The Bend set for final FIA track inspection

Tom Howard

Tuesday 26th June, 2018 - 6:00am

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The Bend Motorsport Park pic: The Bend Motorsport Park

The Bend Motorsport Park is set to undergo its final FIA track inspection today ahead of hosting its maiden Supercars round in August.

FIA track inspector John Symes has travelled from the UK to assess the new $110 million state-of-the-art South Australian facility alongside representatives from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS).

The visit is set to be the last conducted by the FIA at Australia’s newest track where final approval is expected to be granted before it welcomes Supercars for the inaugural The Bend SuperSprint from August 24-26.

April saw The Bend host its first significant race meeting courtesy of the Shannons Nationals before going on to hold an Australian Superbike Championship and Asian Road Racing Championship double header later that month.

Both the 7.77km GT layout and its 4.95km International circuit, the latter which will be used for Supercars, have been utilised although severe dust storms played havoc at the Shannons round.

Since then the facility has taken shape with grass now transforming the previously barren landscape around the track.

Circuit executive director Dr Sam Shahin says the visit should be a formality for the venue, but revealed that plenty of work has been carried out to be ready for the inspection.

“It is a ‘tick box’ situation. The FIA have been absolutely terrific and they have dedicated a resource that is coming from the UK to visit the facility,” Shahin told Speedcafe.com.

“We have kept in regular touch with the organisation with regards to homologation and certification of the circuit. This is one of a sequence of visits which I’m most thankful for.

“This will be the final visit from the FIA before the Supercars event.

“There will still be visits from the local authority in CAMS. We have been happy with the guidance we have been given over the years.

“We have pulled the odd all nighter to make sure (the circuit is ready).

“There is always plenty of work to do and this is no different but I’m most confident we can deliver a product which is safe and something we are very proud of by the time Supercars visit the venue.”

The inspection will coincide with the official launch of the maiden Supercars event being held at the track.

Supercars drivers Jamie Whincup, David Reynolds and Nick Percat are expected to conduct hot laps of the 4.95km circuit, while organisers will reveal the event’s sponsor and Supercars’ wildcard entries.

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