The inaugural Longford Grand Prix Expo has been cancelled less than two months out by the event organisers flagging economic difficulties.
Backed by Events Tasmania, as well as the Northern Midlands Council, the event was set to be hosted by DX Industries Australia.
In an announcement on Friday, January 13, DX Industries Australia Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Dickson said that the event was cancelled, “Due to a combination of difficult economic conditions, such as infrastructure costs and ongoing supply chain issues and labour shortages.”
“Unfortunately, these factors together have the potential to diminish the experience we hoped to deliver.”
The cancellation of the expo has led to questions being raised regarding the $450,000 grant put forward by the Tasmanian Government towards the event.
It is understood that $370,000 has been provided to the organisers.
“We will work with organisers to ensure that we can utilise those funds to support an event in the future,” Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said.
“There is rigour around the process and so the state government will be working to ensure that those funds are not lost to this opportunity.”
In saying that, Premier Rockliff declared that the state government would support plans for a replacement of the event.
“We're working very closely working with locals and motorsport enthusiasts to see what can be done to replace the event,” he added.
“We recognise the opportunity that was presented, which is why the Tasmanian Government supports the event and anything that we can do to get this event back on track, working with locals, working with motorsport enthusiasts, we'll do.”
“It would be terrific if the event would go ahead, but that will involve discussions with motorsport enthusiasts, discussions with locals to see if the event can proceed.
Tasmanian Minister Felix Ellis said the cancellation of the event is set to become a legal proceeding.
“There'll be a legal matter in terms of resolving that,” Ellis said.
“There are some strict structures around grant programmes when they're provided to events like this, particularly if they don't go ahead as planned.
“We'll be working with the organisers around this – it's disappointing for motorsport fans, but we'll be looking also at ways that we can help fill that motorsport calendar, because we know there are a lot of passionate car fans out there in Tasmania, who really want to see events like this go ahead.”
In a show of support for impacted ticketholders, the Australian Racing Group is offering free entry to AWC Race Tasmania at Symmons Plains Raceway on February 24-26.
“ARG has been made aware of the cancellation of what was promised to be a significant and exciting motorsport event for Tasmania, and recognises this is an unfortunate situation for motorsport in the state,” Australian Racing Group Executive Chairman John McMellan said.
“Anyone who made a financial commitment to attending or participating in this event can get a free fix of motorsport a fortnight earlier and just 15 minutes south of Longford at Symmons Plains Raceway, where they will see four excellent national racing categories at AWC Race Tasmania.”
DX Industries Australia Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Dickson has been contacted for further comment by Speedcafe.com.