Crossover bridge mooted for revamped Ipswich
An Oran Park-style crossover bridge could be added to Queensland Raceway as part of plans to reinvent the Ipswich circuit.
The first stage of the $220 million Ipswich Motorsport Precinct project will focus on improving the current 3.1km layout, which has been in place since the facility opened in 1999.
A design partner for the circuit is expected to be confirmed as soon as this week, with a mid-October deadline slated to finalise plans for the extension.
The masterplan unveiled by the Ipswich City Council in July showed a relatively simple loop added to the existing circuit, starting with a 90 degree left-hand turn ahead of the current Turn 1.
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A desire to add elevation change to the currently flat layout, however, is understood to have seen the prospect of adding a crossover bridge floated.
Such an addition would also likely take place to the left of the current Turn 1 and leave the majority of the existing layout untouched.
A stated aim of being able to operate two circuits at once for driver training and club days means that a second pitlane will also be built on the new loop.
Although likely to include several new corners, the additional section is not expected to extend for more than a kilometre.
Australian motorsport has been without a circuit with a crossover since New South Wales’ much loved Oran Park closed in 2009.
Ipswich project general manager Damien White confirmed to Speedcafe.com that the previously released masterplan design is subject to changes that will be thrashed out in an upcoming design workshop.
“There are no firm plans or final design at this stage,” White told Speedcafe.com.
“The masterplan that was shown at around the time of the Supercars event was exactly that – a masterplan with concepts on it.
“The layout of the Queensland Raceway on that document was purely a concept and we have the option to vary that design when we see fit.
“We are close to confirming an organisation that we will contract to work with us and other users of the circuit to deliver a design that is fit for purpose.”
The process will see the precinct and its design partner consult with a broad range of the circuit’s current users – including competitors and car manufacturers – before locking in a design.
The Ipswich Motorsport Precinct is hoping to secure $52 million of public funds for the circuit upgrades, which will be undertaken before work starts on improving the surrounding infrastructure.
Sign-off on the circuit upgrades is expected to trigger a new 10-year deal between the Ipswich City Council and the Supercars Championship following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year.