|Location||Ventnor, Phillip Island, Victoria|
|Time zone||GMT +10|
|Opened||31 March 1928 (Road circuit)|
15 December 1956 (modern circuit)
Re-opened: 4 December 1988
|Closed||1940 (Road circuit)|
1978 (modern circuit)
|Major events||Australian Grand Prix (Road Circuit) |
Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Superbike World Championship
Australian Manufacturers' Championship
Australian Touring Car Championship
Australian Drivers' Championship
|Length||4.445 km (2.762 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:24.221 (Simon Wills, Reynard 94D Holden, 2000, Formula Holden)|
|Length||10.6 km (6.5 mi)|
|Race lap record||4:49.4 (Bill Thompson, Bugatti Type 37A, 1932)|
|Length||5.3 km (3.3 mi)|
Motor racing on Phillip Island began in 1928 with the running of the 100 Miles Road Race, an event which has since become known as the first Australian Grand Prix. It utilised a high speed rectangle of local closed-off public roads with four similar right hand corners. The course length varied, with the car course approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) per lap, compared to the motorcycle circuit which was approximately 10 miles (16 km) in length. The circuit was the venue for the Australian Grand Prix through to 1935 and it was used for the last time on 6 May 1935 for the Jubilee Day Races.
A new 3.312-mile (5.33 km) triangular circuit utilising the pit straight from the original rectangular course was subsequently mapped out and first used for the Australian Race Drivers' Cup on 5 November 1935. The final car event on the circuit was held on Cup Day (1 November) 1938 and the final motorcycle race meeting was conducted on 30 January 1940.
Significant events staged at the Phillip Island road circuit included:
In 1951, a group of six local businessmen decided to build a new track. About 2 km away from the original circuit, it still bears the corner name signs of the original circuit. As the piece of available land was on the edge of the coast, the track is known for its steep grades - the highest 57 metres - which caused cost overruns and delays in track opening. The new track was opened in 1956 and in 1960 the first Armstrong 500 production car race was held at the circuit. Extensive damage resulted from the running of the 1962 Armstrong 500, and, with the circuit owners unable to finance repairs, the circuit was closed and the race was moved to the Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst in New South Wales, to eventually become known as the Bathurst 1000.
The circuit reopened in October 1967 and hosted the Phillip Island 500K endurance race, a round of the Australian Manufacturers' Championship, from 1971 to 1977. The race was also a round of the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1976 and 1977. But again, due to its testing terrain, the circuit required significant maintenance and slowly declined through the 1970s. It was farmed by its owners while closed and was then sold in 1985 in preparation for reopening, but did not do so until 1988 after agreement on a long-term lease and rebuild agreement. During the time the circuit deteriorated and finally closed, part of the main problem for its owners was that the main bridge from the island to the Australian mainland reportedly could not carry the heavy vehicles needed to resurface the circuit. This meant that the bitumen surface was a cold mix which easily broke up under the rigours of racing, instead of the standard hot mix which would have allowed a more durable surface. It would not be until the mid-1980s that the bridge would be rebuilt allowing the necessary equipment needed for resurfacing.
The circuit was refurbished with a reduced length of 4.445 kilometres and was reopened on 4 December 1988 for the final round of the 1988 Swann Insurance International Series for motorcycles.
In 1989, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix joined the F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship calendar for the first time, and was held at Phillip Island. The 1989 race saw a race long dice in the 500 cc division between local favourites Wayne Gardner and Kevin Magee, along with Wayne Rainey and Christian Sarron. The race was won by 1987 World Champion Gardner to the delight of the huge crowd. Gardner would make it two in a row at the Island in 1990 before the race moved to Eastern Creek in Sydney for 1991. The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix would remain at Eastern Creek until it returned permanently to Phillip Island from 1997 onwards.
Phillip Island hosted its first Superbike World Championship round in 1990, taking over from Sydney's Oran Park Raceway as the Australian round of the series. Local riders Peter Goddard (Yamaha FZR750) and Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750) won the two races for what was Round 12 of the season, with Goddard having secured pole position. The World Superbike round continues to be held annually at Phillip Island to this day.
In 1990, the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) returned to the circuit for the first time since 1977, this time as a sprint round. Dick Johnson won the round in his Ford Sierra RS500, in what was to be his final ever round victory. The event was not held in 1991 or 1992, but was reinstated to the calendar in 1993, with the sprint format then continuing every year until 2004. By then, the ATCC was known as V8 Supercars. After not appearing on the calendar in 2004, from 2005 to 2007, Phillip Island hosted the Grand Finale; the final round of the V8 Supercars season. In each year, the event decided that year's champion, including in controversial circumstances in 2006. From 2008 to 2011, Phillip Island returned to hosting a 500 km race, this time known for sponsorship reasons as the L&H 500. The Phillip Island 500 replaced Sandown's Sandown 500 as the annual V8 Supercar 500 km race, an event which was later reinstated for 2012. Since then, Phillip Island has returned to hosting a sprint round of the championship, which has become known as the Phillip Island Super Sprint.
The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has always been more of a promoter event than a profit-raiser in itself. The contract was prolonged until 2026, although tobacco advertising has been banned since 2007.
In the early 1990s, Phillip Island was used during the Australian summer for pre-season testing by various World Sportscar Championship teams and some Japanese Formula 3000 teams (who generally found travelling to Australia was actually cheaper than paying some $5,000 per hour to hire the Honda owned Suzuka Circuit in Japan). While no official lap times were published, television commentator and race driver Neil Crompton reported in 1990 that the Nissan Motorsports International team with drivers Julian Bailey and Mark Blundell driving the Nissan R90C were able to lap the circuit in around 1:18 while a 3.0 Litre Mugen V8 powered Dome F3000 (which Crompton drove) was able record similar lap times. At the time the fastest Australian cars that raced at Phillip Island were the 3.8 Litre V6 powered Formula Holdens which were approximately 10 seconds per lap slower.
In late October 2018 Mathew Radisich drove his 2011 ex-Conquest Racing IndyCar during testing at Phillip Island as a part of unofficial practice day, with images distributed online of his recorded Cosworth data showing a lap time of 1:17.005. However, as this time was not set during a race meeting, it does not count as an official lap record.
|Outright||Simon Wills||Reynard 94D Holden||1:24.2215||13 February 2000|
|Formula Holden||Simon Wills||Reynard 94D Holden||1:24.2215||13 February 2000|
|Formula 3||Tim Macrow||Dallara F307 Mercedes-Benz||1:24.5146||21 September 2013|
|S5000||Joey Mawson||Ligier JS F3-S5000 Ford||1:25.6797||13 March 2021|
|Historic Formula 5000||Tom Tweedie||Chevron B24/28||1:28.3959||8 March 2014|
|Superkart||Russell Jamieson||Anderson Maverick-DEA||1:28.4199||21 September 2013|
|Formula 4||Jayden Ojeda||Mygale M14-F4-Ford||1:34.0900||2 June 2018|
|Formula Ford||Anton de Pasquale||Mygale SJ13a-Ford||1:35.8901||24 November 2013|
|Supercars Championship||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.9920||14 April 2019|
|Super2 Series||Garry Jacobson||Ford FG X Falcon||1:32.3013||16 April 2016|
|V8 Touring Car National Series||Garry Jacobson||Ford FG Falcon||1:33.2611||10 September 2016|
|TCR Touring Car||Will Brown||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1:37.0827||8 June 2019|
|Super Touring||Geoff Brabham||BMW 320i||1:37.1706||1 June 1997|
|Historic Group A||Mark Skaife||Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R||1:40.2312||10 March 2013|
|Australian Mini Challenge||Paul Stokell||Mini JCW R56||1:44.1491||12 September 2008|
|V8 Ute Racing Series||Kim Jane||Holden VE SS Ute||1:48.6431||16 April 2016|
|Toyota 86 Racing Series||Tim Brook||Toyota 86||1:51.9170||22 April 2018|
|Group 2A Sports Cars||James Winslow||Radical SR8 Suzuki||1:25.9294||25 May 2013|
|GT Sports Cars||Jack Le Brocq||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3||1:27.1505||26 May 2013|
|Carrera Cup||Scott McLaughlin||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||1:31.1343||24 May 2015|
|Nations Cup||Paul Stokell||Lamborghini Diablo GTR||1:34.1058||10 August 2003|
|Marque Sports||Steve Owen||Lamborghini Gallardo||1:34.4309||21 November 2009|
|Aussie Racing Cars||Kyle Ensbey||Mustang-Yamaha||1:45.7423||22 April 2018|
|MotoGP||Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||1:28.108||20 October 2013|
|World Superbikes||Tom Sykes||BMW S1000RR||1:29.230||1 March 2020|
|Australian Superbikes||Mike Jones||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R||1:31.881||24 February 2019|
|Moto2||Thomas Lüthi||Kalex Moto2||1:32.609||27 October 2019|
|250cc Grand Prix||Álvaro Bautista||Aprilia RSV 250||1:32.710||5 October 2008|
|500cc Grand Prix||Kenny Roberts, Jr.||Suzuki RGV500||1:32.743||3 October 1999|
|World Supersports||Kenan Sofuo?lu||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R||1:33.238||24 February 2013|
|600cc Supersport||Bryan Staring||Yamaha YZF-R6||1:35.200||17 October 2009|
|Moto3||Jack Miller||KTM RC250GP||1:36.302||19 October 2014|
|125cc Grand Prix||Álvaro Bautista||Honda RS125R||1:36.927||17 September 2006|
|Sidecar F1|| Steve Webster/
|LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:38.726||18 April 1999|
|Sidecar F2||Terry Goldie/
|LCR-Honda CBR 600||1:45.986||27 May 2018|
"The Official 50 Race History of the Australian Grand Prix"