Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia

The first races on Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit took place in 1926 with the first Australian Grand Prix, known as the 100 Mile Race. It used, as was traditional at the time, a high speed rectangle of local closed-off public roads with four incidental right hand corners. The course length varied, with the car course approximately 6 miles per lap, to motorcycle racing of appx. 10 miles.

As speeds grew, there was a need for a safe circuit. The original Phillip Island road circuit, based around the airfield, was a dusty trek up and down hills and through tough tight corners. It survived from the late 1920’s to 1935.

In 1951, a group of six local businessmen decided to build a new track. About 2 km away from the original circuit, it still bears the corner name signs of the original circuit. As the piece of available land was on the edge of the coast, the track is known for its step grades - the highest 57metres, which caused cost overruns and delays in track opening. The new track hosted its first race in 1956, but after extensive damage from the 1962 Armstrong 500, the circuit could not afford repairs and the race moved to Bathurst.

The circuit reopened in 1966 but again, due to its testing terrain, the circuit required much maintenance and slowly declined through the 1970’s. It was farmed by its owners while closed and was then sold in 1985 in preparation for reopening, but did not do so until 1989 after agreement on a long term lease and rebuild agreement. It hosted its first World Superbike race in 1990. Mathew Close won the first race in 1990 by 11.31 sec.

In 2006, Phillip Island hosts the grand finale of the V8 Supercars Championship Series, as well as a regular MotoGP and Superbike round.

A multi-million dollar re-development was planned to start in late 2006. This will be completed by the Linfox Group, who now own the track.

The facilities feature a karting circuit.
[Source: Wikipedia]

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