|Location||Surfers Paradise, Queensland|
|Opened||15 March 1991|
Champ Car World Series
|Length||2.98 km (1.85 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:10.0499 ( David Reynolds, Ford FG Falcon, 2013, V8 Supercars)|
|Length||4.47 km (2.77 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:31.093 ( Graham Rahal, Panoz DP01 Cosworth, 2007, Champ Car)|
The Surfers Paradise Street Circuit is a temporary street circuit on the Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia. The 2.98-kilometre (1.85 mi) beach-side track has several fast sections and two chicanes, having been shortened from an original 4.47-kilometre (2.78 mi) length in 2010. It is the third of three motor racing circuits that have existed in the Gold Coast region, after the Southport Street Circuit (1954) and Surfers Paradise International Raceway (1966-1987).
From 1991 to 2008, the circuit hosted an American Championship car racing event, the Gold Coast Indy 300. The circuit has also hosted touring car races since 1994, with the Supercars Championship currently contesting the annual Gold Coast 600 at the circuit.
Ron Dickson, the president of D3 Motorsport Development held the rights for CART internationally in the 1980s. Following lobbying from prominent Queensland businessmen, and a brief meeting with State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the event was confirmed for Queensland, and Surfers Paradise was chosen over Brisbane, the state capital. The original circuit layout was designed by Ron Dickson of D3 Motorsport Development, and was the fourth concept put forward for the Surfers Paradise area. Preliminary work was carried out in 1988, and the circuit was opened on 15 March 1991 for the 1991 Gold Coast IndyCar Grand Prix.
The construction of the circuit has been acclaimed internationally and is used as a benchmark for new temporary street circuits world-wide. Over a full 12-month period plans are laid and then implemented to transform a bustling residential, commercial and holiday destination into a temporary street circuit capable of facilitating high-speed motor races and hundreds of thousands of people. The circuit construction since 2009 has been project managed by local Gold Coast firm iEDM who specialise in motorsport venue engineering and delivery.
In constructing the original circuit, over a two-month construction period, seven bridges were erected, along with 2,515 concrete barriers, 11,500 grandstand seats, more than 140 corporate suites, 10 km (6.2 mi) of debris fencing and 16 km (9.9 mi) of security fencing, as well as many more temporary structures being fitted, and large-scale power and telecommunications systems being activated.
The circuit is also an international leader in motor racing safety standards applauded by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport and the FIA (the international governing body of motorsport). One of the major advancements over the later years of the Champ Car era was the installation of double height debris fencing, including an additional 610 panels in high impact areas in 2005.
Since 2010, the Supercars Championship has run a notably shorter layout of the circuit. At the Turn 2 chicane, the circuit enters a hairpin to the left and rejoins the original track at the Esses. The then-CEO of V8 Supercars, Tony Cochrane, suggested this layout after the A1 Grand Prix cars dropped out of the 2009 event. This was an effort to reduce the cost of running the event without an international drawcard series. This was achieved by reducing the construction time, amount of materials needed and also limits the impact on local residents and tourists. It is no longer possible to use the full circuit with the G:link light rail line having been built over it.
An annual event had been held here beginning with the opening round of the 1991 IndyCar season. Following the merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series in February 2008, the future of race had originally been secured until 2013 as an IRL IndyCar Series event, however the race was dropped from the calendar after the first demonstration race, and the A1 Grand Prix was signed up as a replacement, severing its eighteen-year history with American open wheel racing.
On 11 November 2008 after extensive negotiations with the IRL broke down, the Queensland Government reached a new five-year deal with A1 Grand Prix to stage a race at Surfers Paradise. The first A1GP race was supposed to take place on 25 October 2009. To accommodate the new link with the A1GP series and subsequent removal of the Indy name (which is a registered trademark of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), the entire four-day event was called the Nikon SuperGP. However, on 17 October 2009, A1GP Chairman Tony Teixeira announced that the UK operating arm of the series went into liquidation in June. Access to the A1GP cars and the ability to pay its suppliers has been impeded. That caused the cars to be impounded the UK. A1 Grand Prix subsequently failed to arrive and were removed from the program, replaced with additional V8 Supercar races.
Since 2002, the Surfers Paradise race has counted for points in the V8 Supercars championship, now known as Supercars. V8 Supercars and the preceding Group 3A touring car category had previously appeared as a support category in 1994 and from 1996 onwards.
From 2003 to 2007, the touring cars officially shared top billing with the Champcar World Series, and then with the Indy Racing League in 2008. The 2009 race was amended after the demise of A1GP, moving to a 600 km (370 mi) format of four 150 km (93 mi) races, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. From that year on, Supercars are the major category at the event. For 2010 the format was changed to consist of a single 300 km (190 mi) race on each day, with two drivers per car.
As of May 2016.
|Champ Car Circuit (1991-2009 - 4.47 km)|
|Outright||Graham Rahal||Panoz DP01 Cosworth||1:31.093||21 October 2007|
|Champ Car||Graham Rahal||Panoz DP01 Cosworth||1:31.093||21 October 2007|
|Formula 3||John Martin||Dallara F307 HWA-Mercedes-Benz||1:47.9630||24 October 2008|
|Formula Ford||Mitch Evans||Mygale SJ07A||1:57.1461||23 October 2009|
|V8 Supercars||Garth Tander||Holden VE Commodore||1:49.8352||21 October 2007|
|V8 Utes||Ryal Harris||Holden VE SS||2:14.5591||18 October 2007|
|HQ Holden||Steve Haley||Holden HQ||2:29.9498||18 October 1998|
|Carrera Cup||Craig Baird||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||1:53.2297||23 October 2008|
|Nations Cup||Paul Stokell||Lamborghini Diablo GTR||1:54.5710||23 October 2003|
|Aussie Racing Cars||Kyle Clews||Commodore-Yamaha||2:06.7819||23 October 2009|
|Current Circuit (2010-present - 2.98 km)|
|Outright||David Reynolds||Ford FG Falcon||1:10.0499||27 October 2013|
|Formula Ford||Nick Foster||Mygale SJ10a||1:15.8478||27 October 2013|
|Formula 4||Will Brown||Mygale Ford||1:16.8732||23 October 2016|
|Supercars Championship||David Reynolds||Ford FG Falcon||1:10.0499||27 October 2013|
|V8 Ute Racing Series||George Miedecke||Ford FG Falcon Ute||1:24.0277||23 October 2015|
|Australian GT||Thomas Jäger||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3||1:12.3814||21 October 2012|
|Carrera Cup||David Russell||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||1:12.8643||25 October 2014|
|Aussie Racing Cars||James Abela||Aurion-Yamaha||1:23.9719||26 October 2014|
|Historic Touring Cars|
|Touring Car Masters||Jim Richards||Ford Falcon Sprint||1:21.3734||21 October 2011|
|Stadium Super Trucks||Sheldon Creed||Stadium Super Truck||1:33.8386||23 October 2016|