Wakefield Park’s next state championship round safe for now

A NSW Formula Ford round is set to take place at Wakefield Park in September

The Motorsport Australia state championship round which was scheduled for mid-September at Wakefield Park is set to go ahead despite last week’s damaging court ruling.

The Goulburn circuit is now subject to noise restrictions which have placed its operations in ‘peril’, according to owner Benalla Auto Club (BAC), with no more than 30 days’ worth of race meetings allowed per year under the new development consent.

For the time being, track usage is being rationed so as to not trigger that consent while BAC “explores all options” to keep Wakefield Park open in the longer term.

However, Speedcafe.com has learnt that Round 6 of the Motorsport Australia NSW Motor Race Championship is still set go ahead at the rural track on September 17-18 as planned, except that it is understood that Friday private practice will not take place on September 16.

NSW Motor Race Panel Chair Darren Barlow told Speedcafe.com, “We will work closely with Wakefield Park and the Motorsport Australia administration on this event and at this stage, we are planning for the event to continue.”

That news comes despite the cancellation of a ride day which would have been held today, a move announced by the circuit on the day after the New South Wales Land and Environment Court (LEC) decision was handed down on Wednesday, July 13.

While Wakefield Park’s highest-profile event nowadays is arguably the Australian Superbike Championship, the NSW Motor Race Championship calendar demonstrates its importance to the sport broadly.

Of the seven rounds, three are to be held at the Goulburn track, and the other four at Sydney Motorsport Park, New South Wales’ only other permanent circuit.

The latter could well assume a monopoly position in the country’s most populous state, and is already heavily booked anyway, while Wakefield Park is also utilised for testing and other activities which are threatened by the new noise restrictions.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council, against which the LEC proceedings were taken, is set to hold talks with circuit representatives this week.

Wakefield Park, meanwhile, has defended its neighbours from criticism from angry race fans, claiming some of them are “our biggest supporters”.

The NSW Motor Race Championship is comprised of the NSW Formula Ford Championship, NSW HQ Holden Racing NSW Championship, NSW Production Sports Car Championship, NSW Improved Production over 2 litre Championship, NSW Improved Production under 2 litre Championship, Kumho Tyre NSW Sports Sedan Championship, NSW Production Touring Championship, NSW Formula Vee Championship, Industrie Clothing NSW SuperSports Championship, NSW SuperKart Championship, NSW Formula Race Car Championship, and NSW RX-8 Cup Championship.

The next round, the fifth of the season, is set to take place at Sydney on August 6-7.

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