Wakefield Park seeking FIA licence for possible Supercars event
Tuesday 14th July, 2020 - 4:30pm
Wakefield Park is engaging with Motorsport Australia in a bid to attain the FIA licence which would allow it to offer Supercars another permanent New South Wales circuit this year.
The Goulburn venue is one of only two permanent car racing circuits in the state and while it hosted the last standalone Super2 round in 2008, it does not hold the minimum FIA Grade 3 licence that would allow it to host the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
As such, Sydney Motorsport Park became the only feasible option for this weekend’s event once it became clear that it could not proceed at Wakefield Park’s sister circuit, Winton, due to responses to the new COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.
Management at the Benalla Auto Club-owned NSW venue are hopeful of attaining the requisite licence such that they could host a television-only event on the 2.2km track.
“I’m waiting for communications between the governing bodies to potentially try and get a Grade 3 FIA (licence), to see if I can actually offer my circuit for a Supercar round or Super2 round or anything like that,” Operations Manager Dean Chapman told Speedcafe.com.
“As we are the second permanent circuit within NSW, I think that we can provide a venue for television coverage only, no spectators.
“We haven’t got the facility (for large crowds) but for a televised round for Supercars, I believe that we’re a very strong contender for that.
“I think that if Supercars do get stuck again, or they want a venue where they know, 100 percent, it can go ahead, ‘Let’s start planning it, there are not going to be any problems,’ Wakefield Park should be at the top of their list.”
It is believed that certain procedural elements of the homologation process would have to be changed/waived to allow for a licence to potentially be granted in time for Supercars to race at Wakefield Park.
However, Chapman is confident that little more would be needed of the circuit itself to make the standard.
He identified only the potential for a car to run from the Fish Hook onto the main straight by penetrating the infield tyre barriers, or the gap between, as the only obvious issue which would be need to be addressed.
“If you were to go straight off in the Fish Hook, there’s a potential opportunity that all you hit is tyre barriers and you’ll end out on the main straight,” explained Chapman.
“So what we would most probably need to do is put a concrete wall there, which you can nice and simply do just with the concrete walls that they normally use and then put tyres on the other side to soften the impact.
“Every other impact angle that we have around the venue is perfectly fitted with safety equipment, such as tyre barriers or guard rails, so that’s all comfortable.
“There’s very little that I believe that we need to do.”
A Motorsport Australia spokesperson confirmed that Wakefield Park does not currently hold an FIA track licence but that “Motorsport Australia is working with Wakefield Park to assist in this process, which may take some time.”
For that licence to be issued, the local ASN would have to submit a dossier to the FIA, which would consider the application and potentially appoint a circuit inspector to determine if the circuit meets the standard or would require further work.