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Former Australian GP venue up for sale

Mat Coch

Thursday 25th July, 2019 - 10:10am

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Action from the first race meeting at Port Wakefield in 1953 pic: State Library of South Australia B 70994/1

A Port Wakefield property which once hosted the Australian Grand Prix is up for sale.

Located approximately 80 kilometres from Adelaide, the largely vacant block was once part of the Port Wakefield race track.

Hosting racing throughout much of the 1950s, its largest claim to fame was that it played host to Jack Brabham as he won the 1955 Australian Grand Prix.

The 1.3 mile circuit was cut out of the scrub when state legislation prohibited racing on open road circuits, which meant the demise of previous venues at Victor Harbour (1937), Lobethal (1939), and Nuriootpa (1950), at the start of the 1950s.

At that time the Australian Grand Prix was held on a rotational basis, whether the state had a suitable venue or not, which prompted the Sporting Car Club to hastily create the Port Wakefield venue.

It lasted until the early 1960s when regulations were introduced which meant the circuit was too short.

There had been early plans to extend the Port Wakefield circuit, though they never materialised and the 1961 Australian Grand Prix was held on the service roads around the former RAAF base at Mallala as a result.

Much of the grandstand and pit complex was taken to the new venue, signalling the end of Port Wakefield as a racing circuit.

To this day the tarmac itself remains on the land, though it has been significantly eroded over the passing of the decades.

The property on offer is approximately half of that used for the original circuit, and does not include the front straight or final corner.

The Olsen Road property goes under the hammer on August 9, and is expected to fetch between $80,000 and $100,000.

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