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Caversham Motor Raceway, Perth, under threat


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#1 BMH Comic

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 05:53

Caversham Motor Raceway in Perth is under threat,

The site of the 1957 and 1962 AGP and the venue for the first ever Tasman race has been under threat of development and now due to some very short sighted planning by the Western Australian Government and the developers they are about to place the new suburb directly over the circuit and effectivly destroy the infrastucture that has stood for more than 50 Years

Refer the media statement below

MEDIA STATEMENT
RITA SAFFIOTI MLA
MEMBER FOR WEST SWAN
Tuesday 15 September 2009
LAST MINUTE EFFORT TO SAVE WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S MOTOR HISTORY
Local West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti has joined the Vintage Sports Car Club to save a part of Western
Australia’s motoring history.
The current plans for the proposed Albion townsite development in West Swan will see the destruction
of the majority, if not all of the Caversham Motor Raceway.
The Caversham Motor Raceway is Australia’s last surviving WWII airfield-style motor racing circuit.
Motor racing commenced at Caversham in 1946 with the Victory Grand Prix attracting 60,000
spectators.
In 1957 and 1962 the Australian Grand Prix was held at the circuit with a crowd of 30,000 watching
each of these events. Sir Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren and Lex Davidson were some of the well
known international racing drivers who competed there.
The Vintage Sports Car Club has put forward submissions to the City of Swan and State Government
with the aim of incorporating some of this significant history into the proposed development.
“The Vintage Sports Car Club has put in a lot of effort and time into preparing a plan that would
incorporate this motor racing history into the new town site development,” Ms Saffioti said.
“It would be very sad to see this part of our history bowled over for housing – when smart planning
could incorporate the history of the site with more housing.”
The Vintage Sports Car Club has also put forward the proposal of naming the new suburb Brabham.
“I urge the Government to consider the proposals that have been put forward by the Vintage Sports
Car Club,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Their plans would create a unique development – that would attract people to the area.
“I don’t believe it is too late to save such a key part of our history.”
Co

I call on each and every one to voice your protest at the destruction by communicating to our elected members of parliment

attached is a link detailing contacts for all memebers of the legislature in WA

http://www.parliamen...Members - Email

Here is a link to the VSCC website detailing some of the development at CAVERSHAM


http://www.vsccwa.co...am-preservation

TAB


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 20:14

"First ever Tasman race"?

That's an intriguing statement...

Leyburn still exists, by the way. Most of Mt Druitt is still discernible, Marsden Park is there and Nowra is as complete as Point Cook.

#3 BMH Comic

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:53

"First ever Tasman race"?

That's an intriguing statement...

Leyburn still exists, by the way. Most of Mt Druitt is still discernible, Marsden Park is there and Nowra is as complete as Point Cook.


Thanks for that pointed advice as to the acuracy of the statments made in the media release, The fact which I think goes uncontested and is the point being put forward is that Caversham is still an airport albiet an emergency set of strips and it is complete and unmolested. The fact that other former aistrips still exist either in part or essentialy almost there isnt realy the point, we here in WA have an unmolested complete setup with an AGP circuit and the Castrol 6 Hour circuit to boot and we land aircraft on them. The Govt of the day wishes to destroy it.

One would hope that this was universally understood by the Motor Sports community who would come to the cause and demand that it be saved, I suggest that silence tells us otherwise.

If it is important that these things be saved, how about sending an email protesting it and we can debate what constitutes a complete aircraft/race circuit next time we use it as a racing venue and not on an intenet forum.

I would also, after you have sent in your protest of course, love to discuss what was the first Tasman event?? 1957 Caversham???


http://speedwest.net...nion/index.html

TAB



#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:14

TAB... I have to tell you that it's customary here to ensure errors aren't perpetuated...

Lots of people refer to races among the 1960 to '63 International events in Australia and New Zealand as 'Tasman Series' events, it's therefore a regular thing here to make the point that the 'Tasman Series' (really the FIA series for the Tasman Cup) began in 1964.

In a similar manner, whenever many of us here see press releases that are glib about the facts, we like to post information that ensures people don't go away with mistaken beliefs.

The statement made was:

The Caversham Motor Raceway is Australia’s last surviving WWII airfield-style motor racing circuit.


Under these circumstances, can you blame me for pointing out that at least three such 'WWII airfield-style' circuits still exist?

Point Cook and Nowra (HMAS Albatross) are still there and could be transformed into what they were for the racing fraternity in 1946-48 in a heartbeat. Point Cook, moreover, was also an Australian Grand Prix circuit.

Leyburn I also mentioned, along with Marsden Park and 'most of Mt Druitt'. I would have little trouble showing you Lowood (another AGP circuit), much of Strathpine, Ringwood, Tomago, Valleyfield, Wangaratta, Ballarat (which did host a pre-Tasman race), parts of Fishermen's Bend and Gawler, maybe also Quorn Hall.

But that's probably excessive. Not all of those were based on 'WWII' airstrips. Leyburn, Marsden Park, Mt Druitt, Lowood, Strathpine, Ringwood and Tomago were, as also were the thus far unmentioned Beverley and Mooliabeenie.

These latter ones are especially important in the context of the press release. They are in WA, they are still in existence and visible on Google Earth. Moreover, they are both airstrip circuits that used 'dispersal roads' to make up a slice of the lap distance. Mooliabeenie, in fact, was almost identical to Caversham. Busselton, another WA airstrip circuit, didn't do this. Then again, some of the layouts used at Caversham didn't either.

I agree, I'd like to see Caversham's history preserved. But a part of the preservation of that history would include being more accurate in descriptions.

So do you have any idea where the 'first ever Tasman race' came from?

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:31

By the way, here's Google Earth's view of Mooliabeenie:

Posted Image

#6 BMH Comic

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 00:27

Thanks for that good advice regarding acuracy, I too do concure with this process,

I am the first one to point out the inacuracy when misinformation is reported about my chosen field of expertise being one Aubury Badger and the Comic Book.

I certainly confused Tasman with Gold Star, so I stand corrected. I would accept your opinion on that subject too.

Please accept my apologies for this and if in future you see any inacuracies in the information reported on this subject please let me know, We certainly wouldnt want to save Caversham on the basis of misinformation would we!

Maybe it would be best if you were to put together a short piece informing us all, from a historical significance point of view, why Caversham should be retained and not demolised.

That is to say what is important and unique at Caversham. Is it unique? Is it important?

Given this advice I would be happy to present it to the Minister concerned.



#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:15

It lived the longest...

Of all the airstrip circuits, no others went for as long nor were used as consistently as was Caversham.

It was 'home' to motor racing in WA from August 1965 until Wanneroo was built, it was the only circuit available in that period.

The annual 6-hour race could not have happened had it not been for the fact that a regular 'home base' was available at Caversham.

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:37

Ray, have you been to Marsden Park or Mt Druitt in the past couple of years? Marsden Park is now very hard to find as most of it is built on and Mt Druitt is just bits and pieces, the strip is still there but the road on it has been rebuilt.

Edited by Catalina Park, 22 September 2009 - 11:37.


#9 BMH Comic

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 23:21

It lived the longest...

Of all the airstrip circuits, no others went for as long nor were used as consistently as was Caversham.

It was 'home' to motor racing in WA from August 1965 until Wanneroo was built, it was the only circuit available in that period.

The annual 6-hour race could not have happened had it not been for the fact that a regular 'home base' was available at Caversham.


Ray I hasten to correct you now,

Caversham isnt dead yet! It still has a current track permit.

As does Lake Perkolilli and If I think about it the Lake still is listed as an earodrome as well, so we will have to call Caversham the Last remaining "Black Top" aerodrome style racing circuit in Australia. The Lake was never surfaced of course.

#10 ken devine

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:38

Ray I hasten to correct you now,

Caversham isnt dead yet! It still has a current track permit.

As does Lake Perkolilli and If I think about it the Lake still is listed as an earodrome as well, so we will have to call Caversham the Last remaining "Black Top" aerodrome style racing circuit in Australia. The Lake was never surfaced of course.

Racing was held regularly at Caversham from 1954 not 1965, it closed in 1968.

#11 GeoffR

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:37

[quote Leyburn still exists, by the way. [/quote]

Not in a driveable form these days. We tried to find it last year while visiting our daughter in Warwick, using a Google earth image, old track map & GPS. A few parts were driveable but a lot of it now crosses paddocks and seems to be barely discernible. Surprisingly it still stands out fairly clearly on Google earth.
As far as I'm aware the annual Leyburn sprints are only around the Leyburn township itself, not the old circuit.
A few images from last year
Main straight looking SE from near Hamblin Cnr
Posted Image
Back straight looking East
Posted Image
Liberator Avenue
Posted Image


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:50

Originally posted by ken devine
Racing was held regularly at Caversham from 1954 not 1965, it closed in 1968.


That's right... but you missed my point...

From August 1965 it was the only circuit available until Wanneroo was built. That was from the last of the 'country' race meetings, Geraldton. I would say it was held regularly from 1946, but with the understanding that a number of 'country' meetings were held each year up until 1955 and thus Caversham was not needed so 'regularly' during that period.

The Le Mans disaster frightened a lot of local authorities and so the use of Caversham expanded as the need was there.

Edited by Ray Bell, 23 September 2009 - 10:55.


#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:36

GeoffR... a few fences stop you driving around Leyburn, but you can trace the whole circuit...

Here's the Google Earth image:

Posted Image

One piece of the main straight, the stretch between Hamblin Road and Macquarie Drive IIRC, is now owned by the Council and has been stripped of all the roadbase and gravel (to be used on other roads in the area) and so is the worst affected.

Yes, the Leyburn Sprints are held in the town 6kms south of the old circuit. They were started by the HRCC of Queensland to draw attention to the then-upcoming 50th anniversary of the AGP back in the mid-nineties. The HRCC has nothing to do with that event today, but locals carry it on and it has spawned a number of similar events in other towns throughout the Darling Downs.

#14 GeoffR

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:53

Ray

That's pretty much the Google earth image we had when we were there. It's amazing how distinct it is on that, and how much less distinct it is on the ground! Unfortunately we were a bit pressed for time so couldn't spend the time required to retrace the whole circuit.

Edited by GeoffR, 23 September 2009 - 11:58.