Tailem Bend closes on Supercars round for 2018

Gordon Lomas

Friday 16th December, 2016 - 6:00am

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thumbAustralia’s largest motor racing complex currently under construction is ‘very close’ to signing a firm deal with Supercars to host a round of the series from 2018.

After previously entering into a Memorandum of Understanding, the facility located 100km south-east of Adelaide is confident of securing a Supercars deal.

Construction of the largest motor racing venue to be conducted in Australia in the modern era is expected to be finished by the end of next year.

Of the four circuit configurations, the 7.77km is believed to be the second longest permanent layout behind the Nurburgring in the world.

A 5km layout is expected to be used for Supercars and other international events which are currently being investigated by operators of The Bend Motorsport Park.

Variations of the circuit also see 3.7km and 3.5km layouts with all configurations meeting FIA category 2 standards.

Paul Trengove, motorsport development operations manager at The Bend, said talks with Supercars and potential international categories are continuing positively.

“We don’t have a signed agreement at this point but we are very close,” Trengove told Speedcafe.com.

tailen-bend4Trengove said beyond Supercars, international events are firmly on the agenda for the facility.

“We can hold any international event except Formula 1,” Trengove added.

“High on our agenda at the moment is to source international events.

“While I can’t say some of the parties we are talking to we are talking to some international series already.

The Bend’s international circuit is an FIM Category A standard, paving the way for MotoGP and World Superbikes.

tailem-bend3While MotoGP and World Superbikes have signed extensions to race at Phillip Island until 2026 and 2027 respectively, the Bend remains optimistic of an opportunity to become destination.

“We understand there is quite a long agreement with Victoria at Phillip Island but there is scope for opportunity there so we are continuing to talk with those groups.”

The $100 million-plus facility features a 300m long pit building and a 50-room hotel with balconies overlooking the pitlane.

Aside from the four variations of the main circuit, a multi-configuration drift track is also being built along with an international standard CIK kart track which Speedcafe.com understands is currently undergoing an approval process with Karting Australia.

Peregrine Corporation, the company responsible for the project, said inspiration for the design was drawn from classic Europe venues.

“The Bend’s racing circuit is a world class, with inspiration drawn from the best racing circuits around the world including Spa, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Nurburgring, Suzuka and Silverstone,” Dr Sam Shahin, Executive Director of the Peregrine Corporation, said.

“The circuit will be a permanent bitumen race track of international standard with 35 turns, a one kilometre long main straight and a width of 15 metres that continues into turns two and three for fantastic side-by-side racing action, and top speeds approaching 300km/h.”

The SA government has invested $7.5 million with premier Jay Weatherill saying the project will become a tourist drawcard and inject millions into the state’s economy.

VIDEO: Seven News report on the Bend