Supercars to cover rail crossing for Newcastle 500

Tom Howard

Wednesday 21st November, 2018 - 6:05pm

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The rail crossing at the Newcastle East Street Circuit

Supercars has confirmed it will cover the recently installed tram tracks that cross the Newcastle East Street Circuit as a precaution ahead of this weekend’s championship finale.

The newly constructed Newcastle Light Rail line will intersect the circuit at Watt Street, just over a hundred metres from Turn 1. 

The line runs along Scott Street, which forms the short straight between Turns 8 and 9, but terminates in the infield and therefore does not impact any other part of the track.

Event organisers originally planned to leave the tracks uncovered for the race meeting but have since elected to eliminate any impact the rail crossing could have on the racing. 

Supercars believe the rails would not have affected the event but has chosen to cover the tracks as a matter of precaution.

“Now the final track works are complete, our engineers and the Supercars technical department have examined the light rail crossing in a racing environment,” said event manager Kurt Sakzewski.

“The view is being proactive is a better approach as a preventative measure.

“While we do not believe it would be an issue to leave the rails as they stand, we have decided to cover them prior to the cars hitting the track removes any risk, no matter how small.

“We consulted with Transport for NSW engineers and this temporary installation will have no lasting effects on the lines. It’s a simple cover which can be quickly removed immediately after the event.”

Meanwhile, walls will, however, be moved back from the inside of Turn 1 to open up the tight pit exit lane, as well as at Turns 6 and 11 to improve sight lines.

Concrete strips at Turns 8, 9, and 12 which came to be after overnight surface works at last year’s event will remain.

The Coates Hire Newcastle 500 begins on Friday with opening practice scheduled for 1140 local time/AEDT.

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