are important, but they're not the be-all and end-all of what we're doing."

Down the track, a speedway stadium, a motocross circuit and a three-star hotel were also on the cards, although Cr Pisasale said there could be more to come.

"My understanding is one hotel won't be enough," he said.

"With the CMC Rock (country music festival) and all of the events that happen on top of motorsport, we've already shown people are driving back and forwards to the coast."

According to Cr Pisasale, Willowbank attracted 250,000 motorsport fans a year.

"Now it's time to take that cake and ice it, in regards to making a great facility that will create a lot of jobs and something that's going to be spectacular as a destination for motorsport," he continued.

Cr Pisasale also stated that the IMP site had a five-kilometre buffer, which could see it claim events currently held at the space-restricted Archerfield Speedway and Lakeside Circuit.

"By having that buffer zone, you won't see things like what happens at Lakeside, where residential encroachment destroys that industry," he added.

Mr White says that his aim is to make Ipswich the "motorsport capital of Australia".

"It's a $2 billion industry, of which Queensland has 20 per cent of that output,” said White.

“So we have an opportunity to grow the overall output of motorsport in this country, but also to improve that percentage that Queensland currently enjoys.

"The real basis for that is the Queensland Raceway car circuit, where the Supercars are our main act, but we've also got the Willowbank drags and the Ipswich kart club and, as you see in the plans here, there are plans for a whole raft of other improvements and additions."

250 4 7 18 boetcher

250 clarko

250 5STAR Side BannerA

 NEW awsr sml

v3 2017 GW sml

250 redline 250

small ad amca

250 qlsra 249x84

power plus 250px