V8s roar to continue

06 Oct 2017 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Steve Kelly State Government opens throttle on Winton with $600,000 rev up WINTON Motor Raceway will host the V8 Supercars for the next two years with the State Government confirming it will back the event with $600,000. Benalla Auto Club (BAC) will receive funding over 2018/19 to host the SuperSprint, with next years event confirmed over three days from May 18-20. The supercars event reeled in an estimated $8.8 million for the region in 2016 out of a $25 million industry coup. While revenue was slightly down for the Winton stage of the V8 Supercars in 2017, due to torrential rainfalls in the region, club chief executive officer Chris Lewis-Williams said it will continue to be a major boon for regions economy. Mr Lewis-Williams said it costs about $1 million to stage the event every year and the funding will go towards promoting the region to not only motoring enthusiasts, but the wider visiting public. The 2017 event was an audition for us to secure this funding and every time we stage the V8 Supercars event we learn something new, he said. Weve learnt that the event needs to become more than the supercars attraction and from next year we want to explore how we can promote the wider region such as the Milawa gourmet region, Beechworth and the snowfields. The club has been working with Tourism Victoria and Tourism North East on how it can capture the attention of the 65,000 to 85,000 patrons to Winton each year and showcase whats on offer to promote return visitations to the area. Mr Lewis-Williams said one of the mechanisms will be to see how Winton Motor Raceways 30,000 facebook likes can further promote the event and help it be the best it can be for the industry and the regions tourism. To support the clubs application for State Government support it has to conduct economic impact assessments of the event and it found that the average spend per person over three days is $850. He said while the core group of attendees are local people, others do travel from across Victoria and interstate. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said she worked very closely with Benalla Auto Club to secure the regional events funding. Benalla Auto Club CEO Chris Lewis-Williams has some exciting plans for next years event to showcase what is fantastic about North East Victoria giving race fans a new experience, she said. The State Government funded $1 million to resurface the Winton track in 2015 and Acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Luke Donnellan, said he was looking forward to seeing the V8 Supercars race around the track for many years to come. Caption Text: ON THE GAS: The V8 Supercars is a must event for many locals and visitors each year, raking in about $8.8 million. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.