Wanneroo Raceway, currently known as CARCO.com.au Raceway for naming rights reasons, is a 2.411 km (1.498 mi) motorsport circuit located in Neerabup, approximately 50 km (31 mi) north of Perth in Western Australia. It was built by the WA Sporting Car Club.

The circuit was originally known as Wanneroo Park and the first race meet took place in March 1969. Initially the major race per year was a 6-hour Le Mans style race for sedans and sports cars known as the Six Hour Le Mans. However, as interest dulled in that event, production car racing took over as the major race type. In 1979, the Australian Grand Prix was held for the first and so far only time at Wanneroo Raceway which coincided with the opening of the new pits and paddock area to the west of the circuit. The Grand Prix was won by South Australian Johnnie Walker driving a Lola T332 Formula 5000. Walker was the last driver to win the AGP driving a Formula 5000.

In 1992, it was decided that a short circuit would be constructed by linking Turn 5 on the current circuit to the back straight forming a new 1.760 km (1.094 mi) circuit. This extension was funded by prominent West Australian motorsport identity Alf Barbagallo and hence the circuit name was changed to Barbagallo Raceway.[1] The short circuit allowed for an increase in the types of racing including the inclusion of truck racing and also allowed events to be run at night.

The circuit was completely resurfaced in 2004 and this saw almost all lap records broken in the first few months of 2004. Due to the sandy nature of the area the circuit slowly became more and more abrasive over time and was considered one of the toughest on tyres in the country.

The circuit was resurfaced again in early 2019.[2] The circuit was renamed Wanneroo Raceway in 2020, however its name was changed as CARCO.com.au Raceway from August 2022 to November 2025.[3]

Events

Formula One ace Mark Webber drove a demonstration run at the circuit on 28 November 2010.

The track holds a number of major race meets each year, with the biggest being a round of the Supercars Championship called the Perth SuperSprint. This is one of the biggest sporting events in Western Australia each year with over 50,000 people attending the 3-day event.

The circuit offers patrons drift racing as an occasional spectacle. Some criticism has also come from opponents of drifting, due to damage caused to the track surface, especially heading into Cat Corner at the end of the main straight, where entries of over 100 km/h (62 mph) are not uncommon.

The circuit hosted the inaugural Australian Festival of Speed in 2010. Formula One team Red Bull Racing and driver Mark Webber attended for a demonstration.[4] The festival never returned to the circuit, having bankrupted the owners.[citation needed]

The circuit also hosts a number of motorcycle racing and training events, including the WA State Championships for Superbikes, Supersport and Sidecars – along with a number of support classes.

Upgrades

Due to the removal of the circuit from the V8 Supercar calendar for 2010 season, the state government considered upgrading the track to improve the quality of the track and its facilities.

Many options were considered, which included extending the track to the north which would roughly double the length of the circuit, there were also alternative extension plans which were smaller. The widening of the track was also addressed, which would be needed to extend the track for safety regulations. The plan of the track extension was expensive if all aspects of the plan were considered, this would see this major upgrade of the circuit be postponed until the necessary upgrades are completed.

On 18 July 2011, the track's control tower was torn down, beginning the first stage of upgrades that saw the track widened, and a new pit facility built in the centre of the circuit, with connecting bridge. Improved lighting and safety barriers, as well as upgrades to facilities and buildings within the circuit formed part of the project.

Following a number of deaths Motorcycle Racing was banned from Wanneroo Raceway in November 2016 until a number of safety upgrades could be implemented.[5] In June 2016 the WA government released the "Wanneroo Safety Enhancement Options Identification Assessment", also known as the Hall Report, recommending changes to the circuit to allow motorbike racing to return.[6] These upgrades included the addition of a "Bus Stop" Style turn at turn 3, a barrier wall through the infield area between turns 4 and the back straight and some other minor improvements, and were added to the circuit in January 2017.[7] The track was relicenced by Motorcycling Australia in March 2019, allowing racing to return.[8]

Touring Car round winners

Peter Brock racing at Wanneroo Park in 1985

Wanneroo Raceway has held rounds of the Australian Touring Car Championship since 1973. The circuit was left off the calendar from 1974 to 1977 and again in 2010.

Craig Lowndes has won the most ATCC / V8 Supercars rounds at the circuit with six wins. The most successful touring car team at Wanneroo is the Dick Johnson Racing with seven wins.

The first ATCC race held at the circuit in 1973 was won by Allan Moffat driving a Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III for the Ford Works Team.

Lap records

As of May 2022, the official race lap records at Wanneroo Raceway are listed as:[9][10][11][12]

Class Driver Vehicle Time Date
Long Circuit: 2.411 km (1969–present)[13]
F3000 Australia Gary West Lola T87/50 0:50.5769[11] 25 March 2007
F1000 Australia Nick Percat Stohr F1000 0:53.0792[11] 13 July 2019
Sports Sedan Australia Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo GTV-Chevrolet 0:53.1680[11] 3 March 2019
Formula Mondial Australia John Bowe Ralt RT4 0:53.44[11] 25 August 1984
Australian GT Australia Peter Major Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX 0:53.7056[11][14] 4 May 2019
Supercars Australia James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 0:53.7293[11][15] 3 May 2019
GT3 Australia Ryan How Audi R8 LMS ultra 0:54.0325[11][14] 4 May 2019
Super2 Australia Zane Goddard Nissan Altima 0:54.3949 3 May 2019
F5000 Australia John Wright[b]
Australia Johnnie Walker[b]
Lola T400[b]
Lola T332[b]
0:54.92[b] 11 March 1979
Superbikes Australia Daniel Falzon Yamaha YZF-R1 0:55.446[16] 5 June 2016
Porsche Carrera Cup New Zealand Steven Richards Porsche 911 (997) GT3 Cup 0:56.9816[17] 1 May 2011
Supersport Australia Sam Clarke Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 0:57.184[16] 5 June 2016
Group 3A Australia Craig Lowndes Holden VR Commodore 0:57.995[18] 26 May 1996
250cc Grand Prix Australia Rip Crocker Yamaha TZR250 0:58.050[16] 8 October 1995
Formula 4 Australia Nick Rowe Mygale M14-F4 0:58.4291 6 May 2017
GT4 Australia Justin McMillian KTM X-Bow GT4 0:58.727[11][14] 4 May 2019
Street Car Racing Australia Andrew Stevens Nissan 180SX 0:58.9157 24 July 2016
Group A Australia John Bowe Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth 0:59.040[19] 7 June 1992
Sidecar United Kingdom Steve Abbott
United Kingdom Jamie Biggs
LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000 0:59.4480[16] 29 May 2005
Formula Ford Australia Ashley Walsh Spectrum 011b 0:59.5717[11][20] 24 March 2007
Formula Ford Kent Australia James Small Van Diemen 011b 0:59.7669[11][20] 13 June 2004
Improved Production Australia Matt Cherry Holden Monaro CV8 1:00.4662[11] 14 April 2019
125cc Grand Prix Australia Josh Brookes Honda RS125R 1:00.7983[16] 8 October 2000
Formula Ford Silver Australia Ray Stubber Royale RP31M 1:02.2195[11] 20 May 2007
Group C (Australia) Canada Allan Moffat Mazda RX-7 1:02.37 1 April 1984
Touring Car Masters Australia Michael Almond Porsche 911 RS 1:02.9005[11] 5 May 2013
Clubman Sports Australia Terry Smith Hooper 1:03.8160[11] 8 April 2006
Group Nc Australia Paul Stubber Chevrolet Camaro 1:03.8405[11] 8 May 2005
Aussie Racing Cars Australia Dave Robson Chevrolet Camaro-Yamaha 1:05.1660 7 May 2017
Saloon Cars Australia Grant Johnson Holden Commodore (VT) 1:05.1876[11] 18 August 2019
Mini Challenge Australia Leanne Tander Mini Cooper R56 JCW 1:05.6260 11 May 2008
SuperUtes Series Australia David Sieders Mitsubishi TritonChevrolet 1:05.7849 30 April 2022
Supersport 300 Australia Sam Condon Kawasaki Ninja 300 1:06.263[16] 5 June 2016
V8 Ute Racing Series Australia Grant Johnson Ford FG Falcon Ute 1:06.4669 1 May 2015
Group Nb Australia Graeme Woolhouse Ford Mustang 1:06.7704[11] 4 May 2019
Group Sc Australia Harvey Leys Porsche 911 Carrera 1:07.1633[11] 26 July 2009
Group 3E Series Production Australia Graham Stones Mazda RX-7 1:07.1823 15 August 1999
Formula Vee 1600 Australia Ryan Simpson Jacer F2K6 Volkswagen 1:07.9889[11] 14 October 2006
Formula Vee 1200 Australia Jez Hammond Spook Mk 1 Volkswagen 1:09.6141[11] 9 August 2004
Group Sb Australia Ted Jordan Porsche 356C 1:11.8089[11] 18 April 2004
HQ Holden Australia Tony James HQ Holden 1:14.1755[11] 11 July 2004
Group Sa Australia John Rowe Austin-Healey 3000 MkI 1:14.9372[11] 6 May 2007
Group Na Australia Terry Smith Ford Zephyr 1:20.7941[11] 11 July 2004
Bike Circuit: 2.413 km (2019–present)[13]
Superbikes Australia Cameron Stronach Yamaha YZF-R1 0:55.909 24 April 2022
Supersport Republic of Ireland Tommy King Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 0:58.285 29 November 2020
sub 400cc Production Australia Jordan White Kawasaki Ninja 400 1:06.3250 24 April 2022
150cc Junior 4T Australia Lenny Cowley Yamaha YZF-R15 1:17.7480 3 April 2022

Oral history

Notes

  1. ^ Wanneroo Raceway's Grade 3 licence expired 9 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Both riders took the same lap time independently in the same race.

References

  1. ^ Building the Short Circuit, www.wascc.com.au via web.archive.org Retrieved on 12 July 2014
  2. ^ Stefan Bartholomaeus, Changes at Barbagallo ahead of SuperNight, www.supercars.com Retrieved 23 December 2018
  3. ^ "New name for Perth's Wanneroo Raceway". speedcafe.com. 11 August 2022. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Mark Webber in Perth For Festival of Speed". watoday.com.au. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Motorcycle racing temporarily banned at Barbagallo". speedcafe.com.au. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  6. ^ Hall Technical (1 December 2016). WANNEROO SAFETY ENHANCEMENT OPTIONS IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT, Barbagallo Raceway, Western Australia (DOC) (Report). Department of Sport and Recreation, Govermnent of Western Australia. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  7. ^ "TRACK UPGRADE WORKS". WA Sporting Car Club. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Motorcycle racing returns to Barbagallo Raceway". perthnow.com.au. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Barbagallo Raceway Wanneroo 2.42366 km Long Circuit" (PDF). West Australian Sporting Car Club. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Lap Records". Motorcycle Racing Club Western Australia. 9 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "CARCO.com.au Raceway - Track Records". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Natsoft Race Results - Wanneroo". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Wanneroo Raceway - Racingcircuits". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  14. ^ a b c "Australian GT Championship Barbagallo 2019". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  15. ^ "2019 Perth Race 1 Statistics". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Barbagallo Raceway Motorcycle Lap Records - 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Trading Post Challenge - 2012 V8 Supercars — Races 7,8&9 - Barbagallo Raceway Wanneroo - 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Race 3". National Software. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.[dead link]
  18. ^ "1996 Barbagallo #1". Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  19. ^ "1992 Barbagallo #1". Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  20. ^ a b "Australian Formula Ford Lap Records". Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  21. ^ Hurney, John (2000), Interview with John Hurney : Wanneroo raceway /, Joondalup Local Studies, retrieved 22 January 2020
  22. ^ McCrakan, Patsie (1999), Interview with Patsie McCrakan : Wanneroo raceway, Joondalup Local Studies, retrieved 22 January 2020

External links