Plains V8 deal all but guaranteed

Action from this year's V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains in March.

Action from this year's V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains in March.

SYMMONS Plains is all but guaranteed a spot on the V8 Supercars calendar for next year with the motor sport body and state government expected to strike a new deal within a month.

The V8 Supercars' three-year contract with the state government expired in March.

In May, V8 Supercars chief executive James Warburton said a new agreement needed to be signed by early this month or Tasmania risked missing out on hosting a championship round. 

However, V8 Supercars spokesman Cole Hitchcock said positive discussions were continuing and they were ``very, very confident'' of striking a new deal. 

Discussions are focused on a potential upgrade of the 2.4-kilometre circuit, which is likely to attract government funding to be announced in the lead-up to the state budget.  

``We need some improvements made around the track itself so I think we need to agree on those points,'' Mr Hitchcock said. 

When he attended the event just after the state election, Premier Will Hodgman said he wanted to extend the deal.

Yesterday a government spokesman said talks were ongoing.

Almost 20,000 motor sport fans attended the race in March, making it the state's biggest event in terms of spectators. 

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said renewing the V8s' contract would show the state was capable of hosting major events, as well as continuing to deliver an annual economic boost to Launceston.

``It fills Launceston up for a weekend,'' Mr Martin said.

``For Launceston tourism and hospitality businesses it's critically important and we want to see the event returned.''

However, he said its value should not be measured by its impact on the tourism industry, given it attracted few interstate visitors. 

``There are some diehards, but the reality is people in Victoria have V8s in their backyard three times a year.''    

The 2015 championship calendar will be released in early September.

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