World-class circuit proposed for Victoria

New track at Packenham Victoria Kow Wee Rup motorsport track circuit

World-class motorcycle racing, but not MotoGP, could be accommodated at a proposed race track on the way down to Victoria’s famous Phillip Island circuit.

The proposed FIA/FIM-graded Motor Recreation and Education Park is on Cardinia Shire Council land at 335 McGregor Road, Pakenham.

It is currently used for dirt-track events by the Koo Wee Rup & District Motorcycle Club and Pakenham Auto Club.

The proposal is a welcome change to the past couple of decades where many famous Australian race tracks have disappeared under urban encroachment.

However, the tide seems to have turned. The new Bend Motorsport Park opened in South Australia in January, Lakeside Park in Brisbane is again hosting national motorcycle racing and a number of circuit proposals are being reviewed including a second circuit at Bathurst and the new Track Perth facility in Western Australia.

Lakeside motorsport raceway racing John TetleyLakeside motorsport raceway racing John Tetley
Lakeside 

Track concerns

A Koo Wee Rup & District Motorcycle Club spokesperson says the facility would be a good thing.

“But unfortunately it is at the expense of our club as there is no dirt bike track included in the plans,” the spokesperson says.

“The  council will not give us any concrete answers on where we are to go or if we stay there in a small pocket of land what restrictions will be placed on us.

“The club fought for 20 years to get a piece of land. Without our club and the auto club, that land would never have been rezoned from green wedge to motorsport. The council for the last nine years since we have been on the property has stopped us from building decent tracks and infrastructure.”

Proposed circuitTracks expanding against the trend  Queensland Raceway proposed

A development application has been submitted to Cardinia Shire Council for a new 3.7km circuit that could be extended to 4.2km.

It will be designed by UK firm Apex Circuit Design to meet FIA Grade 2 and FIM Grade B standards. Facilities will also include a 70-room hotel and education and training complex.

The company has designed more than 140 automotive facilities around the world including Sydney Motorsport Park in 2011, Avalon Motor Park in Victoria (2010), Al Forsan Kart Circuit UAE (2004), Hockenheim in Germany (2015), Hampton Downs in New Zealand (2006), and Zhejiang International Circuit in China (2013).

They are currently working with Dorna and the FIM on multiple MotoGP venues across the World.

Design director Dafydd Broom says the circuit plan at the top of this page is an old scheme and they are due to start work on the formal Master Plan for the facility shortly.

He would not say how much the project is worth, but confirmed they were targeting licences for the facilities that will allow the operator to run all forms of two-wheeled and four-wheeled road racing except for Formula 1 and MotoGP.

“We have a good relationship with the guys at Motorcycling Australia which is evidenced by our design and subsequent approval by MA for a new track we are planning in Western Australia,” Dafydd says.

Only 77km down the road is the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit that hosts World Superbikes and MotoGP events.

Phillip Island MotoGP
Phillip Island MotoGP

Submissions

Cardinia Shire Council is accepting feedback submissions on the circuit plans.

The site is less than 2km from Pakenham’s residential fringe, so it may attract some residential opposition.

Submissions close on June 28 and a decision is expected in July with building planned to start in mid 2019.

2 Comments

  1. Too close to town. With motorcycle popularity at a current low it would soon fall out of favour with the locals. Also needs to be run as a business. Phillip Island would trump it.

  2. Another quality circuit would be great but I’ll remain skeptical until eathworks begin. Similar poposals that come to nought are all too regular in Australia, most seem to be kite-flying excercises and until someone comes up with a $100m wedge (like Sam Shahin did with The Bend) they remain nice ideas. But best of luck to whoever’s funding it. Note also that Lakeside doesn’t have an unrestricted MA licence and MA sanctioned events for modern bikes still can’t be held there (the Dunlop series and most trackdays are not MA sanctioned).

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