18 May 2023
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and take your places – the 2023 Festival of Horsepower is launching back into Ipswich for another high-octane month of racing.
From thoroughbreds set to battle it out in the Ipswich Cup to Australia’s largest drag racing event – the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals – June has it all for those with a need for speed.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the Festival of Horsepower brings high-energy action to the cold winter months in Ipswich.
“Drag racing, horse racing, V8 supercars and everything in between, the Festival of Horsepower has become Australia’s most exciting festival for those who like it fast,” Mayor Harding said.
“This year brings back some of our favourite events, including Ipswich’s social day of the year at the Ipswich Cup on 17 June. The Cup attracts around 20,000 racegoers each year and is a highlight of the racing calendar.
“The Winternationals will also be heating up Willowbank from 8 to 11 June, injecting more than $8 million into the Ipswich economy and attracting around 90 percent of visitors from outside the region.
“It will be an event not to be missed, and we expect thousands of visitors to flock to Ipswich once more giving a high-octane boost to our economy for this incredible month of horsepower.
“The latest tourism statistics show a 62 per cent increase in overnight trips and a total 18 per cent increase in the number of people visiting Ipswich, with our events calendar proving to be a big draw card.
“Following the racing thrills the Festival of Horsepower in of June, Ipswich SPARKs to life celebrating the people, places, arts and culture of Ipswich in July.
“Galvanized in September further celebrates the rich history and heritage of our beloved old city, offering dozens of immersive experiences, workshops and tours across Ipswich.
“Ipswich is the place to be for our remarkable and unique major events with offerings for all, across the entire year.”
Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said the Festival of Horsepower was an event unmatched across the country.
“The Winternationals are four days of fast-track action, the biggest drag racing event held outside North America, an incredible event for the whole family,” Cr Jonic said.
“Ipswich has hosted the Winternationals for 38 years at Willowbank Raceway, and this year it is expected to attract over 33,000 attendees and 2,000 competitors.
“'Willowbank Raceway has drag-racing fans covered, but if you're looking to get involved and you don't own a top fueler, why not register your daily drive for Roll racing at QLD raceways, or feel the power of the V8 Experience.
“If two wheels are more your thing, bring your bike for the moto ride days.
“Whatever your interests, there’ll be something to get you out and get your blood pumping along the tracks this winter.
“Experience the power and the strength of these vehicles and horses just once, and you’ll never look back.”
Cr Jonic said following the success of Planes, Trains and Autos in its third year, the Festival of Horsepower would offer a whole new level of adrenaline rush.
“The Festival of Horsepower is just one of Ipswich’s rich bank of festivals and events, giving local residents more entertainment and lifestyle options while attracting thousands of visitors to our region each year,” Cr Jonic said.
“Ipswich City Council’s newly-released 2023-2027 Economic Development Strategy will continue to guide our efforts to growing our incredible line-up of festivals and events all year round.
“Our cultural impact is what sets us apart as a destination of choice, and each year we welcome more visitors keen to find out what makes our region so unique. The Festival of Horsepower will reinforce just why what we have here is so good.”
The Festival of Horsepower runs throughout the month of June. Tickets are available now.
Full details are available at: https://www.ipswichfestivals.com.au/festival-of-horsepower