News 14 Dec 2010

Oz RR: Wakefield Park not accepting MNSW permits in 2011

Wakefield Park won't be accepting MNSW permits at the stage for at least the 2011 season.

Wakefield Park won't be accepting MNSW permits at the stage for at least the 2011 season.

Motorcycling New South Wales will not be hosting any events at Wakefield Park Raceway in 2011, the Goulburn-based circuit operators refusing to accept permits from Motorcycling Australia’s NSW state controlling body.

The dispute means that the popular club level St. George Road Race Series will be sanctioned under the Australian Auto Sport Alliance full time next year, the club opting to also host its Eastern Creek round of the series under the AASA for the “convenience” of its competitors.

St. George senior vice president Chris Baker told that the club is encouraging its members to sign up for AASA licences for road racing in NSW, however he also commented that St. George doesn’t have “any issue whatsoever” with MNSW and will continue to run its off-road events under their permits.

The Post Classic Racing Association of NSW will also have to run its Wakefield Park events under a AASA permit in 2011, however according to MNSW staff, the club will run its remaining events through MNSW.

All Formula Xtreme national events run during 2010 were sanctioned under the AASA and will continue to do so in 2011, as well as the Wakefield Park Xtreme Ride Days that are currently organised by Australian Road and Track Rider Promotions general manager Terry O’Neill.

The ARTRP promotes Formula Xtreme and is a partner organisation consisting of Winton Raceway, Wakefield Park Raceway and Eastern Creek Raceway, along with O’Neill’s Australasian Superbike Company and television production company AVE TV.

The AASA governing body originated as a sanctioning body for four-wheel motor racing, with Wakefield Park and Winton Raceway CEO Mick Ronke also the president of the AASA. The AASA’s vice-president is Bob Jane, of Bob Jane T-Marts fame.

Currently, the AASA-sanctioned events accept and provide insurance for MA licence holders and will again next year.

Apart from the trio of series mentioned above, no other promoter or club is currently hosting road race events in NSW including the Australian Superbike Championship, despite ASBK promoter International Entertainment Group hoping to return the series to Eastern Creek.

Wakefield Park circuit manager Matthew Ronke told to that the reason for declining MNSW permits is due the MA state controlling body’s track licencing system, as well as a press release issued regarding MNSW’s last minute non-sanctioning of the St.George round contested at Wakefield in July, amongst other factors.

With a resolution not within sight as Ronke says Wakefield Park won’t change its stance until MNSW undergoes a major change in its current direction, road racing in NSW has largely become a AASA-sanctioned affair.

MNSW general manager Daniel Gatt told that MNSW is open and willing to work with Wakefield Park on a resolution, however attempts to contact Wakefield by MNSW have proven unsuccessful recently.

Both Ronke and Gatt shared differing opinions when queried on the turn of events during and following an independent track inspection carried out in July.

There has since been a gravel trap extension and airfence implemented in the turn one region of the circuit.

MA CEO David White also told that it will support MNSW and that MA “would love to help” the state controlling body regain access to Wakefield Park in the future.

Interestingly, MNSW’s strategic plan that’s available on its website features a point that states it aims to ‘establish an MNSW operated Road Racing Facility. Partnerships acceptable if secures future’.

Currently, the only two circuits available for motorcycle road racing in NSW are Wakefield Park and Eastern Creek, with the latter notoriously difficult to gain dates due to its national popularity.