Calder Park set to erupt
The owner and chairman of Calder Park Raceway, Bob Jane today announced the new business direction and major events for Australia 's Home of Motorsport for 2006 and beyond. In making the announcement, Mr Jane quashed rumours that Calder Park Raceway was closing or would be sold off for housing.
"Calder Park is here to stay," said Mr Jane. "Talk of Calder Park becoming a housing estate is and only ever has been a fanciful rumour spread by people who clearly have no idea what is going on. The truth is Calder Park has never been offered for sale and no developer has ever approached me to sell the property, and if they do they will be told in no uncertain terms that Calder Park is not for sale.
"Motor racing tracks are more valuable world-wide as performance car enthusiasts turn to them in response to stricter speeding laws on public roads. Calder Park is no exception, and as this trend continues to grow at incredible speed, our venue, with it close proximity to Melbourne will continue to be developed into the future."
With a renegotiated public liability insurance policy, a new operating permit, an increased curfew time from 10.00pm to 11.00pm, the right to stage concerts and planned infrastructure upgrading, we are poised to re-establish Calder Park Raceway as an entertainment powerhouse, with a wide variety of events planned for 2006 and beyond.
Motorsport will remain Calder Park's core activity, in particular at grass roots level; an area of the sport that remains very important to Mr Jane and one which is becoming increasing disillusioned in Australia due to the collapse of traditional club-style racing.
As a result, Calder Park will again host three-rounds of the AASA-sanctioned Victorian Motor Racing Championship (in association with Winton Motor Raceway), an exciting young series that continues to go from strength-to-strength.
"I along with the management of Winton Raceway, want to run race meetings that benefit competitors," said Mr Jane. "This means a fun and friendly atmosphere where drivers get plenty of laps, have affordable entry fees, are free of bureaucratic interference, and along with their crews, can socialize after the event.
"Many people tell me they want a return to the atmosphere of racing in the '60s, where you could join your friends in cooking a barbeque lunch and enjoy a glass of wine with them at the end of the day. They want to recreate the camaraderie that existed then and is sadly missing now, so in a sense we are going 'back to the future'."
As a result of Calder Park's ideal location, versatility and attractive rental rates, private track rentals are soaring with virtually every weekend booked for the next 12-months, and few weekday dates remaining for the same period for both the National Circuit and Thunderdome.
As part of Mr Jane's commitment to grass-roots motorsport and road safety, booking priority and concessional rates have been given to car clubs and driving schools.
A Calder Park road safety initiative, legal off-street drag racing, continues to boom with meetings expanded from monthly to weekly during 2005, a trend that will continue into 2006 and beyond.
Mr Jane has also commenced negotiations with drag racing's governing body ANDRA, in an initiative to re-establish top-level drag racing in Victoria in 2006.
Calder Park has also given the exciting new sport of Drifting a Melbourne home and recently created a 4x4/rally/dirt bike course on the Thunderdome infield, which is used for competition, testing, driver/rider training, product launches and club events.
Several major events are planned for 2006, including a challenging tarmac rally known as the National Rally Masters (March 11-12), and a musclecar spectacular - the Musclecar Nationals, which will run over Easter - see separate releases.
Building on the success of previous cruise nights, Calder Park will introduce summer cruise and movie nights, which will also include a show 'n' shine.
Other announcements will be made in 2006 regarding the reintroduction of racing to the Thunderdome as well as a number of diverse cultural and community events.
Calder Park has also been approached by leading entertainment promoters to stage major local and international music artists, which will re-establish Calder Park as one of Melbourne's premier outdoor venues, as the facility was regarded when it hosted international super-groups Fleetwood Mac, Santana and Guns 'n Roses to crowds in excess of 70,000 people.