State road racing championships back for 2018 — but not at Barbagallo

CAPTION: Western Australia's road race community is headed south to Collie for 2018, with a four-round State championship series set to go.

Collie steps up for a four-round season with longer track (and a bunch of left-handers)

WESTERN Australia is set to have a 2018 road racing season — not at Wanneroo’s Barbagallo Raceway, but 200km south at an extended, upgraded Collie Motorplex.

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The Motorcycle Racing Club of WA has booked track time to enable a four-round championship series to be staged this year at Collie, with Round One booked for Sunday April 15. A two-day trial run has been booked for February 10 and 11 to enable riders to get a taste of the circuit.

MCRCWA club president Paul Castling says he wants the Collie track to become a regular part of Western Australia’s motorcycle road racing program, even if Barbagallo comes back into play.

“I would like to see future State championships run across both venues,” Mr Castling told The Bike Shed Times.

 

CAPTION: Western Australia’s historic race bikes are familiar with the Collie circuit and virtually treat it as their home track.

“The two tracks are very different, and that would introduce an exciting extra element to the competition.”

Barbagallo Raceway has been home to WA’s road racing fraternity for many years. The circuit was built in the late 1960s and runs in a clockwise direction, meaning most of the corners turn to the right, and most corners are either flat or positively cambered (sloping down to the inside).

In contrast, Collie runs anti-clockwise so features mainly left-hand corners, and has multiple off-cambered corners.

The Collie circuit has undergone major works in the past year, including a multi-million dollar extension that has stretched the track from 1.6km out to 2.55km — and that makes it longer than Barbagallo.

The extension gives event organisers the flexibility to use either the shorter old layout, or the new full-length track.

Motorcycling Australia has not yet given a formal all-clear to stage racing events on the extended circuit, but organisers believe that approval will arrive soon.

CAPTION: We went down to Collie mid-2017 to watch the historic bikes in action, but got to see some of the fast guys on modern bikes as well. Joshua Mathers (2010 Suzuki 600) was great to watch.

“The longer layout is better suited to Superbikes, so we’re hoping it will be approved in time for our trial session, or at least our first race meeting,” Mr Castling said.

Western Australia had no State road racing titles in 2017. The 2016 season was hit by tragedy with two fatal accidents at Barbagallo and a safety review which claimed the track was “unsafe for motorcycle racing due to an unacceptable risk of serious injury”. (You can read the whole report here.)

Efforts to have bikes return to racing at the track have so far failed, although The Bike Shed Times understands at least one motorcycle training event has been conducted.

Stakeholders including Motorcycling Australia, Motorcycling Western Australia, the Motorcycle Racing Club of WA, the WA Sporting Car Club, the WA Department of Sport and Recreation, and WA Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray are expected to meet again late January.

 

CAPTION: Collie hosted modern bikes several times last year, but 2018 will be the first time the track has seen modern bikes in State championship action.

 

CAPTION: Barbagallo Raceway is still out-of-bounds for race bikes, 444 days since the ban came into force. Maybe next year … ?

 

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2018 events

 

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