Courtney gives upgrade thumbs up
V8 SUPERCAR driver James Courtney has welcomed planned upgrades to the racing circuit at Willowbank.
Under the stewardship of new Ipswich Motorsport Precinct general manager Danien White, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said Ipswich's reputation as Queensland's leading motorsport destination would be cemented.
Cr Pisasale said the council owned company, in concert with key partners, would get to work on a $52.3 million stage one upgrade.
That includes additions and modifications to the 'paperclip' track.
"Talk of extending the track is great for us," Courtney said.
"We really enjoy coming here and I think it is fantastic not only for Ipswich but also the motorsport community.
"Everyone loves a new circuit.. and I like the fact that we will be coming into turn two quite a bit quicker.
"One great thing about this place is that from just about anywhere on the circuit (as a spectator) you can see everything and that is something it looks like they are trying to keep."
Cr Pisasale said Mr White would "progress the development based on a comprehensive financially sound masterplan that proposes major upgrades to the existing race circuit, drag strip and go-kart facility as well as supporting key infrastructure".
The plans also propose development of a speedway stadium, motorcross circuit, three-star hotel and opportunities for motorsport related retail and industry.
Deputy Mayor Paul Tully said the redevelopment of the precinct would "bring significant economic benefits to Ipswich and create up to 200 construction jobs for the local community".
"It is anticipated to generate more than $138 million of benefits per annum," he said.