A $120 million multi-purpose track just outside Melbourne is set to replace Sandown before the end of the decade.
Backed by the Victoria government, an international-standard circuit would be the centre piece of a motor industry innovation park.
As well as car and motorcycle racing, the new outer Melbourne track will be designed for automotive testing and driver training.
Plans for the super circuit have been revealed by motorsport news podcast PARKED UP PLUS.
CLICK HERE for the PARKED UP PLUS podcast page.
According to the show’s presenter Mark Fogarty, Motorsport Australia is in deep discussions with state authorities to establish a showcase permanent circuit on the city’s western outskirts. Internally, the project has been dubbed “Australia’s Home Of Motorsport”.
The new raceway would keep a standalone Supercars event in the Melbourne area. The state-of-the-art complex is aimed at taking over from Sandown, which has a limited future. Sandown’s owner has applied for rezoning of the site in Melbourne’s inner southeast to allow residential redevelopment.
Best guess is that Sandown has no more than five more years as a combined horse and car racing venue.
With the suburban circuit’s end in sight, Motorsport Australia and Daniel Andrews’ Labor state government have targeted the other side of Melbourne for a multi-purpose track.
The front-running location is at Bacchus Marsh, 50 km northwest of the city. An alternative site is at Little River, 50 km southwest on the road to Geelong.
Word is that the ruling Labor Party will commit to funding the project if re-elected in November’s state election. Estimated to cost $120 million, the track would double as an independent motor industry proving ground. The facility is also likely to include a dedicated driver and rider training centre.
Motorsport Australia has been working with Motorcycle Australia to devise an international-standard circuit suitable for top-level cars and bikes. Not Formula 1, though – that’s staying at Albert Park.
“Run by the sport, for the sport” is how an insider described the plan to future-proof a permanent circuit on the fringe of Melbourne.
If it goes ahead, the aim is to have the new track operating by 2026 or 2027.