Queensland to rival Melbourne

Plans for a new $650 million circuit on Australia’s Gold Coast have been unveiled. The new circuit will include, amongst other things, strong flood lighting, in order to enable it to run night races.

Melbourne’s organisers have already stated they are looking into the possibility of turning next season’s Melbourne Grand Prix into a night race after Bernie Ecclestone expressed a desire to see races staged at a time more convenient to the European audience, where the majority of F1 fans are. However, with the new circuit on the Gold Coast being able to host night races from the start, it could be the logical choice for the Australian Grand Prix.

“This circuit will be flood-lit right from the start,” Ron Brown, managing director of the Gold Coast project, stated. “So it would comply with what F1 and Bernie Ecclestone have been talking about in Melbourne with the possibility of an Australian Grand Prix run under lights.

Ron Walker, chairman of the Melbourne Grand Prix, has admitted that the Queensland project is a serious threat and will not rule out a switch to the new track. “Nothing is secure in life,” he said. “If Mr. Ecclestone decides that Queensland is a better place to host a Formula 1 race, then that’s where it will go. But it’s a matter for Premier Bracks to talk to Premier Beattie, and I’m sure they’ll work out something.”