The chances of the V8 Supercars returning to Western Australia appear stronger than ever.
Both V8 Supercars Australia and the West Australian Sporting Car Club are enjoying fruitful dialogue with the WA State Government, and both parties are confident that the necessary arrangements will be made for Barbagallo Raceway to host a round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series next year.
Barbagallo's scheduled June 2010 round was cancelled at the start of this year due to a number of conflicting issues – V8SA said that the pit facilities were not adequate and unsafe, while the WASCC claimed the V8's event proposal was going to lose it money.
Regardless, a comprise is likely to be found – as long as the WA Government fulfill its promise to inject funds into the club to allow them to build a proper, permanent two-story pit facility, replacing the aging structure that is currently in place.
V8SA Chairman Tony Cochrane is confident that a deal can be done to see the V8's return to WA – a strong market for the V8 Supercars.
“I've been heartened in recent times,” he told Speedcafe.com.au.
“Shane Howard (V8SA Chief Operating Officer) and his people have been conducting some very worthwhile and promising meetings with the West Australian Government and I remain further hopeful that we can find a way to resume in Perth and find a way to get some serious upgrades done to the Barbagallo circuit.
“That's important for West Australian motorsport and important for V8 Supercars.
“I think one thing that is misunderstood, you often read some of the garbage on certain websites that attack us, but the truth of that matter is that we've helped improve facilities at race circuits in all parts of Australia. Sure, we get the benefit for one weekend a year, but for the other 51 weeks of the year, the big benefit is for the race track's patrons.
“It's early days, but I certainly remain optimistic and hopeful. From the V8 Supercars' board point of view, we very much want to find a way to resume racing in WA.”
WASCC Chairman Rick Gill told Speedcafe.com.au that as soon as the government's money is in the bank, work will begin on the new pit facility.
“The government has promised a large amount of money for an upgrade. Hopefully we'll have something signed off by the end of the financial year,” he said.
“We are in the belief that it will happen. So as far as I know, it's just a matter of the government signing off the document and making it 100 percent go.
“As soon as that happens, we can start to push the button on it. But the Club is ready and has the access to the construction people to get it happening. And if the V8's race meeting was to be, lets say in June next year, I reckon we could scrape that in.”
Gill remains firm that his Club's stance is pro-V8s, but on balanced terms.
“I've got to say that there's no one from the WA Sporting Car Club that doesn't want the V8s in Perth,” he said.
“We're all motorsport fans, fanatics and believers and we want them here. It's never been any different. I personally love them. I wish I had one!
“There's nothing more important to us than to have a successful relationship with the V8 Supercars company. There's nothing more important to the club than to have the V8s here. It's always been the direction that we've wanted to go.
“We're prepared to commit to all the work and effort to it, but we can't afford to sponsor their circus and put the club at risk of losing money.”