News 14 Mar 2023

Wakefield Park sold to nearby Pheasant Wood Circuit owner

Hailed a 'a significant moment for the future of Wakefield Park' facility.

Image: Foremost Media.

The Benalla Auto Club (BAC) has sold Wakefield Park to Steve Shelley, the owner of the nearby Pheasant Wood Circuit in what has been described as a ‘significant moment’ for the future of the Goulburn-based venue.

Wakefield Park has been closed since 1 September 2022, with conditions imposed from a court decision in mid-July making it unfeasible for BAC to operate the venue.

Following the announcement of Wakefield Park’s closure last year, BAC president Stephen Whyte confirmed the club’s commitment to helping the venue find a pathway forward, and is confident that new custodian Shelley will help motorsport return to Goulburn.

“Today is a significant moment for the future of Wakefield Park,” Whyte explained. “With Steve and his team having significant experience in motorsport facility management and event management, I couldn’t think of anyone better to be the custodian of Wakefield Park Raceway.

“It is significant that Steve already knows the area and the current situation with Wakefield Park, and I have no doubt he will continue to work with the residents, council and government to secure the future of the facility.

“This arrangement would not have happened without the significant involvement and passion of local Liberal member Wendy Tuckerman. Throughout this whole process, the support of Wendy and her understanding of what we inherited, has given us some positive direction and clear indication of the obvious support from the government for the future of the raceway.

“I must also acknowledge the Goulburn Mulwaree Council CEO Aaron Johanssen and council staff that have been working through this behind the scenes over this time. We also look forward to continuing to work with Steve and his team in the future as they put plans together to reopen the circuit.”

The Benalla Auto Club still owns Winton Motor Raceway, located in Victoria, while Shelley’s Pheasant Wood Circuit was formerly known as the Marulan Driver Training Centre.

“I am passionate about Wakefield Park and have competed there on many occasions,” stated Shelley. “The opportunity to continue our track ownership along with investment in the local community of Goulburn is something that we believe is critically important for the future of motorsport in the region.

“I’d like to thank Wendy Tuckerman for putting myself together with Stephen and the Benalla Auto Club Group, and for being so passionate about a motorsport strategy that gives us the confidence to commit to this wonderful opportunity.

“I look forward to working closely with the neighbours of Wakefield Park and the Goulburn Mulwaree Shire Council when planning and securing the future of Wakefield, and especially avoiding any repeat of mistakes made in the past. I hope all parties and the motorsport fraternity in New South Wales will be buoyed by this announcement about Wakefield Park Raceway.”

Wakefield has been a staple on the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) calendar until its closure last year, with Sydney Motorsport Park (SMSP) the sole New South Wales-based circuit featuring in this year’s national championship.