[COM] The Bend Motorsport Park
Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:52 am
Figured this needed its own thread. Track has apparently already been fully graded.
South Australia’s second V8 Supercars track taking shape at Tailem BendBULLDOZERS have begun work on South Australia’s second V8 Supercars track at Tailem Bend, developer Sam Shahin has revealed.
And leading figures in the nation’s motorsport industry have thrown their weight behind the $80m project.
The 7.2km circuit, located 93km from Adelaide near Tailem Bend, has been fully graded ahead of Development Assessment Commission approval expected in mid April.
Revealing artist’s impressions of the multi-motorsport facility for the first time, Mr Shahin told The Advertiser $80m funding for the project had been secured and with approval full construction would begin in July.
“We have not set out to make a good track, we want to make a great track,’’ Mr Shahin said.
“We (the Shahin family, originally from Palestine) came to Australia 30 years ago as refugees and we are very proud, very parochial South Australians,’’ he said.
“South Australia has given us every opportunity and to be able to give something back to South Australia in the form of this motorsport complex is a terrific opportunity to repay some of the great things this state has offered us for 30 years.’’
Mr Shahin said $20m would need to be spent upgrading water, electricity, sewerage and road access to the site when construction began.
Eighty per cent of the project would be carried out in the first stage of development, which will also include a drag strip, airport with a 2km long runway, drift circuit, 100-room hotel, caravan park, 4wd track, and rally circuit.
“This is a grand and optimistic project and we need as many of these projects in our state as possible,’’ he said.
“The project will go ahead and over the last 18 months we have already invested considerable time and money already. The intention is with approval in mid April, there will be detailed documentation and bulldozers on site in the second half of the year.’’
The Advertiser revealed this month that V8 Supercars management is considering a second event at Tailem Bend to join Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 street-circuit race in 2016, pending approval and construction.
Design of the track has been years in the development, completed by a team including leading V8 Supercars designer, five-time championship winner, Mark Skaife.
“I have provided some specialist design concept work for Tailem Bend and high-level simulation, because design is now a very scientific process,’’ he said. “But it is more than a track or even a motorsport complex, it is a terrific business development for South Australia.
“Tailem Bend is a mixture of Phillip Island, Bathurst, and Oram Park. It will be a really fast and really committed racetrack as well as a great facility for South Australia.”
Five times world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan is an enthusiastic backer of the project after visiting the site yesterday. “I was blown away to be honest, the amount of initial work they have put into this and divisions they have is amazing,’’ he said.
Mr Shahin, a member of one of SA’s most successful business families and owners of the On the Run business, is a motorsport enthusiast.
V8 Supercars CEO Shane Howard joined a chorus of voices in support of the project.
“We are very supportive of the project being developed, and it is a very exciting concept,’’ Mr Howard said.
“We are committed to the Clipsal and it is a mega event, so we would have to have the support of the South Australian government as we have at Clipsal and run it as a second event.’’
Track designer Michael McDonough of M Track said he had been involved in both the Adelaide and Melbourne Grand Prix circuits and the Tailem Bend circuit would be considered “extraordinary’’ in its design and quality.
“The track is category 2 so that allows you to accommodate any category of motor racing vehicle except Formula One, and in terms of motorbike it will be a grade one circuit so it would be able to accommodate Moto GP if that was ever considered commercially,’’ he said.
Motor Accident Commission CEO Roger Cook said the Tailem Bend facility would also include driving training for motorists.