WORK will start next week on a major upgrade of Winton Motor Raceway that will be complete in time for the V8 Supercars Championship round in August.
The Victorian government has come on board to contribute $300,000 in funding as part of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First program.
The project will include the construction of an all-weather 14,400 square metre bitumen area, allowing Winton to host major events and trade displays all year round.
Winton Motor Raceway chief executive Mick Ronke was over the moon with the news.
“We put a lot of work into convincing the government, so we are very happy,” he said.
Mr Ronke said the car club had been conducting show ’n’ shine and Motorkhana events at Winton for years, but would soon have an all-weather formal area to conduct the increasingly popular events.
“The area will also be available for motorcycle activities, trade displays and driver training,” he said.
“We have done our research and we have been told it is needed.”
The club estimated the facility would attract an extra 10,000 fans each year and about 40 per cent would spend at least one night in the region.
“That is a $2.3 million per year boost for the regional economy,” Mr Ronke said.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said it was a great investment.
“It’s the first time the state government has kicked in funds for capital works on the facility,” Dr Sykes said.
“About 360 days of the year there’s activity at the track.
“It’s a win for the raceway as much as it is for restaurants, cafes and accommodation houses in the area.”
The government contribution will be complemented with funding from the Benalla Auto Club for the $723,000 upgrade, which will also include improvements to the power supply.