Supercars drivers have resoundingly endorsed the proposed circuit for next year’s Coates Hire Newcastle 500.
Reigning Champion Mark Winterbottom, HRT’s James Courtney and Supercheap Auto Racing’s Chaz Mostert were all in Newcastle today as NSW Premier Mike Baird announced that Supercars would race there for the next five years.
After checking out the proposed layout for the track this morning, the three drivers were enthusiastic about the 250km races to be held around the street circuit.
Winterbottom said he was excited to be able to experience new events and new tracks as Supercars expands its footprint.
“It’s fantastic. Our sport is always going to that next level, and you just hope you’re around long enough to keep experiencing these new things,” he said.
“Newcastle is the perfect fit. It’s the seventh biggest city in the country, and the concept of what the track looks like is incredible.
“To see it go up through the buildings and come along through the parklands to finish its sort of got every aspect that a street circuit wants, and it is a genuine city race. We go right through the buildings, and that’s going to feel like the cars are doing 400km/h.”
“It’s going to feel quick, it’s going to look like an incredible spectacle and it’s going to be a great track for racing. For us, we’re licking our lips. We just want to get here. In 12 months this will be one of the mega events.”
Courtney agreed with Winterbottom, and said it was already clear Newcastle was excited to host Supercars racing.
“It’s going to be massive for our sport. Newcastle seems to be a little bit starved of motorsport, so I think it’s going to be great,” Courtney said.
“Just walking around the town this morning, having a look at where the track is and the amount of people that are excited already that we’re here - and we’re more than 12 months away from racing here - is fantastic”
Mostert highlighted that the circuit layout provided drivers a mixture of challenges, and the location would allow fans from all over NSW to attend.
“It’s really got the best of both worlds. There’s the normal circuit identity with some flowing corners here and there, and then it’s got some really sharp 90-degree stuff you usually see on street circuits,” he said.
“The plans look really exciting, and the way the track goes up and down in some areas here is going to really get some attitude on these cars.
“It’s probably going to be more of a central hub for all the fans in NSW to get out here to check it out, hopefully we can get some big crowds around here to really pump up the grand finale.”