Thousands support Racewars 2020

By Grace Jones | posted on July 25, 2019

IN JUST over a week a Facebook post announcing Racewars 2020 was a go has garnered more than 2500 people pledging support for the event to run.

Last week the Racewars Facebook page posted the 2020 event would be back and better than ever, with organisers citing “unfinished business to attend to”.

Event organiser Jon Murray said the easiest thing would have been to walk away after the fatal crash that occurred on day two of this year’s event.

“That would have been detrimental to grassroots motorsport and to the local community which benefits from the event,” he said.

“On a personal level it’s no secret I had intended to make RW19 my last event.

“We believe in what we’re doing so we keep doing it.”

Mr Murray said Racewars 2019 could be remembered for the death of Albany raised Brody Ford, but said he felt it was an inaccurate representation of the weekend as a whole.

“We were on target to smash our weekend attendance record, we broke more national records than I can remember, we put on a damn good show and it ran really well,” he said.

“The fact we were able to gather ourselves up on Monday morning and successfully deliver the inaugural Racewars Sprint after all that happened and under intense scrutiny shows we were on the right track in 2019.”

During a City of Albany council meeting on May 28, Council voted to request Racewars to submit a business case for the 2020 event.

Mr Murray said a case had been submitted to the City and that the proposal was in line with statements made earlier in the year that the event needed commercial and government sources of funding to go ahead into the future.

“The City is naturally being very prudent and wants us to have secured commercial support before they also secure the event so a lot of things are poised ready to roll once we chew through the last of the due process and due diligence,” he said.

Mr Murray said he had discussed with the City to start promoting next year’s event despite approval for Racewars 2020 still pending.

“It was agreed that it was in everyone’s benefit for it to proceed and bring back some confidence around both Racewars and the City’s commitment to doing all it can to ensure Racewars continues in Albany,” he said.

“We’ve also made it clear we’re not taking a cent from anyone until pens are on paper.”

Mr Murray said the crash this year was nothing short of an absolute tragedy, something that no one could have foreseen and “almost impossible to prevent”.

Mr Murray said it could take years for the Coroner’s case into Mr Brody’s death to be finalised.

“We will of course learn from 2019, of course we never want to see anyone at any motorsport event get injured or worse and of course we will do all we can so our competitors can go racing and go home afterwards,” he said.

“To suggest we do nothing but sit around and wait is to my mind counterproductive to what we stand for.”

City Acting Chief Executive Officer Susan Kay said they would be conducting additional due diligence checks and would seek an independent review into Racewars 2019.

“Racewars is fully aware that a decision to support the event from the City’s perspective will not occur until all required information is available,” she said.

“Albany has a long history of supporting motorsport events and we want to continue to encourage and grow safe and responsible motorsport events in the region, however City officers must ensure Council has all the facts about Racewars to ensure it can make a considered decision.”