Longford Circuit

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Longford
Location Longford, Tasmania
Time zone GMT +10 (AEST) (+11 - AEDT)
Coordinates 41°34′44″S 147°7′25″E / 41.57889°S 147.12361°E / -41.57889; 147.12361Coordinates: 41°34′44″S 147°7′25″E / 41.57889°S 147.12361°E / -41.57889; 147.12361
Operator Longford Motor Racing Association
Opened 1953
Closed 1968
Major events Australian Drivers' Championship
Australian Grand Prix
Australian Tourist Trophy
Australian Touring Car Championship
Tasman Series
Length 7.242 km (4.501 mi)
Turns 9
Lap record 2:12.6 (Chris Amon, Ferrari P4, 1968)

The Longford Circuit was a temporary motor racing course laid out on public roads at Longford, 23 kilometres (14 mi) south-west of Launceston in Tasmania, Australia.[1] It was located on the northern edges of the town and its 7 km lap passed under a railway line viaduct, crossed the South Esk River via the wooden Kings Bridge, turned hard right at the doorstep of the Longford Hotel, passed over the railway line using a level crossing and traversed the South Esk again via another wooden structure, the Long Bridge.[1]

Its first race meeting was held in 1953, the Australian Grand Prix was staged there in 1959 and 1965 and the track hosted a round of the Tasman Series each year from 1964 to 1968.[1] It was also the venue for the single race 1962 Australian Touring Car Championship, the Australian Tourist Trophy in 1960, 1964 & 1966 and a round of the Australian Drivers' Championship each year from 1958 to 1965. Its use as a motor racing venue was curtailed due to financial issues, following the running of the 1968 Tasman Series meeting.[1]

The new outright lap record of 2:12.6 set by New Zealand’s Chris Amon in a Ferrari P4 sports car at the final meeting was, with an average lap speed of 122.2 mph (196.62 km/h), the fastest lap record for any Australian motor racing circuit and would remain so until the opening of the new Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park in Victoria in 1996.[1]

Drivers who raced at Longford read as a "who's who" of 1960s Grand Prix racing. The list includes World Champions Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart, as well as Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. Australian open wheel and touring car stars Bib Stillwell, Lex Davison, Leo Geoghegan, Frank Matich, Frank Gardner, Spencer Martin, Kevin Bartlett, John Harvey, Ian Geoghegan, Norm Beechey, Bob Jane and Allan Moffat also raced at the circuit.

The remains of the Viaduct corner where the circuit crossed underneath a railway

There is little left of the original track as the two bridges have long been demolished and a highway now intersects the network of roads on which the circuit was laid out.

Racing returned to Lonford in 2011 with the first running of the Longford Revival Festival which takes place on Pateena Road (The Flying Mile). There drivers get to run their cars, both road cars and historic race cars, down The Flying Mile.[2]

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