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Sunday, 07 August 2016 00:00

Lost tracks of NSW: Amaroo Park Raceway

204AmarooPark

Amaroo Park was the brainchild of Sydney industrialist Oscar Glaser, who imagined an all-encompassing motorsport facility and, mooted grand prix circuit aside, realised those dreams.

Over its history the facility would feature a hillclimb course, dirt track, dirt speedway, motorcross track and, from 1967, the 1.9km road course that made its name.

V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93 pays tribute to lost iconic circuits, now treasured memories in the suburban sprawl of New South Wales.

Issue #93 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93.

Amaroo might have been short, with rudimentary facilities and a tiny paddock that often forced competitors to spill out into other parts of the complex, but it was packed with atmosphere.

Drivers had the challenge of ups, downs, tighter and faster bends. Spectators enjoyed viewing areas that took in a large part of the circuit.

Amaroo struggled in its early years but in 1969 the Australian Racing Driver's Club – then the promoter of Bathurst – took over the running and things started to grow.

From 1971 through to 1993 the circuit hosted multiple-round touring-car series of its own – initially the Sun-7 Chesterfield Series, then from 1982 the AMSCAR series – that were a beacon of NSW's touring-car scene, especially privateers who struggled to find the cash to race at further-flung locales.

AMSCAR races enjoyed national TV coverage on the Seven Network and sometimes attracted bigger grids than the Australian Touring Car Championship and Australian Endurance Championship rounds.

Amaroo will forever have a significant place in the record books: Fred Gibson posted the first victory for a turbocharged car in Australian touring-car racing in a Nissan Bluebird there in 1983 and the very first race of the current V8 era ran there in 1993.

Races like the 1987 ATCC round, won by Jim Richards from 11th on the grid, and that first biffing and barging V8 race can be counted amongst the most memorable touring-car races ever held on Australian soil.

"Amaroo was one of my favourite tracks, it was terrific," remembers Jim Richards.

"Of course, you've got Bathurst and other tracks, but I really, really enjoyed it. It had a great atmosphere and I was very sad when it stopped.

"It was like any track – it had some fast corners, it had some slow corners – but it was a good track because it wasn't just dead flat. It went up the hill, over the top and down around the back. It was a good little tight circuit."

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93 to read the full feature.