Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
|Location||Surfers Paradise, Queensland|
|Opened||15 March 1991|
|Major events||V8 Supercars
Champ Car World Series
|Length||2.98 km (1.85 mi)|
|Lap record||1:10.0851 (Will Davison, Ford FG Falcon, 2011, V8 Supercars)|
|Length||4.47 km (2.77 mi)|
|Lap record||1:31.093 (Graham Rahal, Panoz DP01 Cosworth, 2007, Champ Car)|
The Surfers Paradise Street Circuit is a temporary street circuit at Surfers Paradise, in South East Queensland, Australia. The challenging 4.47-kilometre (2.78 mi) track has several fast sections and four chicanes. It is the third of three motor racing circuits that have existed in the Surfers Paradise area, after the Southport Street Circuit (1954) and Surfers Paradise International Raceway (1966–1987). Ron Dickson, the president of D3 Motorsport Development held the rights for Champ Car internationally in the 1980s. After a brief meeting with State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen the event was confirmed for Queensland, and Surfers Paradise was chosen over Brisbane.
The circuit that was run on until 2009 was designed by Ron Dickson of D3 Motorsport Development and was the fourth concept put forward for the Surfers Paradise area. This work was carried out in 1988 and was first raced on in 1991.The construction of the circuit has been acclaimed internationally and is used as a benchmark for new temporary street circuits world-wide. 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.
In a two-month period leading up to the event, seven bridges are erected, 2,515 concrete barriers installed, 11,500 grandstand seats fastened, more than 140 corporate suites furnished, 10 km (6.2 mi) of debris fencing and 16 km (9.9 mi) of security fencing placed, many more temporary structures fitted, and large-scale power and telecommunications systems 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 past few years has been an increase in double height debris fencing including an additional 610 panels in high impact areas in 2005.
American Open Wheel History
An annual event had been held here since 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.
A1 Grand Prix history
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. 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. 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. A1 Grand Prix subsequently failed to arrive and were removed from the program, replaced with additional V8 Supercar races.
V8 Supercar history
Since 2002, the Surfers Paradise race has counted for points in the V8 Supercar championship. V8 Supercars and the preceding Group A touring car category had appeared on and off as a support category since 1991.
From 2003 to 2007 the V8s officially shared top billing with the Champcar World Seies, and then 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, V8 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.
Since 2010, the V8 Supercars 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. Tony Cochrane suggested this layout after the A1 GP cars dropped from the 2009 event. This was an effort to reduce the cost of running the event without an international drawcard series. This is 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.
- "iEDM - Motorsport". iedm.com.au/motorsport-engineering. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Stolz, Greg (2008-11-11). "Race over for Gold Coast Indy". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
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- "Gold Coast SuperGP unveiled as Indy replacement". news.com.au. 2008-02-17. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- "A1GP statement". a1gp.com. 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Mival, Al (2009-10-17). "V8 Supercars to replace scrapped event as A1GP cars fail to show". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 2009-10-17.