Gosford in NSW won’t be an alternative venue for a championship finale for Supercars in 2017 after the Central Coast Council announced that the proposal ultimately failed to stack up.
The council indicated that insurmountable traffic management issues, the closure of a heavily used arterial road, and costs, were factors in the decision to nix the Supercars Australia push for a Central Coast attraction.
Supercars Australia, which had been confident of getting the Gosford race across the line, remains confident of finding the right level of council and government support to secure another venue. Newcastle remains as a favoured location for the category, given its strong population base.
But judging by the reaction from punters on social media and web sites, there are strong thoughts that for the greater good of the sport, Supercars should be putting efforts into lobbying governments for another permanent motor racing facility in NSW, rather than shooting for costly taxpayer-funded pop-ups.
One, on Speedcafe, wrote: “So here you have the biggest Aussie motorsport series racing on temporary street circuits that are expensive to build and dismantle, disrupt local traffic and commerce and provide no ongoing facilities to other motorsport users. For all the money governments provide to V8 supercars we could have wonderful full time facilities all around the country. How much money does Townsville spend each year on a circuit no else can use? Same goes for Adelaide, Gold Coast and the Sydney 500. If government is going to support this racing series, it needs to leave a legacy in the form of new motor sport facilities that the whole community can use. This is a good decision by Gosford Council.”
Former Formula Ford champ Russell Norden agreed: “A very big thank you to [Central Coast Council’s] Rob Noble for drilling down and seeing what a ridiculous waste of (how many?) millions of dollars it is to build a circuit that only lasts for 4 days! It is absolute madness! We need to spend those millions on a permanent motor racing circuit that is of benefit 365 days of the year. It then benefits the sport, it benefits local businesses, it can be used for driver training, for functions, for car launches, for just about anything because it is PERMANENT and it is always there, 365 days of the year!”
But some still hanker for a street race in a big city. One enthused: “Bring it to Geelong, Victoria, and the beautiful waterfront of the bay area, naturally in spring or summer to maximise spectator and television viewers. Closing these roads is no problems, in fact some may say they are closed more than they are open with events like the Cadel Evans cycling, Cotton On Foundation's Run Geelong triathlon, Geelong Speed Revival, Geelong Yacht club's Festival Of Sails, so not a problem...”