The Queensland government is currently assessing the costs of bringing the NTT IndyCar Series back to the Gold Coast and whether open-wheel racing’s return to Surfers Paradise will have the positive economic impact it seeks.
From a report filed by Nine News Gold Coast, the 18-year visit by IndyCar cost the government $217 million AUD, and returned an estimated $750 million AUD into the local economy. Provided the team assembled by Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk finds a similarly beneficial forecast, moving forward on an IndyCar round for 2020 would be possible.
Outside of Queensland’s internal financial studies, another important area of exploration involves the timing of IndyCar’s potential return on the calendar.
It’s believed the series is most interested in holding a February race, ahead of its familiar early March kickoff on the St. Petersburg street course in Florida. Timing on the Surfers Paradise side could prove problematic as the traditional Gold Coast 600 event for the Australian Supercars series, which replaced IndyCar on the seaside street circuit, has been a fixture in October.
With the desired combination of IndyCar and the Supercars on the same bill, finding a date that works with both championships could be the most challenging task to solve.