Sydney Motorsport Park (known until May 2012 as Eastern Creek International Raceway) is a motorsport circuit located on Brabham Drive, Eastern Creek (40-kilometres west of the Sydney CBD), New South Wales, Australia, adjacent to the Western Sydney International Dragway. It was built and is owned by the New South Wales Government and is operated by the Australian Racing Drivers Club. The circuit is one of only two permanent tracks in Australia with an FIA Grade 2 license and is licensed for both cars and motorcycles.
The development of circuit was approved in 1989 and construction began soon after. However, construction was delayed by poor weather and debates over land ownership. A test race open to Superbikes was held in July 1990 and the circuit was officially opened by then-New South Wales Minister for Sport Bob Rowland-Smith on 10 November 1990 with the running of the Nissan Sydney 500 endurance race for Group A touring cars. In 1991, the consortium formed to fund the circuit suffered financial problems and the complex was purchased by the New South Wales Government. The pit facilities provide fifty garages with direct access to the paddock area and a covered 4,000-seat grandstand overlooks the finish line, providing a view of the majority of the circuit. Events are held at the circuit on most weekends during the year.
On 11 August 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Ron Dickson, the A1 Grand Prix circuit designer who also designed the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, suggested that Sydney Motorsport Park was not up to modern standards and needed to be upgraded. On 28 April 2008, it was announced that Apex Circuit Design Ltd. had been commissioned to perform a $350,000 feasibility study on upgrading the track to suit more purposes and hold larger events such as the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, however nothing came of this proposed upgrade.
In early 2011, the circuit received funding for a $9 million upgrade, with the New South Wales Government providing $7 million and the Australian Racing Drivers Club funding the other $2 million. The upgrade reconfigured the circuit into four layouts, with two able to be operated at the same time, with a total length of 4.5 kilometres. The upgrade also included an additional pit lane facility to cater for the new configuration, a new race control tower and new amenities buildings. Work on the upgrades began in June 2011, with a new piece of road joining turns four and nine. This link road, finished in October 2011, created the new "Druitt Circuit", also known as the North Circuit. The 830-metre extension on the south-eastern part of the circuit was completed in May 2012 to create the new "Amaroo Circuit" (or South Circuit). On 21 May 2012, the circuit was renamed from Eastern Creek International Raceway to Sydney Motorsport Park. Construction of the new pit lane between turns four and five also began at this time.
After the first Australian motorcycle Grand Prix held at Phillip Island in 1989, there was a conflict over advertising between the Victorian Government and the tobacco industry, who were major sponsors of the Grand Prix teams. The New South Wales Government saw this as an opportunity to bring the race to Sydney and in October 1990, a deal was made for the Grand Prix to be held at what was then known as Eastern Creek International Raceway from 1991 to 1993. The race remained at the circuit until 1996 before returning to Phillip Island in 1997.
The circuit has also hosted rounds of the Australian Superbike Championship.
Australian motorcycle Grand Prix winners
A1 Grand Prix
The Australian round of the A1 Grand Prix championship was held at Sydney Motorsport Park from the 2005–06 season to the 2007–08 season. During the 2006–07 event on 4 February 2007, German driver Nico Hülkenberg set the outright lap record for the original circuit layout with a 1:19.142 lap time in the A1 Team Germany prepared Lola-Zytek.
A1 Grand Prix winners
The first touring car event at the circuit was the 1990 Nissan Sydney 500, an endurance race which was the final round of both the 1990 Australian Endurance Championship and the 1990 Australian Manufacturers' Championship. In the early 1990s, the circuit also hosted the Winfield Triple Challenge, an event which featured Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) teams and drivers alongside Superbikes and drag racing.
The circuit first hosted a championship round of the ATCC (now known as V8 Supercars) in 1992 and held a round every year, excluding 1998 and 2006, until 2008. Further to this, the circuit hosted the season-ending Grand Finale in 2003 and 2004, with Marcos Ambrose winning the round and the championship title on both occasions. In 2009 the circuit was dropped in favour of the Sydney 500 on the Sydney Olympic Park Street Circuit. The circuit returned to the V8 Supercars calendar in 2012 after V8 Supercars failed to secure a second international event. After another year off the calendar in 2013, the circuit has returned to the calendar from 2014 onwards.
The official pre-season V8 Supercar test day was held at the circuit in 2011 and 2013 to 2015. The 2013 test day was the first time that the four Car of the Future manufacturers appeared together at a public event. The 2015 test day clashed with the 2015 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, preventing V8 Supercars drivers from competing in the race.
ATCC / V8 Supercar round winners
- ^1 – Sydney Motorsport Park hosted two rounds of the 2003, 2004 and 2020 V8 Supercar Championship Series.
- ^2 – Sydney Motorsport Park hosted four rounds of the 2021 V8 Supercars Championship Series.
Winfield Triple Challenge
Between 1992 and 1995, the circuit hosted a non-championship Triple Challenge event in late January consisting of touring cars, Superbikes and drag racing. The event was backed by the Winfield cigarette brand, to promote their sponsorship of all three categories of racing. Glenn Seton Racing, sponsored by rival cigarette brand Peter Jackson, won the touring car element of the event in all four years, with eponymous team owner/driver Glenn Seton winning three. In practice for the 1995 event, the Winfield-backed entry of Mark Skaife had a major accident at Turn 1, hitting concrete drag racing barriers which resulted in injuries that forced him to miss the first round of the 1995 Australian Touring Car Championship. The event concluded with the ban of cigarette advertising in Australia at the end of 1995.
Touring car winners
|1992||Glenn Seton||Ford Sierra RS500||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1993||Glenn Seton||Ford EB Falcon||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1994||Glenn Seton||Ford EB Falcon||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1995||Alan Jones||Ford EB Falcon||Glenn Seton Racing|
Muscle Car Masters
An event organised and promoted by Australian Muscle Car magazine, the Muscle Car Masters is held on Father's Day every year. The event includes races and demonstration laps featuring Australian muscle cars and ex-race cars from the 1950s to the 1990s. Regular racing classes include Group N, Group C, Group A and Touring Car Masters while different car clubs have their cars on display each year and take part in demonstration laps. Historically significant cars in Australian motorsport are also present and complete laps of the circuit. While the main focus is on the history of Australian touring car racing, other classes, such as Formula 5000, have also appeared.
In the 1990s, the venue held a number of rock concerts and music festivals including Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, the Alternative Nation festival and the Colossus 2 dance festival. Music festivals returned to the circuit in 2009 and 2010 when it hosted the Soundwave Festival for both years.
Former Formula One driver Mark Webber drove a Red Bull Racing RB7 Formula One car during the Top Gear Festival at the circuit in March 2014 and set a time of 1:11.2330. However, as this time was not recorded during a race, it does not count as a lap record.
- As of 15 September 2016.
Unless otherwise stated, all records shown are for the original Gardner (Grand Prix) Circuit.
|Outright||Nico Hülkenberg||Lola Lola B05/52-Zytek||1:19.1420||4 February 2007|
|A1 Grand Prix||Nico Hülkenberg||Lola B05/52-Zytek||1:19.1420||4 February 2007|
|Formula Holden||Tim Leahey||Reynard 92D Holden||1:22.5131||26 March 2000|
|Formula Three||Nick Foster||Mygale M08 Mercedes-Benz||1:22.6290||13 July 2013|
|S5000||Cooper Webster||Ligier JS F3–S5000||1:26.3915||1 May 2021|
|Formula 5000||Alex Davison||Lola T332||1:26.8987||7 June 2015|
|Formula Libre/Historic||Ty Hanger||Ralt RT4 Ford||1:27.6786||5 November 2005|
|Superkarts||Warren McIlveen||Stockman 115 Honda||1:28.1133||5 July 2015|
|Formula Two||Arthur Abrahams||Cheetah Mk.8 Volkswagen||1:29.3500||25 August 1991|
|Formula 4||Nick Rowe||Mygale F4 Ford||1:31.5520||19 August 2017|
|Formula Ford||Cameron Hill||Mygale SJ10a Ford||1:34.5519||5 July 2015|
|Formula Ford Kent||Rob Storey||Spirit WL07 Ford||1:38.9196||22 September 2007|
|Formula Vee 1600||Mitchel Martin||Sabre 02||1:46.7250||26 August 2012|
|Formula Vee 1200||Jay Hall||Jacer Volkswagen||1:50.9297||25 September 2005|
|Radical Australia Cup||James Winslow||Radical SR8||1:25.7027||14 July 2013|
|Supersports/Sports Racer||Adam Proctor||Stohr WF1||1:26.7160||13 July 2014|
|GT Sports Cars||George Miedecke||Aston Martin Vantage GT3||1:27.7611||27 August 2016|
|Production Sports||Allan Simonsen||Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3||1:28.0570||28 May 2011|
|Carrera Cup||Steven Richards||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||1:30.9042||24 August 2014|
|Porsche GT3 Cup||Ryan Simpson||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||1:32.2420||4 July 2015|
|Nations Cup||Paul Stokell||Lamborghini Diablo GTR||1:33.5918||18 July 2004|
|Clubman Sports||Chris Barry||PRB Clubman||1:38.7875||23 June 2002|
|Aussie Racing Cars||Joshua Anderson||Camaro-Yamaha||1:42.0702||30 April 2021|
|Porsche 944||Chris Lewis-Williams||Porsche 944||1:45.9016||20 May 2012|
|Historic Sports Cars|
|Group Sc||Geoff Morgan||Porsche 911 Carrera||1:45.8382||7 June 2015|
|Group Sb||Kevin Luke||Shelby Mustang GT350||1:49.6999||7 June 2015|
|Group Sa||Peter Jackson||Austin-Healey 3000 MkI||1:51.8841||28 May 2011|
|Barton Mawer||Porsche 968||1.19.277||18 October 2019|
|Supercars Championship||Jamie Whincup||Holden ZB Commodore||1:29.8424||4 August 2018|
|Sports Sedan||Tony Ricciardello||Alfa Romeo GTV-Chevrolet||1:28.9391||15 July 2012|
|Super2 Series||Richie Stanaway||Ford FG X Falcon||1:32.9579||20 August 2017|
|Trans Am Australia||Owen Kelly||Ford Mustang Trans Am||1:33.7815||1 May 2021|
|Super Touring||Cameron McLean||BMW 320i||1:33.8642||7 June 1998|
|Group A*||John Bowe||Ford Sierra RS500||1:36.21||5 June 1992|
|Improved Production||Ray Hislop||Ford BF Falcon||1:40.7119||26 August 2012|
|Italian Challenge||Andrew Leithhead||Alfa Romeo GTV6||1:44.2082||24 June 2001|
|Commodore Cup||Tony Bates||Holden VS Commodore||1:44.8247||17 July 2011|
|Saloon Cars||Ben Grice||Holden VT Commodore||1:46.0023||5 July 2015|
|Group 3E||Bob Pearson||Mazda RX-7||1:46.4351||7 November 2004|
|Toyota 86 Racing Series||Tim Brook||Toyota 86||1:49.1189||20 August 2017|
|V8 Ute Racing Series||Grant Johnson||Holden VZ SS Ute||1:50.4062||26 November 2006|
|HQ Holden||Greg King||HQ Holden||1:58.4667||7 December 1997|
|Historic Touring Cars|
|Group A*||Carey McMahon||Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R||1:37.8622||6 September 2015|
|Touring Car Masters||John Bowe||Ford Mustang Trans-Am||1:41.2736||24 August 2014|
|Central Muscle Cars||Jason Richards||Chevrolet Camaro||1:41.5119||6 September 2009|
|Group C||Jason Richards||Holden LX Torana SS A9X Hatchback||1:43.0145||4 September 2011|
|Group Nc||Ross Donnelley||Ford Mustang||1:46.0209||28 November 2003|
|Group Nb||Bill Trengrove||Ford Mustang||1.50.5692||4 September 2011|
|Group Na||Craig Stephenson||Holden FJ||2:11.2755||22 June 2003|
|500cc Grand Prix||Àlex Crivillé||Honda NSR500||1:30.359||20 October 1996|
|Superbike||Wayne Maxwell||1:29.772||10 September 2017|
|250cc Grand Prix||Max Biaggi||Aprilia RSV 250||1:32.084||20 October 1996|
|Formula Xtreme||Kevin Curtain||Yamaha R1||1:32.657||4 October 2003|
|Supersport||Rick Olson||Yamaha YZF-R6||1:32.727||5 October 2013|
|125cc Grand Prix||Haruchika Aoki||Honda RS125R||1:36.272||20 October 1996|
|Sidecar||Steve Abbott/ Jamie Biggs||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:37.420||1 May 2005|
* John Bowe's time was set during the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship, when the ATCC was in its final year of Group A regulations. Carey McMahon's time was set during the 2015 Muscle Car Masters.
- "Visitor Information – How to Get Here". Sydney Motorsport Park. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "About the Park". Sydney Motorsport Park. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "History". Western Sydney Parklands. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Sharpe, Alan (2 February 2002). Pictorial History: Blacktown and District. Blacktown, NSW: Kingsclear Books Pty Ltd. p. 34. ISBN 0-908272-64-2.
- "Race for street circuit may become endurance event". drive.com.au. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
But A1GP track designer Ron Dickson, who created the Surfers Paradise Indy track, says money needs to be spent on Eastern Creek to bring it in line with today's standards.
- "Eastern Creek International Raceway". Apex Circuit Design. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Barnett, Josh (29 January 2011). "New South Wales government to provide $7 million upgrade to Eastern Creek International Raceway". Fox Sports News. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "Work begins on Eastern Creek upgrade". SpeedCafe. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Video: New Eastern Creek North circuit". SpeedCafe. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Eastern Creek renamed Sydney Motorsport Park". SpeedCafe. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Hall, Sam (24 January 2013). "Webber shoots for Sydney lap record". The Standard. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "Ambrose dominates for title triumph". theage.com.au. 5 December 2004. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Brenden Hills (30 September 2008). "Homebush to host V8 Supercar race". Cumberland Courier. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Eastern Creek added to 2012 V8 Supercars calendar". SpeedCafe. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "V8 Supercars announces 2013 championship calendar". SpeedCafe. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Ottley, Stephen (1 August 2015). "V8 Supercars takes over Bathurst 12 Hour". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (17 June 2021). "HIDDEN VALLEY'S TRIPLE CHALLENGE THROWBACK | V8 Sleuth". V8 Sleuth. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- Lynden, Peter. "ATCC: Mark Skaife crashes duting testing". Motorsport.com (19 January 1995). Retrieved 19 July 2021.
- "Soundwave 2010". last.fm. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Ricciardo destroys Sydney lap record". SpeedCafe. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.