Ahead of its unexpected return to the V8 Supercars championship calendar, Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway has been renamed Sydney Motorsport Park following a $12 million jointly-funded overhaul which included a lengthening of the circuit’s original layout.
The finished works now mean that the western Sydney circuit – the only permanent racing facility left in existence in the greater Sydney area – now boasts four different circuit configurations and two separate pit facilities.
The track layout has been expanded from its original 3.9-kilometre ‘GP Circuit’ layout to a 4.5-kilometre ‘Long Circuit’ configuration, which will be raced on by the V8 Supercars when they make their return to the venue for the first time since 2008.
|The ‘GP Circuit’||The ‘Long Circuit’|
As part of the long-term strategic plan by the circuit’s owners, the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, the circuit now features an additional 830-metre section between what were originally Turns 7 and 8.
The new layout is a much slower and twistier layout in comparison to the circuit’s traditional high-speed corners, which will add an additional challenge for drivers on top of providing spectators with more vantage points to take in the action.
But some fans have already commented that the additional ‘Long Loop’ could have the same effect to the racing as the Bahrain International Circuit’s widely-criticised ‘Endurance Loop’, which was used for the 2010 Grand Prix before being wisely abandoned…
The new layout was opened by a host of dignitaries, include Tekno Autosports owner/driver Jonathon Webb, who completed a few laps of the circuit as part of the event.
What do you think of the new circuit layout? Post your comments below…