Feature Mark Walker July 9, 2024 (Comments off) (823)

Update: 28 Planned Circuits for Australia

Back in 2020, we ran a report on 21 new race circuits planned for Australia – four years on, it’s time for a status update.

At the time, we reported that the total value of the projects was a cool $1.8 billion.

Here, we run our rule over the set, plus throw some fresh plans into the mix.

How many of these do you believe will see the light of day? Hit us up on the socials @theracetorque, we’d love to hear your thoughts!


Projects that have Progressed

DriveIt NQ

Location: Calcium, 40km south of Townsville, adjacent to Woodstock, QLD.

Target market: Circuit racing, quarter-mile drags, off-road and rally, RC cars, karts, and driver training.

Driving force: Not-for-profit association of local enthusiasts.

First mentioned: 2006

Dollars: The Federal Government has committed $12 million, with the State Government chipping in $5 million for local infrastructure upgrades. More is still required to realise the entire project.

Status: Open for business! We recently reported on the new drag strip being constructed at the facility, plus the latest on developments on the race circuit.


One Raceway (formerly Wakefield Park)

Location: Tirrannaville, 10km south of Goulburn.

Target market: Full-functioning, bi-directional circuit utilising an altered layout and the latest circuit technology.

Driving force: Noted motorsport identity Steve Shelley, who transformed the nearby Marulan Driver Training Centre into the Pheasant Wood Circuit.

First mentioned: Officially relaunched in 2023.

Dollars: Self-funded to the tune of around $15 million, plus a $1 million contribution from the State government for noise abatement.

Status: Reopening for business in the second half of 2024.


Circuit Italia

Location: Balickera, 37km north of Newcastle.

Target market: 2.9km circuit

Driving force: Matthew Higgins, a local businessman.

First mentioned: The Ringwood Park Motor Sport Complex was originally constructed by the Newcastle Motor Racing Club in 2009 as a hillclimb course, the current custodian of the facility is the MG Car Club. A previous plan by Motorplex Australia to build on the site with drag racing and speedway was knocked back in 2003.

Dollars: $12million

Status: The circuit has been sealed, and the walls are being installed.


Other Projects

Rockhampton Street Circuit

Projected officially parked in February 2019.


Rockhampton Motorsport Precinct

Location: Bouldercombe, 23km south of downtown Rockhampton

Target market: Road circuit, kart track, drag strip, speedway, driver training and more.

Driving force: Rockhampton City Council

First mentioned: August 2020.

Dollars: It was estimated that fully realising the 10 components of the project would cost $142,200,000 – $158,500,000.

Status: The Council pulled the pin on the project in May 2021, as reported here on The Race Torque.


Wide Bay Motor Complex

Location: Five minutes east of Maryborough, QLD.

Target market: Multi-purpose driver training and motorsport facility, drag strip and circuit, jet sprint boats, 4x4s.

Driving force: Not-for-profit, club based.

First mentioned: 2010

Dollars: $30million

Status: Currently seeking assistance in building a business plan to progress the project. The site continues to be used for grassroots events such as Rallysprints and Khanacrosses.


Brisbane Auto Mall

Location: Brisbane Airport, adjacent to the international terminal.

Target market: While not necessarily a race track in a traditional sense, it was planned to be a test track surrounded by car dealerships.

Driving force: Brisbane Airsport Corporation and Eagers Automotive.

First mentioned: 2015

Dollars: Up to $1 billion.

Status: The project was officially axed in 2023 after preliminary groundwork had been carried out.


Wellcamp Entertainment Centre and Motorsport Complex

Location: Attached to the new Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba, QLD

Target market: FIA Category 2 standard 4.35km track, go karts, rally cross, training facility, driver training academy, concert amphitheater, camping grounds for 30,000 people. Motorsport was a feature of opening day at the adjacent Wellcamp Airport.

Driving force: The Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, designed by Mark Skaife and Mick Doohan

First mentioned: Approximately 2015

Dollars: Originally estimated at $40million, has been mentioned as up to $100 million.

Status: In March 2022, the Queensland Government reiterated its $40 million commitment to the project.

At the start of this year, The Race Torque visited the greenfield site and broke down its prospects.


Queensland Raceway Redevelopment

The project unravelled in 2017 as reported on The Race Torque.


IMETT

The ambitious project came to naught in 2015.


Cessnock Street Circuit

Location: Cessnock, NSW.

Target market: Supercars street circuit event to replace the Newcastle 500.

Driving force: Cessnock City Council announced their interest in the Wine Country 500 concept in late 2023.

First mentioned: 2023

Dollars: TBC

Status: Last mentioned in March 2024, when Supercars was assessing the suitability of circuit layouts.


Central Coast Motorsport Park

Location: Wyong, NSW.

Target market: 3.5km race track, driver training facilities, speedway, go kart track.

Driving force: Originally a social enterprise, now aiming at a commercial model.

First mentioned: 2010

Dollars: $18million

Status: Plans for the venture were dropped in 2019 following environmental challenges.


Gosford Street Circuit

Mentioned in 2015 and came to nothing.


Black Rock Motor Park

Location: Wakefield, 30km west of Newcastle, NSW, based in an old mine site.

Target market: 5.58km (now 5.25km) Tilke designed track day circuit, rather than a competition race track, with adjoining accommodation.

Driving force: The Formula Company

First mentioned: 2015

Dollars: $77million, now $95 million

Status: The first sod is noted as being turned on the 26th of March this year, with on-sit accommodation available for purchase.


Sydney Grand Prix

In October 2021, the City of Sydney floated the concept of putting in a bid to host the Australian Grand Prix. Subsequently, Melbourne has re-signed to host the race until at least 2037.


Second Bathurst Circuit/Velocity Park

Location: West of Mount Panorama, NSW.

Target market: 4.5km FIA Grade 2 race track, rallycross and supporting infrastructure, with access available from the highway, as well as McPhillamy Park.

Driving force: Bathurst Regional Council

First mentioned: 2017 in its current location, after earlier plans to incorporate a permanent race track into the existing circuit were benched due to noise issues. Initial plans utilised the existing pit lane, with a circuit running behind the paddock campground to a loop up Conrod and through the Chase camp area, although noise issues scuppered that project.

Dollars: $52million

Status: After initial construction was set to commence in early 2021, in June of that year, the Federal Government grant was withdrawn after the prerequisites to receive the funding were unmet. The project was subsequently put on hold by the Bathurst Regional Council.


Canberra Street Circuit

Location: Exhibition Park, Canberra, ACT.

Target market: 3.2km temporary street circuit for use by Supercars.

Driving force: Turcin Avis

First mentioned: September 2021

Dollars: Multi-million dollar investment

Status: The project was shut down by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr in July 2023. The group behind the project was noted as seeking alternatives to bring Supercars back to Canberra.


Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct

Location: Koorlong, on the southwestern edge of Mildura, VIC.

Target market: 3km race track, skid pan, pit facilities, with many other components such as speedway, drags, karting and jet boats included in the entire master plan.

Driving force: Mildura Rural City Council

First mentioned: 2011

Dollars: $21.8million for stage one, $80.2million for all four stages.

Status: The council is still actively seeking support for a public/private partnership, with expressions of interest still being taken via the Mildura Rural City Council website.


Winton Redevelopment

Location: Benalla, VIC.

Target market: Changes to the circuit layout to accommodate a new pit lane and corporate facilities.

Driving force: Benalla Auto Club

First mentioned: 2020

Dollars: TBC

Status: In November 2022, the Victorian Labor Government committed to upgrading the facilities if re-elected to the tune of $250,000.


Brabham Park

Location: Ballarat, VIC.

Target market: International standard track, emergency services training, motor industry testing, CAMS centre of excellence, with CAMS considering moving its headquarters there. More recent suggestions from the City of Ballarat sought out more of a grassroots-style venue (see the Victorian Motorsport Hub).

Driving force: Board consisting of CAMS, local and state government bodies

First mentioned: 2015

Dollars: $50million.

Status: This was last mentioned in 2019 with regards to nearby industrial block planning.


Victorian Motorsport Hub

Location: Fiskville, 80km west of Melbourne, VIC.

Target market: Australia’s premiere motoring hub, sealed circuit, motocross track, drag strip, speedway, go karts, 4x4s, destination venue, industry development, to be build on the former CFA training grounds.

Driving force: Moorabool Shire Council, with support from the City of Ballarat and the City of Greater Geelong.

First mentioned: 2017

Dollars: $50-60million

Status: The last update was from 2018 on prospective investment by the Moorabool Council to develop the business case.


Cardinia Motor Recreation and Education Complex

Location: Pakenham, 60km south-east of Melbourne, VIC.

Target market: 3.6km FIA Grade 2 circuit, rallycross, go karting, hotel, exhibition spaces, shooting club, community hub. Currently, the Koo Wee Rup Motorcycle Club and the Pakenham Auto Club utilise space in the precinct.

Driving force: Podium 1

First mentioned: 2013 as a $30million complex, although planning works kicked off eight years prior.

Dollars: Up to $200million

Status: Received development planning approval in December 2019, although came to nothing when the Podium 1 group faltered, as reported on The Race Torque.


One of the earlier concepts of a circuit at Avalon.

Avalon ‘Home of Motorsport’

Location: Avalon, VIC.

Target market: Everything from grassroots through to Formula 1.

Driving force: Motorsport Australia

First mentioned: Projects in the area were first mentioned in the late 1990s, and have gone through various iterations. Included in this was the Avalon Motor Park, as floated by CAMS in 2009 with design input from Apex Circuit Design. Elsewhere, the Geelong Motorplex, as backed by the “Avalon 2020” consortium of Geelong businessfolk and landowners. That $60 million project included a 5km circuit, motocross, karting, drag racing and a Crash and Trauma Education Centre.

Dollars: $250 million.

Status: An initial $1.6 million investment from the Victorian Government was devoted to assist in planning and design. Subsequently, in the 2024 Victorian budget, there was no money set aside for construction. The project is earmarked for Federal Government land within the Avalon Airport precinct.


Geelong Street Circuit

The concept fizzled out in 2015.


The Track Perth

Location: Keysbrook, 65km south of Perth, WA.

Target market: 3.5km main track with multiple configurations, designed by Apex Circuit Design with a CIK-spec kart circuit on a small 50ha site.

Driving force: Stati Group, an award-winning design and construction property group.

First mentioned: 2018

Dollars: $35 million

Status: A public consultation period opened in August 2022.


Perth Street Circuit

Location: Burswood Park in downtown Perth, WA.

Target market: Supercars temporary street circuit, following in the footsteps of multiple other mooted street circuits planned for the Perth CBD or Freemantle dating back to the 1990s. The facility is set to debut in 2026.

Driving force: Supercars and the West Australian Government.

First mentioned: June 2024

Dollars: TBC

Status: Details are still being ratified.


Wanneroo Raceway Redevelopment

Location: Wanneroo, Perth, WA.

Target market: Second 4.27km race track, upgrades to the existing track, off-road training, rally, BMW, hotel, camping area

Driving force: City of Wanneroo

First mentioned: 2020

Dollars: $231million

Status: Approved by council, although funding has not yet been secured – looking for private partnerships or public investment. The original time frame for completion is 2029. The City of Wanneroo has recently brought this project back to the forefront following the announcement of the downtown street race.


Club Moolia

Location: Bindoon, WA.

Target market: Exclusive country club venue featuring a 4.1km long, 17 turn FIA approved Formula One-inspired race track, a lagoon designed by Crystal Lagoons®, and a first-class sports academy for tennis and motorsport.

Driving force: Singaporean-based Ascapia Capital

First mentioned: 2020

Dollars: $100 million

Status: The Race Torque reported at the start of last year that earth had been turned on the project.

Subsequently, we reported that the venture had hit a stumbling block, and had been placed on the market, although it was subsequently withdrawn.

In January this year, it was reported that a major bushfire had moved through the area of the circuit.

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