News 13 Oct 2023

Wakefield Park to rebrand as One Raceway upon 2024 opening

Extensive upgrades to both the tack and facilities outlined.

Image: Foremost Media.

Goulburn-based motorsport circuit Wakefield Park will rebrand as One Raceway, with numerous and extensive upgrades to the venue outlined upon its 2024 re-opening.

Wakefield Park was closed at the start of last September, deemed unfeasible by the previous owner, Benella Auto Club (BAC), to operate the facility at that point.

In what was a positive sign for the venue’s future, it was revealed in March this year that BAC sold Wakefield Park to Steve Shelley – owner of the nearby Pheasant Wood Circuit – with aspirations to ‘host substantive events’ at the Goulburn venue from 2024.

The latest update provided by the circuit confirmed its rebranding, as well as planned improvements that include a full circuit resurfacing, addressing run-off and safety barrier concerns at turns one, two and 10, better drainage, plus water controls and a southern noise wall to help reduce the effects of noise.

A complete resurfacing of the paddock is also planned and the circuit will also become bi-directional. Crucially, One Raceway’s plan has been officially reviewed and approved by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

“Every step of our endeavour is shaped by our interactions with our neighbours, insights from the Goulburn Mulwaree community, and invaluable feedback from the motorsport fraternity,” a statement from One Raceway read. “Bolstered by the ongoing and open dialogue with the Goulburn Mulwaree Council, we’ve charted a roadmap to rejuvenate and upgrade the raceway.

“This roadmap harmonises our commitment to the community and the excitement and thrills of motorsport, and includes a comprehensive calendar of operations that ensures abundant opportunities for racing, practice, and training. Our plan has been reviewed and officially approved by the Council, underscoring the collective commitment to the project.

“We have presented our plans to Motorsport Australia and Motorcycling Australia, especially outlining critical safety enhancements. These changes include a complete overhaul of the pit exit blend line, addressing long-standing safety concerns regarding the run-off and safety barriers at turns one, two and 10, the proximity and angle of the pit wall at the exit of turn 10, the risk-prone infield marshal bays, plus more.

“In addition, we’re integrating international-grade light panels at the old flag points and introducing cutting edge timing systems. Both regulatory bodies have expressed genuine enthusiasm, signifying that our measures bring the circuit into alignment with premier international standards.

“Having assessed the current state of the raceway, it’s evident that the circuit is in very poor condition. While patches and temporary repairs might have been the simpler route, we’ve chosen a more forward-thinking and long term approach. Prioritising the safety of our participants and the longevity of the raceway, we have committed to a complete circuit resurfacing to provide a consistently reliable and safe racing surface.

“We are commencing extensive circuit drainage and water controls which will counter water pooling and seepage, ensuring consistently optimal track performance, irrespective of weather conditions.

“Our southern noise wall is nearing completion, while work has kick-started on the northern counterpart. Rising up to 10 meters, these walls don’t just fulfil the obligation of the original 1993 DA, but also provide spectators with breathtaking views. In line with the enduring standards set in 1993, rigorous regulation and monitoring of vehicle noise will continue. The noise cap is steadfast at 95dB.

“While our primary focus is on refining the raceway’s essential features, we recognise and are actively addressing longstanding off-track concerns from participants, starting with the paddock area. A complete resurfacing of the paddock is planned, as we continue to make targeted improvements to our facilities based on feedback and our plan for broader upgrades in the pipeline.

“In light of the transformative changes to allow two circuits within one raceway, and the powerful theme of unity woven throughout our journey with the community, a pivotal shift is on the horizon. It’s time for a name that encapsulates this evolution. Thus, upon our grand reopening in the first half of 2024, what was called Wakefield Park Raceway will proudly wear its new name: One Raceway.

“Given the extensive works and improvements we’ve undertaken, there’s one more monumental change that stands tall amongst all – our circuit’s adaptability for bi-directional racing. This isn’t just an upgrade, it’s an Australian-first, ground-breaking transformation. One Raceway is set to become Australia’s premier circuit uniquely capable of hosting races in both directions. This extraordinary move will not only present racers with all new and unparalleled challenges, but promises to reinvent the spectator experience. Prepare for a racing revolution like no other!”

Prior to its closure, Wakefield Park was a staple venue in the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) calendar in its modern era. While no dates or rounds have been announced for ASBK next year, when Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle was contacted back in June, he outlined the series would be open to return to the venue as soon as 2024.