Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Aug Sept 2015 Issue 88 Contents 64
stood at that point, looked right towards a
hill that stood around four meters high,and
said, ‘That reminds me of Oran Park’.
“We spent almost an entire day breaking
down how we can replicate the great experi-
ence of the Turn 5 to 6 sector of Oran Park.
He created a 90-degree right turn over a
blind crest on what is a 170km/h corner,
then added some spice with apex location
and camber, and we had the making of a
corner that would test the best.
“With no time to waste, we had a com-
mercial grader on site in no time scraping
the corner to precisely match the desired
character. This was one of the many, many
corners and portions of the circuit where
Mark has helped me, and in a way it was
befitting to have a section of the circuit
expressing a character and a tribute of
Mark’s beloved Oran Park.”
Ultimately, the vision is for SA Motorsport
Park to be more than just a great race track.
Key to its success as a facility will be its
ability to appeal to the whole family, not
just to motor racing enthusiasts.
“Australia is starved of a motorsport hub
that can cater for almost every enthusiast as
well as for their families,” says Shahin.
“We have an opportunity to try and put
all those disciplines within the boundaries
of one precinct and it’s incredibly exciting.
We have set a high standard for ourselves. I
hope we don’t disappoint.”
Appropriately, the state that first wel-
comed Formula 1 to Australian shores in
1985 and hosts the premier street-circuit
event on the V8 Supercars schedule looks
set to boast the premier permanent facility
in the country.
“This is a state that has seven per cent
of the Australian population yet in 2014
contributed 11 per cent of the country’s
motorsport participants... SA has produced
champions in varying forms of motor
racing,” says Shahin.
“Yet it’s the state that is most poorly
serviced by facilities. And for years we have
seen a range of people and organisations,
all with the best of intentions, who have
fallen short of putting together a serious
development to cater for at least the South
Australian public, let alone to provide
another great facility for Australia, and go
further by daring to establish a facility of
international quality and standard.
“I’m very motivated to build a facility
in Australia that ranks alongside some of
the great circuits and facilities around the
Where the SA Motorsport Park event
slots into the V8 Supercars calendar from
2017 remains to be seen. The schedule
will be compacted in the coming years,
to condense the gaps between events and
with international events plugging some
holes. But with the Clipsal 500 locked in
as the season opener, SA Motorsport Park
looks set to feature in the second half of
“It needs to be on the other side of the
calendar to the very successful Clipsal 500
event,” says Shahin.
“We need to be mindful of supporter
fatigue, participant fatigue, the corporate
participants and the weather conditions.
Much will need to go right to make this a
successful event for V8 Supercars.
“My own thoughts are that our round
belongs around October/November during
the ‘endurance season’. The long circuit is in
fact perfectly suited to an endurance event.
My personal view is that it will sit more
naturally in the endurance category; but
it can easily sit amongst the sprint events
as well, as long as the timing is sensitively
dealt with in the second half of the year.”
While New South Wales, Queensland and
Victoria are well versed in staging multiple
V8 Supercars events per season, including
a mix of marquee street circuits and per-
manent facilities, South Australia has only
held two events in the one season twice –
Adelaide International Raceway staged two
events in both 1976 and 1977.
“This will be a completely different event
from the Clipsal 500; it’s not a city-based
circuit, it’s a completely different event,”
“So without a shadow of a doubt, this
will compliment the motorsport calendar
in South Australia; it will complement the
motorsport calendar in Australia. There are
some good opportunities to cross-promote
with the Clipsal 500 event. I have a terrific
relationship with the Motor Sport Board in
South Australia and all levels of government
are supportive of the development.”
It’s a bold vision, especially given the
fate of Oran Park and other tracks that
have struggled to survive in tough economic
“It’s a grand vision, a grand project, a very
optimistic project, but in tough economic
“IT’S A GRAND VISION, A GRAND PROJECT, A VERY
OPTIMISTIC PROJECT, BUT IN TOUGH ECONOMIC
TIMES, AND WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN AND
TIMES ARE TOUGH, YOU NEED PEOPLE TO STEP
FORWARD OF THE LINE UP.” – DR. SAM SHAHIN
RIGHT: The previous hosts of the Australian Touring
Car Championship/V8 Supercars in South Australia:
Adelaide International Raceway (1972 to 1988),
Mallala Motor Sport Park (1963, 1969 to 1971, 1989
to 1998) and Adelaide Parklands Circuit (1999 to
present). SA Motorsport Park will team with the
Clipsal 500 Adelaide to host V8 Supercars at two
different tracks in South Australia in the one season.
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