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Surfers set for long IndyCar future

Surfers Paradise is set to become a fixture on the IndyCar Series schedule until 2013, according to Queensland's sports minister.

Following criticism from local MPs suggesting the event had no future, sports minister Judy Spence says that only the date needs to be finalised before the popular Australian race cements its place on the 2009 calendar.

"As far as we're concerned it is full steam ahead of Indy on the Gold Coast this year and beyond," she was quoted as saying by

"Our commitment to the future of the race has seen us renew our agreement through to 2013 and we have signed an memorandum of understanding with the IRL."

Spence added that the government was determined to secure the future of the race, and she is optimistic that the deal can be finalised during this year's non-championship event in the last weekend of October.

"We knew the Gold Coast wouldn't yet be listed on next year's IRL calendar because we are still negotiating the dates," she said. "They will not be finalised until we sit down with the IRL during this year's Indy.

"We are committed to ensuring that there is a formula race as well as a V8 car race."

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No decision yet on Surfers' future