Racewars vote set for September 3

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Racewars could return to Albany in 2020.
Camera IconRacewars could return to Albany in 2020. Credit: Racewars

City of Albany officers have recommended the council back a $105,000, three-year sponsorship deal with the Racewars car event organisers.

That proposal, recommended by City chief executive Andrew Sharpe and set to go to a council vote next week, would see organisers receive $35,000 per year in City sponsorship until 2022.

It is a major step towards Racewars’ return next year, which still requires event permits - expected to be voted on by February 2020.

If permits are approved, event organisers planned for next year’s event to be held over the Labour Day long-weekend from February 28 to March 2.

Racewars is a drag racing and speed test event held at Albany Regional Airport since 2017, with a hill climb on Marine Drive debuted in 2019.

The event was thrown into uncertainty this year following the crash and later death of driver Brody Ford in this year’s 1000m Vmax speed test at the airport, and an announcement by organisers that they were facing insolvency.

The coronial inquest into Mr Ford’s death continues.

Mr Sharpe’s report said Racewars organisers had responded to safety concerns and proposed new measures for cars exceeding 300km/h.

Those included mandatory roll-over protection, frontal head restraints and FIA-approved harnesses and protective clothing for drivers.

Racewars organisers had informed the City they continue to discuss safety with “race specialists and key personnel within (the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) and other bodies”, but will not seek CAMS sanctioning.

CAMS is Australia’s largest motor sport administrator and a delegate of the governing body for world motor sport, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

Organisers claimed the 2018 event brought more than 9000 visitors and $5 million to the City of Albany.

Council will vote on the sponsorship proposal at a public council meeting at its North Road chambers on September 3 at 6pm.

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