Ipswich in running to secure international motorcycle event

Ipswich, already a major motorsport destination, is one of two locations in the running to secure an international motorcycle event.

If successful, the region will host the Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix bringing the world’s top speedway stars down under next year.

As part of a three-day festival that would include a sidecar racing championship, the Grand Prix would attract more than 20,000 speedway fans as well as major international broadcasters and about 100 journalists.

Ipswich Motorsport Park is competing with Adelaide Showgrounds to host the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) event from 2019 onwards.

Discussions have been held with Ipswich City Council, Ipswich Junior Switches Speedway Club, Willowbank Raceway and the event organisers.

Switches club president Dwayne Rew said attracting the Grand Prix to Ipswich would be a big deal for the region and for all speedway fans in Australia.

“If we can make this happen in Ipswich it will be fantastic for this region and for Queensland,” Mr Rew said.

He said the sport was growing in popularity and Ipswich riders were proving their skills on the national and international scene.

Acting Ipswich Mayor Wayne Wendt said the event would provide a needed injection to the local economy.

“Bringing an international speedway event to Queensland would be a massive boost for the community and businesses here in terms of international and domestic visitors, media needing a place to stay, eat and experience some of the great things Ipswich has to offer,” he said.

“This event would provide a needed boost to the local economy and would attract other speedway events to Ipswich.”

Ipswich tourism spokesman Cr David Pahlke is delighted at the prospect of another major event coming to the region.

“This would be a welcome addition to our motorsport precinct where the Willowbank Raceway hosted the Winternationals in June, and where the Ipswich SuperSprint is about to be raced on July 20 to 22 at Queensland Raceway,” Cr Pahlke said.

Staged at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne for three years, the Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix generated $9.8m annually for the local economy with 64 per cent of ticket purchasers from interstate.

The FIM Grand Prix series is raced in several countries including Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

This year’s series concludes with the Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland on October 7.

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