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DriveIt NQ set to finalise circuit design in coming weeks

Mat Coch Simon Chapman

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Wednesday 2nd September, 2020 - 2:00pm

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The near-final design of the DriveIt NQ facility

DriveIt NQ is set to finalise its circuit design that has been guided by Roland Dane and Paul Morris in three weeks’ time.

Situated some 40km to the south of the Townsville central business district, groundwork began on the facility earlier this month.

Work has begun on the main spine road and a 220×110 metre skid pad for driver training.

It is hoped once those elements are completed that work will continue from the skid pan to the construction of the racing circuit.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, DriveIt NQ Director Pat Driscoll said he and his fellow directors would meet with Motorsport Australia soon.

“We’re looking at about three weeks for the final design,” said Driscoll.

“We’ve got a meeting with Dave Stuart (Motorsport Australia Division Manager Safety and Race Operations) on Friday to have a look from Motorsport Australia.

“We’re looking to run at FIA (level). We’ll do the very best design, we’ll run it through MA, we’ll do all of that.”

Driscoll said part of the design process has been directed by Morris, who is one of the circuit’s directors, as well as Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Dane.

After early designs were conceived, changes were made following suggestions from the pair which has brought them to the near-final design they have now (pictured above).

The focus at the moment is on getting the “core” of the circuit complete and up and running before further additions are made.

“We’ve got a magnificent piece of land out there,” said Driscoll.

“It’s all very well for me to say that, but you talk to the likes of Roland or Paul and they rave on about it.

“We’ve got the ability to expand the track. So although we’re doing about 2.65km now, that’s only the core bit.

“There’s probably five or six metres of elevation over part of the track,” he added.

“It’s largely flat but not billiard table smooth. It’s very picturesque, surrounded by mountains. It’s fairly big.

“We’re catering to all types of motorsport. We’re building it with the intention of no gravel traps. We’re catering to have cars and bikes so there’ll be places where we need air fences.

“At Roland’s suggestion, we’ll make sure that we can run mixed meetings by having a place to store air fences.

“When you’ve got guys like him who has raced and been involved in racing all over the world, and so too Paul Morris, when you’ve got those guys in your corner and giving you the benefit of their experience, it’s pretty valuable.

“It’s the sort of thing that if you sat down and had to pay a consultant for you’d send yourself broke trying to get to the first corner.”

Once completed, the facility will be home to an FIA-grade circuit, drag strip, kart track, and speedway.

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