Surfers Paradise Street Circuit

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Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
Surfers street circuit.png
Location Surfers Paradise, Queensland
Time zone UTC+10
Coordinates 27°59′23″S 153°25′40″E / 27.98972°S 153.42778°E / -27.98972; 153.42778Coordinates: 27°59′23″S 153°25′40″E / 27.98972°S 153.42778°E / -27.98972; 153.42778
Opened 15 March 1991
Major events Supercars
Champ Car World Series
Length 2.98 km (1.85 mi)
Turns 15
Lap record 1:10.0851 (Australia Will Davison, Ford FG Falcon, 2011, V8 Supercars)
Champ Car/IndyCar
Length 4.47 km (2.77 mi)
Turns 20
Lap record 1:31.093 (United States Graham Rahal, Panoz DP01 Cosworth, 2007, Champ Car)

The Surfers Paradise Street Circuit is a temporary street circuit on the Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia. The 2.98-kilometre (1.85 mi) beach-side track has several fast sections and two chicanes, having been shortened from an original 4.47-kilometre (2.78 mi) length in 2010. It is the third of three motor racing circuits that have existed in the Gold Coast region, after the Southport Street Circuit (1954) and Surfers Paradise International Raceway (1966–1987).

From 1991 to 2008, the circuit hosted an American Championship car racing event, the Gold Coast Indy 300. The circuit has also hosted touring car races since 1994, with the Supercars Championship currently contesting the annual Gold Coast 600 at the circuit.[1]



Ron Dickson, the president of D3 Motorsport Development held the rights for CART internationally in the 1980s. Following lobbying from prominent Queensland businessmen, and a brief meeting with State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the event was confirmed for Queensland, and Surfers Paradise was chosen over Brisbane, the state capital. The original circuit layout was designed by Ron Dickson of D3 Motorsport Development, and was the fourth concept put forward for the Surfers Paradise area.[1] Preliminary work was carried out in 1988, and the circuit was opened on 15 March 1991 for the 1991 Gold Coast IndyCar Grand Prix.


The track during construction for the 2006 Lexmark Indy 300

The construction of the circuit has been acclaimed internationally[citation needed] and is used as a benchmark for new temporary street circuits world-wide.[citation needed] Over a full 12-month period plans are laid and then implemented to transform a bustling residential, commercial and holiday destination into a temporary street circuit capable of facilitating high-speed motor races and hundreds of thousands of people. The circuit construction since 2009 has been project managed by local Gold Coast firm iEDM who specialise in motorsport venue engineering and delivery.[2]

In constructing the original circuit, over a two-month construction period, seven bridges were erected, along with 2,515 concrete barriers, 11,500 grandstand seats, more than 140 corporate suites, 10 km (6.2 mi) of debris fencing and 16 km (9.9 mi) of security fencing, as well as many more temporary structures being fitted, and large-scale power and telecommunications systems being activated.

The circuit is also an international leader in motor racing safety standards applauded by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport and the FIA (the international governing body of motorsport). One of the major advancements over the later years of the Champ Car era was the installation of double height debris fencing, including an additional 610 panels in high impact areas in 2005.

Shortened layout[edit]

Since 2010, the Supercars Championship run a notably shorter layout of the circuit. At the Turn 2 chicane, the circuit enters a hairpin to the left and rejoins the original track at the Esses. The then-CEO of V8 Supercars, Tony Cochrane, suggested this layout after the A1 Grand Prix cars dropped out of the 2009 event.[3] This was an effort to reduce the cost of running the event without an international drawcard series. This was achieved by reducing the construction time, amount of materials needed and also limits the impact on local residents and tourists. It is no longer possible to use the full circuit with the G:link light rail line having been built over it.


American Championship car racing[edit]

Original Surfers Paradise Street Circuit

An annual event had been held here beginning with the opening round of the 1991 IndyCar season. Following the merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series in February 2008, the future of race had originally been secured until 2013 as an IRL IndyCar Series event, however the race was dropped from the calendar after the first demonstration race, and the A1 Grand Prix was signed up as a replacement, severing its eighteen-year history with American open wheel racing.[4]

A1 Grand Prix[edit]

On 11 November 2008 after extensive negotiations with the IRL broke down, the Queensland Government reached a new five-year deal with A1 Grand Prix to stage a race at Surfers Paradise. The first A1GP race was supposed to take place on 25 October 2009.[5] To accommodate the new link with the A1GP series and subsequent removal of the Indy name (which is a registered trademark of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), the entire four-day event was called the Nikon SuperGP.[6][7] However, on 17 October 2009, A1GP Chairman Tony Teixeira announced that the UK operating arm of the series went into liquidation in June. Access to the A1GP cars and the ability to pay its suppliers has been impeded. That caused the cars to be impounded the UK.[8] A1 Grand Prix subsequently failed to arrive and were removed from the program, replaced with additional V8 Supercar races.[9]

Touring cars[edit]

Since 2002, the Surfers Paradise race has counted for points in the V8 Supercars championship, now known as Supercars. V8 Supercars and the preceding Group 3A touring car category had previously appeared as a support category in 1994 and from 1996 onwards.[1]

From 2003 to 2007, the touring cars officially shared top billing with the Champcar World Series, and then with the Indy Racing League in 2008. The 2009 race was amended after the demise of A1GP, moving to a 600 km (370 mi) format of four 150 km (93 mi) races, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. From that year on, Supercars are the major category at the event. For 2010 the format was changed to consist of a single 300 km (190 mi) race on each day, with two drivers per car.

In 2011 Sébastien Bourdais became the first and only driver to win at Surfers Paradise in both a Champ Car (in 2005 and 2007) and a V8 Supercar (in 2011, and then again in 2012).

Lap records[edit]

As of May 2016.[10]

Class Driver Vehicle Time Date
Champ Car Circuit (1991–2009 – 4.47 km)
Outright United States Graham Rahal Panoz DP01 Cosworth 1:31.093 21 October 2007
Racing Cars
Champ Car United States Graham Rahal Panoz DP01 Cosworth 1:31.093 21 October 2007
Formula 3 Australia John Martin Dallara F307 HWA-Mercedes-Benz 1:47.9630 24 October 2008
Formula Ford New Zealand Mitch Evans Mygale SJ07A 1:57.1461 23 October 2009
Touring Cars
V8 Supercars Australia Garth Tander Holden VE Commodore 1:49.8352 21 October 2007
V8 Utes Australia Ryal Harris Holden VE SS 2:14.5591 18 October 2007
HQ Holden Australia Steve Haley Holden HQ 2:29.9498 18 October 1998
Sports Cars
Carrera Cup New Zealand Craig Baird Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 1:53.2297 23 October 2008
Nations Cup Australia Paul Stokell Lamborghini Diablo GTR 1:54.5710 23 October 2003
Aussie Racing Cars Australia Kyle Clews Commodore-Yamaha 2:06.7819 23 October 2009
Current Circuit (2010–present – 2.98 km)
Outright Australia David Reynolds Ford FG Falcon 1:10.0499 27 October 2013
Racing Cars
Formula Ford Australia Nick Foster Mygale SJ10a 1:15.8478 27 October 2013
Formula 4 Australia Will Brown Mygale Ford 1:16.8732 23 October 2016
Touring Cars
Supercars Championship Australia David Reynolds Ford FG Falcon 1:10.0499 27 October 2013
V8 Ute Racing Series Australia George Miedecke Ford FG Falcon Ute 1:24.0277 23 October 2015
Sports Cars
Australian GT Germany Thomas Jäger Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 1:12.3814 21 October 2012
Carrera Cup Australia David Russell Porsche 991 GT3 Cup 1:12.8643 25 October 2014
Aussie Racing Cars Australia James Abela Aurion-Yamaha 1:23.9719 26 October 2014
Historic Touring Cars
Touring Car Masters New Zealand Jim Richards Ford Falcon Sprint 1:21.3734 21 October 2011
Stadium Super Trucks United States Sheldon Creed Stadium Super Truck 1:33.8386 23 October 2016

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Lomas, Gordon (23 October 2016). "GC600 marks silver anniversary of street race". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "iEDM - Motorsport". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Stolz, Greg (2008-11-11). "Race over for Gold Coast Indy". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  5. ^ "A1GP to race in Surfers Paradise". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  6. ^ "Gold Coast SuperGP unveiled as Indy replacement". 2008-02-17. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "A1GP statement". 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  9. ^ Mival, Al (2009-10-17). "V8 Supercars to replace scrapped event as A1GP cars fail to show". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  10. ^ Natsoft Race Results

External links[edit]