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Supercars reveals Newcastle street track plans

The new 2.4km Newcastle circuit will use established roads for the most part

A Temporary circuit will host 2017 Supercars finale through Newcastle CBD.

The Supercar season will wrap up season 2017 with a picturesque tussle around the streets of Newcastle, north of Sydney, next November, with the first official circuit proposal released today.

NSW Premier Mike Baird joined Supercars CEO James Warburton and drivers Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert and James Courtney to preview the new 11-turn track, which will see Supercars touch 270km/h through the narrow streets of the coastal city and along the foreshore of one of its most iconic beaches, Nobbys Beach.

A five-year deal was inked between Newcastle City Council and Supercars in July, with the first event to be held 24-26 November next year.

It replaces the street race around the Olympic Park precinct at Homebush, which wound up in December after seven years. Designed by former Supercars champion Mark Skaife, Homebush was widely regarded as an entertaining racing circuit for drivers. However, patronage for the season-ending round fell markedly in the last couple of years.

The new 2.4km Newcastle circuit will use established roads for the most part, though a connecting link will need to be built through the reserve at the northern end of Nobbys Beach, linking the exit road of Nobbys Beach Reserve to Wharf Road to complete the lap.

Temporary pit facilities will likely be built along Wharf Road. 

A unique feature of the track is the step elevation change around Shortland Esplanade on the run into turn six.

While Coates Hire has already signed on as a naming rights sponsor, Destination NSW and Newcastle Council will also be contributing to the cost of the event, estimated in the first year to be around $75 million.

The Newcastle event is just a precursor of things to come

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the local council and Supercars are undertaking “comprehensive community engagement” to liaise with local residents.

“Supercars has adjusted the design of the circuit to minimise disruption while still capturing everything that is spectacular about Newcastle including its famous coastline,” she said.

“We know locals are excited about Supercars coming to Newcastle and we want to ensure this event is an outstanding success.”

 Public forums are set down for December 13 and 14 at Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza.

Initially, the series wanted to run a race in the nearby coastal town of Gosford, but the local council scotched the idea due to concerns about costs and access for residents.

The Newcastle event is just a precursor of things to come, according to Mr Warburton, who has confirmed the series is in talks with the Victorian government about a street race in a major regional town.

Several street races in Asia are also being considered for 2018.

The Supercars series has had mixed success with street circuits. The Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and the Gold Coast race are two of the series’ most successful events, while the semi-permanent circuit in Townsville also draws a good crowd.

A street race in Canberra, however, lasted just three years from 2000-2002, while a race in Hamilton, New Zealand, ran for five years between 2008 and 2012.

Will you be going to the Newcastle 500 in 2017? Tell us what you think in the comments below.