‘Watch this space’ for return of city’s $8.9m Winternats
AS one of the city's major events, the annual Winternationals normally run in June have been rescheduled until September.
Willowbank Raceway operations manager Harry Rowsell said the internationally regarded championships were "utterly dependant upon what's happening'', especially with border closures.
"For the Winternationals traditionally, we get a very, very large competitor component out of the southern states and from New Zealand and America,'' he said.
"So it's a watch this space.''
As a former public servant with extensive administrative experience, Rowsell understands the value of Willowbank Raceway, especially when the four-day Winternationals can be run at full scale.
He said a survey highlighted how last year's Winternationals pumped $8.9 million into the region's economy. That was despite one of the main race days being washed out.
With 30-40,000 fans enjoying the revved-up atmosphere, the Winternationals are especially important in the future after Queensland Raceway lost a round of the Supercars.
Rowsell appreciated the ongoing relationship with the Ipswich City Council, especially during tough times.
"They have been nothing but just a breath of fresh air with the support that they have given us,'' Rowsell said. "And without them, particularly through the time that we are in now, it could be quite a different story.
"It's a good feeling as one of the operators out there at the (Ipswich Motorsport) Precinct that the Council do recognise what we do for the city.''
Eastern Heights based Harry and his wife Sharon have enjoyed their various motorsport involvements since coming to Ipswich from New Zealand in 1985.
"As a family we've put a lot of our own time into it because of one - the sport, two - the competitors, and three - the spectators,'' the former general manager said. "It's just a big family.''
Harry was introduced to cars through his father Frank in 1964.
"It's just stuck from there,'' Harry said.
"When we came to Australia in 1985, Willowbank was just kicking off.
"I used to go to Surfers to watch the sport.
"The family atmosphere across all of our stakeholders was a big drawcard for us as a young family and that hasn't changed.''