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Failed Perth circuit plans

Earlier this year motorsport news sources revealed plans of a potential Perth street race were back on the table due to preliminary talks between the Western Australian State Government and Supercars to invest more into the annual cross-country trip.

Plans of a street race were first conceived as AVESCO targeted more growth and the holding its own Bathurst 1000 was questionable in the midst of a battle over the Great Race.

It entered into discussions for a Perth street event to replace the Sandown 500 during the late-1990s, but of course this failed to come to fruition.

Hope did not diminish as the Fremantle Docks was earmarked as a location during 1999 to host the V8 Supercars with the first event due to cost $10 million in its first year.

The Western Australian State Government held reservations, but work continued to target a round on the 2001 V8 Supercars calendar until it failed to receive council approval and was quietly canned.

Next, a proposed race at the location made famous by the Rally Australia Super Special Stage was announced. Langley Park, just near Fremantle was the place at a 3.8km circuit set to cost $12 million, but this was another plan set to be put in the stillborn basket.

A Perth street circuit re-emerged in 2007 as a replacement for the outdated facilities at then-Barbagallo Raceway, but the idea was greeted with a lukewarm response by WA Sports Minister John Kobelke.

“When the state government looked at the proposal for a V8 street event (at Fremantle) in Perth a few years ago, the return for tourism and promotion of the state came nowhere near warranting the expenditure required,” Kobelke says.

“I don’t believe anything has changed which would interest the government in investing in a street circuit.”

It came as Barbagallo Raceway’s agreement ended in 2009 and no plans to extend this were in the works unless the facility received major upgrades.

As these discussions were being had, a new facility in Bunbury, but it had not sought FIA sanctioning and in the end a rare orchid put paid to the circuit.

Can these latest talks finally make this idea turn into reality?

The Collie Motorplex is another circuit in Western Australia located 202km south east of Perth and is used extensively throughout the year.