New speedway events an economic, tourism boost to city

Corey McCullagh celebrates with crew after winning the 2018 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Corey McCullagh celebrates with crew after winning the 2018 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic. Picture: Morgan Hancock

An expanded sprintcar calendar is expected to inject a river of cash into the region.

Drivers, teams and fans are also expected to stay longer in the city with Premier Speedway securing extra nights of racing.

The club’s events calendar was released on Wednesday, with the inclusion of two rounds of World Series Sprintcars on December 29 and New Year’s Day.

The speedway has also secured the the Wingless Sprint Australian Championships on February 22 and 23.

Warrnambool City Council’s visitor economy manager David McMahon said it was a huge boost for the city. 

He said the speedway was worth more than $7 million to the Warrnambool economy annually.

“That’s money that stays right here driving our economy,” he said.

“With these new events surely its only going to grow.”​

He said the bumper speedway calendar was another reason for residents to invite their out-of-town friends and family to visit and experience what the city has to offer. 

“This is just another example of how important the Premier Speedway is to the visitor economy,” he said.

“(Speedway manager) David Mills and his team do an outstanding job to attract world class events. The timing of these events is critical because it will be servicing our visitors during our peak season, as in those that are simply looking for a fun activity for a family. It will also attract the speedway fans in the capital of speedway racing which is Warrnambool. We are the home of speedway.”

Mr McMahon said the February event would drive visitation in a shoulder period.

Mills said it was a coup for the city.

“All in all we’re very excited about what’s in store for next season,” Mills said.

“We saw an opportunity on the Saturday night which we hope will be a win-win for the club, competitors and fans.

“We have worked with the other Victorian tracks, as well as keeping an eye on the dates of a majority of the major National Events to give the competitors and race fans every chance to maximize their participation.

“All in all, given the parameters we work within, we are very pleased to be able to announce what we think is an exciting and action packed 2018-19 Race Calendar.”

Mills said he believed its not only the Premier Speedway Club which will benefit.

He is confident hosting two rounds of the World Series will see the south-west, in particular Warrnambool, reap the rewards.

“We think it will create some bed nights that time of year,” Mills said.

“A lot of people already base themselves out of Warrnambool for the series then travel to Avalon.

“With a second round in Warrnambool there is a fair chance they will be based here for an extra night or two.”

The Premier Speedway will also host other marquee events from November until April.

The action-packed calendar also includes the 47th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, Easter Sprintcar Trail, SpVictorian Titles for both Speedcars and Sprintcars and the Wingless Sprint Australian Championship.