This year’s ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 precinct will be light rail-ready following years of planning and collaboration between V8 Supercars and the Gold Coast Light Rail.
The two organisations have spent three years making slight alterations to the circuit to allow it to receive light rail patrons at the event from 2014.
This year’s event (October 25-27) will debut the new circuit alignment, construction on which began last week.
ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 Event Manager Kurt Sakzewski said V8 Supercars and Gold Coast Light Rail had been focussed on both projects, working collaboratively on a daily basis.
“The light rail is a fantastic asset for the Gold Coast,” Sakzewski said.
“It will give the Gold Coast an amazing transport system for locals and tourists; and from 2014 become an integral part of the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 as what we believe will be the major mode of transport for thousands of spectators.
“The light rail will help take this already great event to new heights from next year, knowing that people can get easier access in and out of the circuit, also easing traffic congestion.”
V8 Supercars and GCLR have slightly realigned the race circuit in collaboration with GCLR, changes that in many cases would not be visible to the naked eye but critical to the light rail network.
“We have been making subtle changes for three years in what has been an incredibly detailed process. To most people the changes would be barely discernible – but they’re there and they’re important.
“This year’s event will be a dry run for 2014 when thousands of people will be using the light rail to arrive at the event.”
Gold Coast Light Rail’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Mumford, said he was pleased with the progress of light rail works in the area while successfully collaborating with V8 Supercars.
“A significant part of our works has been the Ferny Avenue intersection with the Gold Coast Highway and working with ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 to ensure light rail stays on track for completion and race-goers still get a great event has been a success,” Mumford said.
V8 Supercar driver Jamie Whincup said he was ready to tackle the new challenges of the track.
“The ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 is always a bit of fun for the drivers, with a fair few thrills and spills over the years,” he said.
“All tracks have subtle changes from year to year which is all part of the challenge for drivers and engineers; and there are few tracks more challenging than the Gold Coast.”
The construction of the track officially commenced last Monday, with V8 Supercars and Gold Coast Light Rail again working together to minimise disruption to motorists and local residents.
“Construction of both projects has an impact on traffic and road conditions. Our aim in working together is to not compound the issue. When we need to work on the track, Gold Coast Light Rail ceases construction in that area,” Mr Sakzewski said.
“As we get closer to the race weekend, there will be less and less construction on the Gold Coast Light Rail in the race precinct until it ceases completely.”
Traffic changes will be advertised through local media as well as on the V8 Supercars website. The Gold Coast Light Rail website will continue to provide full information about traffic changes along the entire route.
Whilst the Gold Coast Light Rail won’t be operational until next year, V8 Supercars organisers are urging ticket holders to use public transport to get to the event.
“Public transport is undoubtedly the quickest and easiest way to get to and from the race precinct and many services are free for pre-purchased ticket holders,” Mr Sakzewski said.
“With over 180,000 patrons expected over the race weekend, our advice is to purchase your ticket before you get to the track, then plan your journey by visiting Translink.com.au.”
The ARMOR ALL Gold Coast runs from 25 to 27 October. Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketek.