Gold Coast circuit, karting event scrapped after court ruling

The 2017 Race of Stars event

The Gold Coast karting facility which hosted the Race of Stars has been forced to close due to a court ruling, leading to the cancellation of the event.

The Xtreme Karting Facility, located in the city’s north in the suburb of Pimpama, has shut down after the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland refused a development application appeal by its owners.

The Race of Stars, of which Supercars was a partner, had been held every year since 2013 on the weekend prior to the Gold Coast 600.

It would have taken place this year on November 25-27, ahead of the Repco Supercars Championship season finale at Surfers Paradise on December 3-5.

The Race of Stars had attracted some of the biggest names in the world of karting and while the latest development is a blow to competitors, the closure of Xtreme Karting earlier this month has put its 20 staff out of work.

Karting Australia CEO Kelvin O’Reilly said, “It is with great disappointment that we have to make this announcement.

“The Race of Stars has become a truly iconic event on the Australian, and the world, karting calendar since 2013.

“Race of Stars has been the major motorsport support event for the Gold Coast 600 Supercars Festival and has become known across the karting world attracting multiple World Karting Champions and drivers from many countries to test themselves on one of the world’s fastest kart tracks.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation in 2020, it was scheduled to return to the Gold Coast on November 25-27, 2021.

“The Race of Stars has regularly attracted 1000 out-of-region visitors directly involved in the event with up to 6000 spectators enjoying the top level racing of the talented young drivers each year.

“For one weekend a year competition karting was able to return to the Gold Coast since the Gold Coast Kart Club circuit was resumed by the State Government in 2008.

“Every year, the challenges for the circuit owners and Karting Australia have been significant to gain Council approval to run the event which provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of economic benefit to the local economy and attracted visitors from all around the world.

“It’s ironic and hugely disappointing that after seven previous Race of Stars events being conducted at the Xtreme Karting Facility, the 2021 edition of Karting Australia’s iconic karting event was to be supported by Major Events Gold Coast once again.

“However, recent decision by the Planning and Environment Court has not only put a nail in the coffin of the event but also the general day to day operations of the venue.  The human face of it is that 20 of Xtreme Karting’s staff are now unemployed.

“To Ian and Deb Holm, Jeff Smith, Stacey Nicholls and all of the staff of the Xtreme Karting Facility, on behalf of the karting community all I can say is thank you.

“Thank you for the foresight, thank you for your commitment, blood, sweat and tears that you put towards the event and thank you for helping Karting Australia put on a series of events that attracted the very best drivers in the world and truly showcased the sport of karting, while providing significant economic and motor sport benefits to the Gold Coast community.”

According to court documents, three residents objected to the noise impact of the facility.

Karting Australia’s announcement states that, “Owners of the Xtreme Karting Facility are currently assessing the options and working with the Gold Coast City Council to resolve the deficiencies in an effort to seek a future for the venue.”

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