Big crowd, as Winton seeks to secure V8s

25 May 2016 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Caitlin Sartori Talks under way, butSupercars chief is calling forstate support WINTON Motor Raceway, relishing itsbiggest crowd in years for the V8 Supercars Woodstock Winton SuperSprint over the weekend, is continuing talks to securethe major event into the future. Raceway operations manager, Wayne Williams, told the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday that about 89,000 people attended the event across the three days up 25,000 from last years event. It was good but we wouldve liked to have had more, Mr Williams said. The series was the first held on the recently refurbished track, which was well received by competitors. Were heading inthe right directionwe can certainly say it wasthebiggest crowd weve held here in the last five to six years, Mr Williams said. It was definitely the best atmosphere weve had for an event, with something for everyone, andwere looking to go bigger andbetter next year. Mr Williams said the campgrounds were booked out with about 5000 people camping and next year theyll look to open up more land to accommodate camp ers. Wintons contract to host the V8 Supercars is upfor re newal andMr Williams said discussions were already un der way tosecure a long-term arrangement. Ideally, we would like it to bea long-term deal of five years, he said. Benalla Auto Club (BAC) group chief executive of ficer, Chris Lewis-Williams, said analysis was conducted around the understanding and quantifying the economic benefits of the event to the North East region. It will help our ongoing discussions with alllevels of government, hesaid. In thelead-up to the event, we received significant levels of support from the Benalla and Wangaratta councils in d assisting us with eventpro motion, which contributed to our excellent crowd figures. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said the event was expected to boost the regional economy by up to $10 million. Winton is currently the only independently promoted event which does notreceive local tourism or major event funding. e It comes just days after V8 Supercars chief execu tive officer James Warburton warned the future of Vic torian Supercars events at Winton and Sandown could be in doubt if the State Gov ernment does notgetbehind events. Victorias State Govern ment is currently the only state which does not fund standalone V8 Supercar events. Winton ispreparing for anp other major event this week end, with the 40th anniver sary of Historic Winton,run by theAustin 7 Club. Mr Williams said up to 50,000 people over two days could flock to the venue for the special event. We normally dont sell camping for that event but weve booked about 500 peo ple, he said. Caption Text: BUMPER CROWD: About 89,000 people flocked toWinton Motor Raceway for the V8 Supercars SuperSprint event at the weekend. PHOTO: Rene Martens