News 29 Jun 2023

ASBK open to Wakefield return from the 2024 season

Early indications suggest series won't increase number of events next year.

Image: Foremost Media.

A Wakefield Park return for the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) is not off the cards for next season as Motorcycling Australia (MA) is working to discuss the prospect with the venue under new ownership.

The Goulburn-based circuit was closed on 1 September 2022, with conditions imposed from a court decision in mid-July making it unfeasible for the previous owner, Benalla Auto Club (BAC), to operate the circuit.

In March this year it was revealed that the BAC sold Wakefield Park to Steve Shelley, who is also the owner of the nearby Pheasant Wood Circuit. Upon taking official ownership of Wakefield, Shelley declared the aspirations to see it ‘host substantive events’ in 2024 as he aims to help restore the operation of the facility.

With the future of the venue looking up, MA CEO Peter Doyle confirmed when contacted by CycleOnline that ASBK is open to returning to Wakefield Park, which could be as soon as next season, however, the circuit has to work with its surrounding stakeholders to ensure such an event would be operationally a possibility.

“I guess the only thing with Wakefield Park is it’s in their court with the noise issue,” Doyle explained. “We have reached out and we have been having the discussion – we’re working on everyone being available, but the sooner the better. I can’t expect it will be that far away, I’m sure they are trying to catch their breath. We have made contact and we all want to have the chat.”

The current ASBK calendar spans seven rounds from late February to early December, with six circuits featuring in the championship across five states, with Phillip Island included twice and Sydney Motorsport Park the lone New South Wales-based venue on the schedule in 2023. Early indications suggest that the series will not increase its total number of events beyond seven in 2024.

“It would be nice to have another round, but I can’t see it in the current environment,” Doyle added. “I just don’t think the current economic situation will allow for it, but those decisions won’t be made until the end of the year. But I couldn’t see it being an additional event, but there’s no guarantee that is the case.”