Queensland Raceway

Queensland Raceway nicknamed "the paperclip" is a motor racing circuit located at Willowbank in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. The circuit plays host to V8 Supercars, the Australian Superbike Championship, drifting as well as club level racing and ride days.

Queensland Raceway
Queensland Raceway (Australia) track map -- National Circuit.svg
LocationWillowbank, Ipswich, Queensland
Time zoneUTC +10
Coordinates27°41′25″S 152°39′9″E / 27.69028°S 152.65250°E / -27.69028; 152.65250Coordinates: 27°41′25″S 152°39′9″E / 27.69028°S 152.65250°E / -27.69028; 152.65250
Opened1999
Major eventsV8 Supercar
Length3.12 km (1.95 mi)
Turns6
Race lap record1:04.0661 (Simon Wills, Reynard 94D Holden, 1999, Formula Holden)
Turn 1 and Dick Johnson Straight

Queensland Raceway is 3.12 kilometres (1.94 mi) long and 12 metres (39 ft) wide, running clockwise. There are six corners. The circuit was designed by Tony Slattery with input from car and motorcycle racing authorities including CAMS circuit expert Professor Rod Troutbeck.

The circuit is licensed by Australian motorsport's two peak bodies, CAMS Limited and Motorcycling Australia, but generally sanctions its race meeting under the RACERS. It runs its own championship series, the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship.

Spectator viewing at the track is excellent with the flat layout of the circuit and spectator mounds. However the flat layout makes racing less exciting for the competitors than undulating circuits like Phillip Island. The track became infamous for its bumps, although the track was re-surfaced late in 2011.

Queensland Raceway is located within the bounds of the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct, which is also home to the Willowbank Raceway dragstrip, a kart track, a short dirt circuit and a junior (under-16) motorcycle speedway. The track is also located near RAAF Base Amberley and shares the base's 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) noise exclusion zone.

The track has been known for a number of deaths including club racer Dennis Smith and porsche supercup driver Sean Edwards in 2013. Two further deaths occurred when a 32-year-old driver and 41-year-old passenger were killed in August 2017.[1]

Queensland Raceway currently operates without a permanent circuit licence from CAMS. Following the 2017 Supercars Event FIA safety inspections revealed a number of areas that required upgrades in order meet the FIA Grade 3 circuit requirements, as required for to host a Supercars event. [2] The ICC was due to approve the funding to provide the upgrades in late May[3], however the circuit is still lacking catch fencing on the main straight bringing in to question the hosting of the 2018 Supercars event.

ConfigurationsEdit

There are three Short Circuit variations of the track in addition to the full circuit:

  • Sportsman 2.15 km (1.34 mi)
  • Clubman 2.11 km (1.31 mi)
  • Sprint 1.89 km (1.17 mi)

The National circuit gets the most use for testing purposes and for major motorsport events. The Clubman circuit is also utilised regularly at state and club level racing. The Sprint circuit also in semi-regular use. The Sportsman circuit, originally optimised for truck racing, is now rarely used.

Dick Johnson StraightEdit

Queensland's favourite motor racing son was honored on 16 August 2001, when the front section of the Queensland Raceway was officially named "Dick Johnson Straight".

Johnson, a five-time national champion and three-time Bathurst winner, proudly unveiled a piece of pit-lane wall, which now bears his name and a plaque commemorating the ceremony and Johnson's motor racing achievements.

The unveiling was part of the pre-race build-up to the 2001 VIP Petfoods Queensland 500.

Johnson was joined by his son Steve during the ceremony as well as a host of V8 Supercar drivers and teams during what was a serious day of testing at the circuit.

"It's always a little humbling to be recognised in such a way," said Johnson. "The Queensland Raceway faced some tough times in the beginning, but I think the facility has really founds its feet in the last 12 months and is going from strength to strength. I might not be around in 50 years, but it would be nice to think this track will still be here and that the signing-writing is maintained on this wall."

Johnson was one of the driving forces behind the development of the Queensland Raceway and made his last competitive drive in a V8 Supercar in 2000's Queensland 500 with Steve.

"I guess the fact that I had my last competitive drive here, makes it a little more special for me," said Johnson.

"It's a pity we could not go out with a win last year, but hopefully Steve and his co-driver can make up for that in 10 days time."

Lap recordsEdit

As of September 2018.[4]
Class Driver Vehicle Time Date
Outright
Formula Holden   Simon Wills Reynard 94D Holden 1:04.0661 11 July 1999
Racing Cars
Formula Holden   Simon Wills Reynard 94D Holden 1:04.0661 11 July 1999
Formula 3   Tim Macrow Dallara F307 Mercedes-Benz 1:04.4146 4 August 2013
Formula 4   Thomas Randle Mygale F4 Ford 1:11.7807 2 August 2015
Formula Ford   Nick Rowe Mygale SJ13 1:13.8758 10 August 2014
Formula Ford 1600   Stewart McColl Van Diemen RF98 1:15.8823 2 July 2000
Sports Cars
Australian GT Championship   Tony Quinn Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1:09.4609 4 August 2013
Nations Cup   John Bowe Ferrari 360 N-GT 1:11.0638 15 June 2003
Porsche Carrera Cup   Craig Baird Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 1:11.8524 20 July 2008
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge   Ryan Simpson Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 1:10.9903 9 August 2015
Aussie Racing Cars   Joel Heinrich Nissan Altima-Yamaha 1:20.2297 22 July 2018
Touring Cars
Sports Sedans   Thomas Randle Saab 9-3 1:07.3284 29 July 2018
Supercars Championship   James Courtney Holden ZB Commodore 1:09.6591 21 July 2018
Super2 Series   Dale Wood Ford FG Falcon 1:10.0451 27 July 2013
Touring Car Masters   John Bowe Holden Torana SL/R 5000 1:16.3951 30 July 2017
Production Touring Cars   Glenn Seton Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X 1:18.1908 3 August 2013
V8 Ute Racing Series   Mason Barbera Ford FG Falcon Ute 1:23.3265 29 July 2017
SuperUtes   Ryal Harris Mazda BT-50 1:30.4346 22 July 2018
Motorcycles
Australian Superbikes   Glenn Allerton BMW HP4 1:08.531 16 June 2013
Prostock   Linden Magee BMW S1000RR 1:09.995 16 September 2012
Australian Supersports   Jamie Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R6 1:11.212 13 July 2008
125cc GP   Josh Brookes Honda RS 125 1:16.983 4 June 2000

Future developmentEdit

A huge accident on 1 May 2010 in a Mini Challenge support race to the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series sparked discussion about the safety of the circuit. However, circuit owner John Tetley insists that the track is still safe. TeamVodafone driver Craig Lowndes suggested that Queensland Raceway is long overdue for upgrades including a resurfacing. Tetley stated that resurfacing would be done in late 2010,[5] although major flooding in the south-east Queensland region early in 2011, and the subsequent lack of availability of necessary equipment as devastated roads are repaired has seen that resurfacing delayed for twelve months. In October 2011 the resurfacing was commenced and completed before Christmas.[6]

During July 2016, the Ipswich council announced plans to invest $220 million upgrading Queensland Raceway. The first phase of the project is to extend the length of current circuit.[7]

Willowbank 300Edit

The Willowbank 300 is held annually at Queensland Raceway and makes up the first part of the Queensland Endurance Championship.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Two killed in Queensland Raceway crash". motorsport.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ https://www.speedcafe.com/2018/02/20/supercars-assured-vital-qr-safety-upgrades/
  3. ^ https://www.speedcafe.com/2018/05/23/qr-safety-upgrades-signed-off-ipswich-city-council/
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Circuit safe says CEO". v8supercar.com.au. 2 May 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Bitumen Trucks Arrive At Queensland Raceway". www.speedcafe.com.au. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  7. ^ "$220m targeted for Queensland Raceway upgrade". motorsport.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.

External linksEdit