A revised Eastern Creek circuit layout is set to greet competitors at the opening round of the 2012 Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils this weekend.
As part of the $9 million worth of upgrades currently being undertaken at the venue, the right-hand kink at the back of Corporate Hill, known as Turn 6, has been removed.
The change has been made in order to allow overtaking at the following left-hand Turn 7, and represents the first alteration to the 3.9km Grand Prix circuit since it was built in 1990.
The Kumho V8 Touring Cars Series, Radical Australia Cup, Commodore Cup, Australian Manufacturers Championship and Australian Swift Racing will all be in action this weekend, with lap records likely to fall in all categories.
According to local driver Matt Sofi, the removal of the kink, which was originally designed for motorcycles, will make for improved racing.
“It’s a great change, because you entered turn seven at a strange angle from attacking turn six, it was never any good for passing,” said Sofi.
“You were always trying to slow the car and get it tuned in whilst negotiating the initial right before going left and up under the Corporate Hill bridge.
“They have opened up the entry to seven, now, and it should make for better racing.”
The change to the Grand Prix layout comes after the new 2.8km North circuit was completed last year.
Construction continues on a third circuit variant, which will be able to be operated simultaneously with the North circuit.