The Albury Wodonga & Districts Car Club (AWDCC) has announced it has taken over the lease to Victoria’s Wilby Park Raceway.
Situated just south of Yarrawonga in northern Victoria, Wilby Park is known for its grassroots motorsport alongside popular events like the Lake Mulwala Rod Run’s Nostalgia Drags and the Retrospeed Sprints.
AWDCC club president David West told Street Machine the lease deal had been in the works for about 12 months, after the Wilby Car Club approached the new lessees. “[They] had run out of enthusiasm and membership, and were done with running events there,” David explains.
“COVID didn’t help, but there was no new blood coming through. Our club is very fortunate; we’ve got a long history with motorsport as the founders of the Hume Weir circuit, and we’ve got a very strong membership base and active members.”
The AWDCC had been hiring the venue for its own events for several years, alongside hosting events at the Logic driver training centre and Winton Raceway. “When they came to us, we sort of thought, ‘It’s a bit hard really; do we have the energy?’ But we also thought about the [long-disused] Hume Weir circuit and a few other missed opportunities, and it would be terrible to see another country track go down the toilet,” David explains. The Wilby Park name is set to stay despite the change in operators.
High on the club’s agenda is a freshen-up of the eighth-mile drag strip, as well as hosting drift events. “We don’t need to do a lot to attract the drifters to the hot-mix track,” David says. “It’s probably the drag strip we need to spend the money on, and that’s our priority as it stands.” The club’s own Lap Dash series will also become a regular fixture at the circuit.
As for events like the Nostalgia Drags and Retrospeed, David says they’re “100 per cent” welcome. “We’re open to any events, but we’re also aware of the residents and infrastructure,” he points out. “We’re not going to be running every weekend or anything silly, but we want to invest in the facility to make it sustainable and also respect the neighbours and people involved.”
One practice day has already been held, which saw drifting on the circuit, though heavy rain forced the planned drags and sprints to be cancelled. Next on the list is a non-competition Drag Fun Day on 12 November, with entries still available.
To follow new developments and event dates at Wilby Park, head to its new Facebook page.