Premier counts cost of second washout

PREMIER Speedway officials are banking on a Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic bonanza offsetting the financial hit of two washed-out meetings.

An afternoon downpour dumped seven millimetres of rain on the Allansford track yesterday, forcing officials to abandon the bumper New Year’s Day showcase.

The meeting was to feature round five of World Series Sprintcars (WSS) — also the grand final of Speedweek —and round three of Speedweek for formula 500s.

The washout came just 11 days after rain also condemned Premier Speedway’s December 21 meeting, which also had sprintcars and formula 500s in action.

Premier Speedway general manager David Mills said officials made the decision about 1pm to axe the meeting to give teams and fans time to rearrange their plans.

“There was a shower about 1pm that dumped seven millimetres and that was the catalyst for us making up our minds,” he said.

“We had pretty good, reliable information from some people we lean on with regards to the weather that we’d get it.

“We were concerned that could put us off running. When we had the lighter showers in the morning we said we’d look at it at 3pm.

“With World Series, it’s our second-biggest meeting for the year — you’re going to do everything you can to make it run.”

Mills said it had “been a while” since Premier Speedway had back-to-back meetings washed out — “hopefully that’s a trend that doesn’t continue”.

He said the abandoned meetings had cost the club about $30,000, although the lack of profit made the financial hit harsher.

Officials expected to make between $10,000 and $15,000 from the December 21 meeting and potentially $30,000 last night. The lost income means the club needs to stage a successful Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, which is being run over three nights for the first time.

“If you look at it as a straight loss, we’ve negated some of that through some good management and good luck,” Mills said.

“And some of our great suppliers as well, they take some product back which helps a lot. But it’s what you lose profit-wise that hurts.

“If we have a solid December 21 meeting, and World Series is always a meeting that runs in the black, it gives you a budget to do what we do at the Classic.

“And you do so with (financial) security. Now that risk magnifies a bit.”

Mills said plans for upcoming meetings at Premier Speedway, including the Classic, had not changed despite the washouts.

The next meeting is on Sunday and features speedcars, formula 500s and super rods. Children under 15 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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