Categories ---------------------- (Click here for DOG house) > Racing

Ringwood Motor Sports Complex

(1/17) > >>



Circuit Italia quashes construction rumours

An aerial view of Circuit Italia showing the ‘event space’ carved into the hillside and superimposed image of T14 Complex

Developers of the new Circuit Italia motorsport complex near Newcastle have quashed rumours that the facility is under threat.
More than 30 percent of the physical construction of the 3.1km circuit has been finished, but has been put on hold due to the availability of circuit owner/developer Matthew Higgins to commit needed time to the project.
Higgins, a successful Newcastle businessman and motorsport enthusiast, announced plans for the facility back in 2015.
The recent delay in construction had created rumours in the marketplace about the actual completion of the project, which have been totally discarded by one of the project heads, former Supercars Director of Sport, Damien White.
“We understand there has been some speculation surrounding the status of Circuit Italia, but have not reacted because simply we had not been asked until you ( called,” White told
“I can confirm while the physical work of circuit construction is on hold, our work has not stopped.
“To be clear, the hold on construction has nothing to do with government funding, geology or council interference. Simply, Matthew (Higgins) is currently focused on another project.
“He is very hands on and wants to be involved and enjoy the process of circuit construction to make sure it’s exactly how he envisioned it.”
The project team engaged design consultant Matty Brabeck from Hauswerk to assist with a redesign of the permanent buildings and the use of the overall space.
Brabeck is the son of Crimsafe founder Steve Brabeck, who was co-owner of DJR Team Penske before his passing in January 2018.
White says that once reconstruction recommences, the circuit could be completed in no more than six months.
“While I’ve been busy with overall facility layout and design, my colleague, Paul Martin, is managing the site, including our significant responsibilities under our Construction Stormwater Management Plan,” said White.
“We engaged Ditchfield for the circuit construction, and they’re one third complete.
“With the same crew numbers, it would be another six months to completion.
“That said, the crew numbers can be increased to reduce the timeline if necessary. Ditchfield have been great to work with and they’re as motivated as us to see the circuit completed”.
The redesign has included a re-working of the pitlane entry to decrease entry speed and make it safer and a reduction and relocation of permanent buildings, while retaining a 12,500sqm paddock area.
“With the significant elevation changes around the circuit, and now the slower pit lane entry, we have achieved a very challenging and safe 3.1km layout,” said White.
“Our attention then turned to a review of the paddock area, pit lane and associated buildings to ensure they were efficient, and relevant to our day-to-day requirements.
“We worked with Matty Brabeck from Hauswerk over a number of months to achieve something we’re incredibly pleased with.
“In the review we concluded we would be over-serviced by constructing a traditional pit facility, as it would only be fully utilised during major events, so we relocated and reduced it, which has then created a very versatile space clear of any buildings.
“We created the ‘T14 Complex’, made up of a parc ferme and storage building, which includes office and medical spaces and the Lounge/Clubhouse, which is truly amazing.
“It’s positioned on the circuit’s edge and provides a view of the high-speed Turn 13, the braking into the Turn 14 hairpin, the kink of the final turn and all the way down the start/finish straight.”
Construction will recommence once Higgins has the available time to commit to the project.

Go for a drive and have a look over the fence maybe? But do remember to take a token bag of groceries with you!

Anymore progress on this track anybody? I noticed the video's been taken down now and I cant see any photos of the new pits building construction  :o

Just found out the ACTUAL status of the new Italia Raceway track being built just north of Raymond Terrace. Courtesy of RCIOS (Race Cars In Ozzie Sheds) is video footage taken earlier today:

That's a pretty serious start on the earthworks so it means they have got over all the paper hurdles and are finally at "GO"!!!

Just in case anyone didn't see this a week ago, see below.

With these announcements, I can now let the cat out of the bag that Paul Martin was the guy that tapped me on the shoulder at the Newcastle toy run in 2008 and said "we need to talk", which we have done several times over the years. Paul is a sensible and capable gentleman and will have a steady hand on the tiller getting this facility to blossom into a fully operational motorsport venue that we will be proud to have in the area. Glad to see he has stuck with it and finally gets to play a bigger role.

By way of qualification of earlier posts going back over the years, I just need to formally state that Paul has been an absolute gentleman and a model of discretion in our chats. Things I have implied / discovered and talked about earlier came from other excitable chaps with vested interests, and whom I won't talk about unless they bob up and want it to be so!

Whilst there isn't much he can do about it any time soon, Paul has a soft spot for motorcycling and he will undoubtedly have the interests of the sport in mind when looking at future developments.

Q1. When are you starting and when will it be completed?
The project has a number of starting points.
Masterplan: Design, planning and engagement with regulatory bodies started more than 5 years ago and is now finalised with the relevant approvals in place.
Construction: Tenders have been received and a contract will soon be awarded for construction. Construction will commence in the second qtr of 2017, with completion due by end of October, 2017.
Personnel: Two senior appointments have been made. Paul Martin, who has been consulting during the master planning stage, has commenced full time and will manage the circuit operations. Damien White, who was in a senior management position with Supercars Australia, before stints at the South Australia Motorsport Park and Ipswich Motorsport Precinct will focus on marketing and business development.

Q2. Why is it called Circuit Italia?
The circuit name was derived from the road it’s on – Italia Road.
Q3. Where is it?
Italia Road, just off the Pacific Hwy north of Raymond Terrace35 minutes north of Newcastle15 minutes from Newcastle airport45 minutes west of Nelson Bay45 minutes to the Hunter wine region

Q4. What is the circuit layout?
Wedged into the side of a hill our circuit designer, Grant Liddell, has taken advantage of the natural topography to create a 14 corner 2.9km layout with extreme changes in elevation; something that is missing from most circuits in the country. The radical rise and fall will bring back memories of Amaroo and Oran Park, all designed and built to the highest safety standard (FIA Grade 2).
Q5. How much will it cost to drive my car on it or book the whole venue?
Paul and Damien are finalising pricing structures and the various product offerings. In terms of arrive and drive or whole of venue bookings, we are targeting a price point which will keep us competitive with the current circuits available.
Q6. Can I ride my motorcycle on the circuit?
Motorcycle use was a consideration during the master planning and circuit design stage, however the current council approval does not include it. A further Development Application (DA), which would require an environmental noise impact assessment, would be required to permit motorcycle use.
Q7. Will there be driver training at the circuit?
Yes. Circuit Italia considers driver education, particularly for young people, an important service to facilitate. There will be a purpose-built driver training area that can be used for specific training in addition to that conducted on the circuit.
Q8. Can I do drifting, and will there be drift events at the circuit?
It is vital that we maintain the facility to the highest standard for all users, so drifting will not be conducted on the main circuit. We will, however, permit drifting and drifting events to be conducted on the driver training area.
Q9. How can I get involved?
We have been overwhelmed by, and are extremely grateful for, the volume of requests/offers to be involved. Your willingness to give your time to contribute to the success of Circuit Italia reinforces our belief that grassroots and club based competition still has an important place in the motorsport landscape.
We are currently exploring the options to establish a club. When done, we will distribute the relevant information and invite applications.
Q10. Where can I stay?
There are many affordable options in Raymond Terrace and surrounds; with the convenience of being only 10 minutes away.
If you’re planning to stay a few days and visit the broader region you may want to explore the many options in Port Stephens, Newcastle or the Hunter wine region. Most of these are well within 45 minutes of Circuit Italia.
Thank you.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version