The Bend Motorsport Park is a 7.770 kilometre bitumen motor racing circuit at Tailem Bend, South Australia, 100 kilometres south-east of the state capital, Adelaide.

The complex has a 7.770 km (4.8 mi) bitumen circuit, drag racing strip, and drift racing circuit. [2] Scott McLaughlin holds the lap record for a Supercars (Ford Mustang) in 1.47.495 August 2019.

The race circuits are of a high international standard and licensed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) for car racing and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) for motorcycle racing.

History

Circuit Construction progress in July 2017

In February 2015, Peregrine Corporation lodged plans with the Government of South Australia to redevelop the former Mitsubishi Motors Australia test track at Tailem Bend, South Australia.[3] Approval was granted in May 2015[4] with construction commencing in March 2016.[5] Initially titled the South Australian Motorsport Park, by the time construction commenced, The Bend Motorsport Park name had been adopted.[6]

The address of the site was originally in Elwomple. In September 2017, before the facility opened, the boundary between Tailem Bend and Elwomple was adjusted so that The Bend Motorsport Park is officially in Tailem Bend, not Elwomple.[7][8]

The first major event was the Revolve24 Endurance Cycling Challenge on 13-14 January 2018, an ultra-distance cycling festival featuring 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour races.[9][10] It hosted The Bend SuperSprint, a round of the 2018 Supercars Championship, in August 2018.[11] It has a desire to hold a MotoGP Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix round.[12][13]

On 4-14 January 2019, the circuit hosted the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree.[14] From January 10-12 2020 it hosted a round of the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series season as the 4 Hours of The Bend [15] and the Supercars sprint round will be replaced by a new endurance event, The Bend 500.[16] The Supercars race was later dropped from the calendar altogether, in a shortened calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with circuit managing director Sam Shahin openly critical of the cancellation.[17]

Sam Shahin also offered up the facility for Hotel Quarantine during the Covid pandemic, but this was not taken up by the South Australian Government.[18][19]

Facilities

Jamie Whincup won the Sunday race at the first Supercars Championship event at the circuit in 2018.

International Circuit

Length: 4.950 km

  • Will be used for majority of events including Supercars, Superbikes and national series events, through to state racing, club racing and track hire

GT Circuit

Length: 7.770 km

  • Used for endurance racing, specialist racing events, private hire and test days. Hosted a four-hour Asian Le Mans Series event in January 2020.
  • Is the second longest permanent race circuit in the world, behind the Nürburgring (25.947 km)

West Circuit

Length: 3.410 km

  • Will be used for the majority of short track events. Includes club racing, testing, sprint events, “cruising” events, driver/rider training
  • Can be used independently from the East Circuit

East Circuit

Length: 3.930 km

  • Will be used for driver/rider training, drifting, testing, club days, private days
  • Can be used independently from the West Circuit[20]

Pit building and hotel

Construction commenced in February 2017 for a 300 metres (980 ft)-long pit building which will include hotel accommodation in the upper levels of the four-storey building. There are 34 pit garages.[21] The 100 room Rydges Pit Lane Hotel opened by 2019.[22]

Lap records

The official race lap records at The Bend Motorsport Park are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
GT Circuit: 7.770 km (2018-present)
LMP2 2:38.673[23] Ligier JS P217 2020 4 Hours of The Bend
LMP3 2:51.692[23] David Fumanelli Ligier JS P3 2020 4 Hours of The Bend
GT3 2:56.990[23] Alessandro Pier Guidi Ferrari 488 GT3 2020 4 Hours of The Bend
International Circuit: 4.950 km (2018-present)
S5000 1:41.2560[24] Thomas Randle Ligier JS F3-S5000 2019 The Bend S5000 round
GT3 1:49.0314[25] Garth Tander Audi R8 LMS Evo 2021 The Bend GT World Challenge Australia round
Supercars 1:49.4042[26] David Reynolds Holden ZB Commodore 2019 The Bend SuperSprint
TCR Touring Car 1:57.0504[27] Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30 N TCR 2019 2nd The Bend TCR Australia round
West Circuit: 3.410 km (2018-present)
Supercars 1:16.2224[28] Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore 2020 OTR SuperSprint The Bend

References

  1. ^ [1] 4H of The Bend - Asian Le Mans Series 2019-2020 Best laptimes per driver - Race
  2. ^ Pepper, Robert (21 May 2015). "New Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend, South Australia". Practicalmotoring.com.au. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  3. ^ Tailem Motorsport Park master plan revealed Murray Valley Standard 4 February 2015
  4. ^ Tailem Bend track redevelopment gets green light ABC News 21 Mat 2015
  5. ^ Construction underway at SA Motorsport Park Speedcafe 25 March 2016
  6. ^ The Bend Motorsport Park:Tailem Bend raceway, former SA Motorsport Park and Mitsibushi test track, has new official name Murray Valley Standard 8 March 2016
  7. ^ Grimm, Nick (26 July 2017). "Council to adjust town boundaries to make 'The Bend' an official part of Tailem Bend". The Murray Valley Standard. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  8. ^ Burdett, Michael (19 September 2017). "Notice to Alter the Boundaries of Places" (PDF). Geographical Names Act, 1991. Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. DPTI 2017/17699/01. Retrieved 15 February 2018. and Boundary Alteration of Tailem Bend and Elwomple (PDF) (Map). Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. 11 September 2017. 2017_17699_01_Tailem_Bend. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  9. ^ "From Britain to the Bend: UK's Biggest 24 Hour Cycling Challenge heads to Adelaide" (Press release). SANTOS Tour Down Under. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Bend Motorsport Park hosts first event". Speedcafe. 14 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Supercars reveals 16 event 2018 calendar". Speedcafe. 4 October 2017.
  12. ^ SA Motorsport Park targets MotoGP race Speedcafe 8 February 2016
  13. ^ "Bend Motorsport Park tipped for August 2018 slot". Speedcafe. 31 May 2017.
  14. ^ AJ2019 - A New (12 Day) Township for South Australia Scouts Australia
  15. ^ The Bend to host Asian Le Mans series round Speedcafe 17 January 2019
  16. ^ Howard, Tom (28 August 2019). "Supercars drops QR, Phillip Island in revised 2020 calendar". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  17. ^ McAlpine, Heath (19 June 2020). "The Bend Responds to Supercars Calendar Omission". Auto Action. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Hotel quarantine in rent-seeking pandemic". Australian Financial Review. 17 February 2021. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  19. ^ OntheRunVictims. "Grifters of Australia". OTR Victims. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  20. ^ The Circuit South Australia Motorsport Park
  21. ^ "ADELAIDE'S FIRST PERMANENT PIT BUILDING STARTS CONSTRUCTION" (Press release). The Bend Motorsport Park. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  22. ^ https://www.rydges.com/accommodation/adelaide-sa/rydges-pit-lane-hotel/
  23. ^ a b c "2019-2020 4 Hours of The Bend best laptimes per driver" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  24. ^ "2019 S5000 The Bend Race 1 results". Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  25. ^ "2021 GT World Challenge Australia The Bend Race 2 Results". Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  26. ^ "2019 Supercars Championship The Bend SuperSprint Session Facts". Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  27. ^ "2019 TCR Australia The Bend Motorsport Park 2 Race 3 Results". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  28. ^ "2020 Supercars Championship OTR The Bend Session Facts". Retrieved 21 March 2021.