A Tasmanian leg of the Australia Rally Car Championships will be held in Launceston for the first time in 15 years.
The three-day series hopes to attract about 60 teams, which is expected to put nearly $1 million back in to the economy.
The five-year Events Tasmania funding deal was confirmed on Friday and adds to the $50,000 promised by the City of Launceston.
Confederation of Australian Motor Sport board member Terry Atkinson said it was exciting for the event to be back in Tasmania.
“It’s a round of a national series, but the big thing is that it’s new roads. Most of the drivers that are competing wouldn’t have driven on our roads before,” Mr Atkins said.
The event would give local drivers a chance to compete in a top-level event, he said.
“There will be a Friday night publicity stage called a super special stage, which will probably be in the Inveresk area. It’s very short and very controlled, but very spectator friendly,” Mr Atkins said.
“Then the Saturday and Sunday will be in the forests in the North-East between here and Scottsdale.”
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the event would be enormous for the North.
“It has the capacity to do for Launceston what Dark Mofo has done for Hobart during the winter months,” Mr Gutwein said.
City of Launceston alderman Simon Wood said it would create a lot of activity in Launceston.
“The economic activity that it’s going to generate, in what is a historically quiet time of the year being the winter period, is going to be worth close to a million dollars worth of activity,” Alderman Wood said. “It’s two-and-a-half thousand bed nights, over $160,000 alone in spend just on food and beverage just in Launceston, and of course the national exposure that this national rally is going to bring to Launceston … you can’t really put a figure on that.”
Alderman Wood said there was a lot of excitement in Launceston about the event.
“Obviously now with the Events Tasmania funding being confirmed then there is absolute certainty that the event is going ahead and they will get into it and enjoy it.”
The championships will be held in July.