Victoria is no stranger to urban sprawl and it has now seen the demise of yet another historic circuit, Sandown, with the last nail in the coffin waiting to be struck. Calder Park is undergoing resurfacing of its drag strip but it too is in danger of being swallowed by housing development.
But there is hope. New circuits in NSW are starting to pop up again and it seems like Victoria is following suit. Thankfully there is a new circuit in development that hopefully has a plan in place when the sprawl reaches the boundary.
Here are all the circuits/tracks in Victoria that are currently operating.
Phillip Island Circuit
The Phillip Island circuit currently holds arguably the best motorcycle racing events in the world and the reason why MotoGP and World Superbike race there with amazing results. It’s incredibly fast, flowing, undulating and with a beautiful backdrop. The weather is constantly changing and can catch riders and drivers out very quickly. There are multiple places for riders and drivers to pass into corners, through corners, out of corners, and into braking areas which cannot be said of most of the new circuits around the world.
Championships have been won and lost many times at Phillip Island. The local crowds, while loyal to Aussie racers will always applaud heroics and those who put it all on the line.
The straight sees you seemingly heading for the Antarctic Ocean before dipping into the first corner braking zone, a unique feeling. Seagulls can also play havoc, the poor things seemingly unaware of the missiles flying around the circuit and putting themselves and riders in danger.
Location: 381 Back Beach Road, Phillip Island, Victoria
Broadford Motorcycle Complex
A dedicated motorcycling circuit that sometimes opens up for car club events. Despite not being marketed and engineered for high level Motorsport events, the circuit is a brilliant mix of corners with plenty of run off and surprisingly undulating.
If you’re into other forms of racing or riding there’s also motocross track and smaller track for young riders, a speedway/dirt track circuit, and an enduro circuit. Many riding schools use Broadford for training purposes.
One of the best parts is also the pricing which is well under what you would pay comparatively in Sydney.
Location: 260 Strath Creek Rd, Broadford Victoria 3658
Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit
Australia’s Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit may be the one that a millions of people tune in to see every year but it doesn’t play a part in anything beyond that. No track days or private events, the rest of the year the circuit is essentially a ring road around Albert Park lake, and being virtually on the fringe of the inner city, there’s no way sound regulations would allow noisy cars and bikes there. Despite this, it’s a once a year destination that hosts the very first race of the F1 season with plenty of support races to entertain.
Location: 12 Aughtie Dr, Albert Park Victoria 3206
Sandown has a long history of motor racing having been opened in 1962 and attracting luminaries such as Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren and John Surtees thanks to their participation in the Tasman Series.
It also hosted the Australian Touring Car Championship for many years.
Like many circuits around the world, it has become consumed by urban sprawl. This means regular track days or even private days aren’t a possibility, and even puts the circuit itself under threat, much like Sydney’s Oran Park which disappeared a few years ago. In fact reports suggest it’s only a matter of time. As of writing, the Supercars series will not be hosting an event at Sandown in 2021.
Location: 591-659 Princes Hwy, Springvale Victoria 3171
Winton is a smallish twisting circuit midway between Melbourne and the NSW border. It host many forms of racing both bike and car including Australian Superbikes and V8 Supercars. The straights aren’t long and there are no big sweeping corners for the most part but there are plenty of corners where things can go very wrong indeed, most notably the first corner chicane producing huge amounts of carnage over the years.
But it’s a really fun track to drive or ride that can accomodate all kinds of machinery. With Calder Park reduced to a drag strip and Sandown looking like it will be resigned to the history books, Winton will become Victoria’s only other circuit option apart from Phillip Island and the motorcycle focused Broadford.
Location: 41 Fox St, Winton Victoria 3673
Calder Park Circuit
Calder Park mostly hosts drag and drift events these days along with Supercar hot laps and other such events. The oval (quad-oval) has ceased holding race events while the drag strip is undergoing new surfacing, ready in 2021.
Urban sprawl is fast encroaching on the boundary of Calder Park raceway, it surely won’t be long before it too comes under threat unless owners take measures to protect at least the drag and drift portion of the circuit.
Location: 377 Calder Fwy, Calder Park Victoria 3037
Cardinia Motor Recreation and Education Park
Cardinia Motor Recreation and Education Park is shaping up to be quite a destination by aiming for FIA Grade 2 certification and able to cater for up to 60,000 people. This should give our domestic series a fresh option after losing a couple of more historic circuits to urban sprawl.
It will feature a 3.6km race track, a 1.4km rallycross circuit and a separate 900m CIK Category A kart circuit.
For traveling teams there will be a 70 room hotel with a large pit facility to handle those trailers along with car storage services.
For corporate and smaller events, the circuit can be split into two smaller circuits. The latest word on the drag strip is there unfortunately isn’t enough room to accomodate one while including all the safety requirements.
Location: 335 McGregor Rd, Pakenham, Victoria, 3810