Bathurst to get a second circuit!

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Bathurst to get a second circuit!

Postby wixwacing » Sun 06 Sep, 2009 10:27 pm

I havew just lifted this from another site, interesting!

A RESOUNDING yes was the response from a public meeting on Tuesday night into whether or not a second track should be built at the world-famous Mount Panorama.

More than 80 people packed into the Bathurst Light Car Club headquarters on Conrod Straight to listen to chief circuit designer and former Superbikes competitor Allan Cunynghame speak about the second track proposal.

For more than an hour Mr Cunynghame fielded questions about his design and where the process is up to from business people, Bathurst councillors, Mount Panorama residents and motorsport fans.

While a business plan for the new circuit is yet to be written, Mr Cunynghame said he already had a wish list of major events the new track could attract.

“My vision for this grand prix circuit would be to have a world Superbikes round here, say, near Easter time,” he said.

“That would be fantastic and it is my firm belief that it would bring crowds to the town like the V8 Supercars do.

“Then if you could have an Indy car race in September, then you could have Australia’s premier motor sport race with the V8 Supercars here in October.

“That would be a fantastic year.”

Mr Cunynghame admitted any new events could create problems for residents including access and noise issues, but added the new track would be the only way to get a number of those sports here.

“Science and technology have changed so you can never again see bikes race around the top of the Mount - the geography, the ups and downs and the length of the straights and the concrete walls everywhere, that would never happen,” he said.

“I took a fair bit of pride in this new track design. I took a fair bit of time drawing that up and we’ve been able to recreate the Esses upside down and design a great track.

“Next week might be a little early [to begin work] but if we can get Gerard [Martin] to give Paul Toole a cheque we could start straight away.”

With options for a full 4.8km track as well as a shorter 2.5km version in the design, Mr Cunynghame said the next step in the process was to secure the $25 million needed to make the project a reality.

Currently it is estimated that Mount Panorama injects around $69 million into the community and supporters of the new track suggest that figure could grow to around $160 million.

Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin left the meeting feeling positive about the proposal.

“I think it is very positive message from Alan Cunynghame who’s got great credibility not only in the business world but in the motorcycle racing world and contacts throughout the world,” Mr Martin said.

“We are lucky to have someone like that who has got that vision and has got those contacts,” he said.

“But I think the reality is that it is going to come down to a funding issue and if we approach it, certainly from the State Government, as a regional development then this project is about creating stimulus and jobs in the regions.

“It just so happens that motor racing is the vehicle we are using to do it.”

And if Mr Martin gets his way, then securing funding should not be a drawn out and lengthy process.

“I’m hopeful that within the next week or so, together with Bob Debus, to get the federal and state ministers responsible together and also to include Bathurst Regional Council who are the custodians of the circuit and people like Alan Cunynghame in that meeting,” he said.

“Then we can understand what the political landscape is for financing in the short term.”

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