Supercars close to signing deal and keep racing in Ipswich
A DEAL that would keep the nation's premier motorsport category racing in Ipswich beyond 2019 could be close to finalisation.
In February, Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli and acting chief executive officer Gary Kellar were tasked by councillors to negotiate a new agreement with Supercars.
It was recommended the council seek a two-year agreement, with the level of sponsorship to be negotiated.
The contract also required the council to ensure certain safety and maintenance levels.
Cr Antoniolli said negotiations were "moving along quite well".
"All parties are being cordial and we're progressing through the existing contract and looking at the future going forward," he said.
Supercars will race at Queensland Raceway in July.
Cr Antoniolli did not reveal when the results of a new contract would be announced, but said stakeholders were working through details "as we speak".
"It's been very proactive and very constructive," he said.
Once a preliminary deal is agreed to between parties, it will be taken to Ipswich councillors for a vote.
Each year, the Supercars event draws thousands of people to the region.
"It gives our city great exposure and a great income," Cr Antoniolli said.
In November, the council stopped a process to buy back the lease of Queensland Raceway - through its Ipswich Motorsport Park company - fearing a long and costly legal process.
Safety and facility upgrades to the circuit were also shelved, putting a 10-year agreement for Supercars at Queensland Raceway under a cloud.
A confidential City Management, Finance and Community Engagement committee report in February noted additional funds would be needed to bring the track up to safety standards "before a permit can be issued for the 2018 V8 Supercars event".
Confederation of Australian Motorsport regulates safety. Chief executive officer Eugene Arocca said CAMS was not involved in negotiations between Supercars and the council, but said the safety of Queensland Raceway was an ongoing concern.
"CAMS' focus is on ensuring necessary upgrades are undertaken before we will consider issuing a permanent track licence," he said.
"As the track does not hold a CAMS track licence, and hasn't since 2014, CAMS remains concerned about the level of safety at the track."