Until 2008 it was Mitsubishi Australia’s test track – but redevelopment of the site south-east of Adelaide is now underway, with The Bend Motorsport Park set to open in 2017.
Located at Tailem Bend, one-hour freeway drive from the city centre, the facility will feature a tri-length circuit, drift and karting track, dragway, offroad facility and airstrip, with full accommodation facilities. It will cost $100 million to develop, with $7m contributions each from the state and federal government.
South Australian premier Jay Weatherill attended the site this week for the start of construction on a facility that is set to open in November next year.
“The Bend is set to become one of the world’s longest permanent circuits and is expected to create 1631 full time jobs and bring 339,000 extra visitors to the region each year,” Weatherill exclaimed on his Facebook page.
“An important project not just for motorsport fans, but also local industries and our economy!”
The project was first rumoured late last decade, with Bend Motorsport Park hiring and contracting throughout 2015 before now commencing development at the site.
The 7.7km full-length GT circuit is touted as “the longest and most challenging permanent circuit in Australia” and the second-longest in the world, and is FIA-approved for all racing bar Formula One.
A 4.9km portion of the circuit will be used for “V8 Supercars, Superbikes and national series events, through to state racing, club racing and track hire” while the circuit can also be split individually into east and west halves for driver training and sprint event functions.
A burnout pad and dragstrip, designed in conjunction with the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA), sits beside a drift track with two courses – tight and technical, and flowing S-bends.
“This dedicated drift facility will be a one of a kind in Australia, featuring many different layouts and unique elements designed for national events, matsuri and local competition,” The Bend Motorsport Park explained in a statement.
The park further welcomes Vmax car testing on the 2km runway designed for short charter flights to the industrial precinct.
The private investment company funding all but $14m of the project is called Peregrine Corporation, owner of South Australian service stations On The Run, nationwide Smokemart stores and rights holder of Krispy Kreme stores within its home state.