- New drag strip and circuit planned for existing motorsport park
- Will be an eighth mile built to ANDRA and international spec
- Future plans to extend to a full quarter mile
Tamworth could soon become the motorsport hub of country NSW, with plans to reinvent the Oakburn Park Motorsport Complex into a world-class motorsport facility with a speedway, racing circuit and drag strip.
The Tamworth Sporting Car Club (TSCC) recently shared a video on its Facebook page outlining the plans in place for the facility.
The plans outline progression in three major stages. Stage two is the most important, as it will include the construction of a new 1.2km Touring Car circuit and an ANDRA-sanctioned eighth-mile drag strip.
Stage three will then see the drag strip extended to a full quarter-mile, and the circuit increased to a 3.1km layout.
Oakburn Park is just 13km from the Tamworth CBD, with the TSCC regularly using the current 760m short circuit for hillclimb and circuit events, while the speedway has seen great success with bike racing.
Bill Ausling is the president of the Tamworth Drag Racing Association (TDRA), which has been running drag events at Gunnedah Airport (80km north-west of Tamworth) for over 25 years.
The TDRA, along with other local motorsport clubs, has been lobbying for the upgrades to Oakburn Park for the best part of 10 years, and Bill is delighted that the plans are now seeing the light of day.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in the past 18 months, and getting our DA [development application] has been a big part of that,” says Bill. “We had to get our plans basically to the point of being shovel-ready before we could go any further, which is what the video shows you.
“The drag strip will be built to both ANDRA and international specs, and the goal is to have everything from junior classes to Top Fuel running down the strip,” he continues.
Along with the circuit and drag strip, the stage-two plans to upgrade the facility include an area to run driver training programs, as well as workshops and classrooms for education and STEM programs.
The stage-two developments are still awaiting council approval and state government funding before works can begin, but Bill is hopeful that, if all goes to plan, work will begin next year.
“I’d like to hope that by March next year we’d be getting close, and the NSW Government is willing to distribute a decent amount of funding for regional projects, so fingers crossed that can help fund the stage-two works,” he says.
The redevelopment of Oakburn will be a huge boost for country NSW, and will be the only major permanent motorsport facility and drag strip between Sydney and Brisbane, located perfectly between the two capitals to draw interest from both states.
“It will really complete Tamworth as the sporting hub of the area, because we already have amazing facilities for equine, hockey and a cycling velodrome, so the council can see the value in creating a major motorsport facility for Tamworth,” Bill says. “It’s really exciting for us and the region – because out here in country NSW there’s nothing!”