Newcastle V8 street circuit revealed, and it looks great!
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Newly revealed Newcastle Supercars Championship street circuit looks a million bucks
The motorsport world has a love-hate relationship with the humble street circuit.
Love is spawned by their often challenging and unforgiving nature, guaranteed to often jar the teeth of even the most seasoned drivers with tall kerbs and concrete walls. There's also the idea of dropping 'our sport', one which often has to play second fiddle to those games played on fields with odd-shaped balls, into the middle of an urban environment where the greater public have no choice but to take an interest in it or shut themselves in their rooms for the weekend.
But there's downsides to street circuits too. They can be a very annoying and expensive thing to try and erect, especially in highly built-up areas. They can produce average racing, as drivers struggle to brave the narrow concrete walls to make passing moves on others. And lastly, they can also come at the expense of the creation or maintenance of normal dedicated racing facilities.
But with today's reveal of the Newcastle street circuit that will host the final round of next year's Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, things look very promising indeed.
The new track replaces the Homebush circuit that has functioned as the final fling for the V8 calendar since 2010.
I always thought that Homebush never got the credit it deserved. On paper it looked ghastly, like a Tetris block reject, with a long sequence of 90-degree corners and a pair of chicanes. But it was a track that worked. Maybe not for the punters trackside, but certainly for the television audience — as it always seemed to produce some of the best racing every year. And going by the map for the Newcastle circuit, we can expect more of the same.
Turn one looks like a corner just waiting to be blocked by a massive multi-car crash, and it's followed by a sequence of right-angle corners. But as soon as the cars reach Parnell Place things looks like they'll get very interesting.
From that point on the circuit almost resembles the closing split of the Gold Coast street circuit, with what appears to be quite a bumpy and intimidating straight leading into an interesting final six corners that look prime for the occasional dive of faith under brakes.
Not only that, but the place is pretty as well. Surrounded by beach and seaside, it almost resembles a mini Monaco.
Minus the million-dollar launches, plastic surgery, and tax evaders of course.