UP IN SMOKE: The Gatton Motorfest is no more, as rising costs have forced the event to be cancelled. Picture: Craig Bachmann Photography
UP IN SMOKE: The Gatton Motorfest is no more, as rising costs have forced the event to be cancelled. Picture: Craig Bachmann Photography

CANCELLED: Rising costs force Motorfest to skid out of town

FOR 20 years the streets of Gatton have come alive with the sound of shredding tyres and screaming engines - but rising costs mean the event has had to speed out of town.

Originally known as the Gatton Street Sprints, the high-octane race event morphed into the Gatton Motorfest in 2018.

But following this year's 20th event, the organising group, Downs Motorsport Committee, has made the difficult decision to cancel the festival.

President Warren Gersekowski said rising costs meant the event was no longer viable.

"It's the cost of everything is going through the roof. This year traffic control cost us $12,000 - the year before was $2000," Mr Gersekowski said.

"Every year there's just more hurdles to jump over and it's just financially not viable."

The original sprints competition moved to Morgan Park Raceway in 2018, and was replaced by the Gatton Motorfest - a two day drift and burnout festival.

Mr Gersekowski said the move to a dedicated racetrack had significantly reduced the costs of running the event.

With the festival being organised by volunteers, and costing well over $150,000, it simply wasn't feasible to continue.

"Everyone thinks we put these things on and take away squillions of dollars - but it's just not the case. We barely scrape through for the effort," he said.

"It's an eight to 10 month planning period for the committee and we're all volunteers. None of us get paid a cent."

He confirmed the club was in discussions with a racing venue to run the event there, but said it would be at least 12 months before any details were confirmed.

The decision is a blow for the Gatton community and motorsports fans.

Businesses will also lose out on the financial benefits the event brought in.

"Local businesses are the ones that capitalise off it - all your motels are booked out, your pubs are booked out of a night time for a feed," he said.

Mr Gersekowski said the committee was disappointed they couldn't keep the unique street based event going, adding many similar on-street events were experiencing the same issues.

"In the next 12 to 18 months I don't reckon there'll be any street sprints anymore," he said.

He thanked business surrounding the track for their support over the years, saying the event wouldn't have been possible with out them.

"I take my hat off to them for letting us in there. Total gratitude to them," he said.

"Nolans Transport, they just bend over backwards to help us, it just dumbfounds me how into it they were."


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