A Brief History of the Track itself.

Motor racing on Phillip Island began in 1928 with the running of the 100 Miles Road Race, an event which has since become known as the first Australian Grand Prix. It utilised a high speed rectangle of local closed-off public roads with four similar right hand corners. The course length varied, with the car course approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) per lap, compared to the motorcycle circuit which was approximately 10 miles (16 km) in length. The circuit was the venue for the Australian Grand Prix through to 1935 and it was used for the last time on 6 May 1935 for the Jubilee Day Races.

A new 3.312 mile (5.33 km) triangular circuit utilising the pit straight from the original rectangular course was subsequently mapped out and first used for the Australian Race Drivers' Cup on 5 November 1935. The final car event on the circuit was held on Cup Day (1 November) 1938 and the final motorcycle race meeting was conducted on 30 January 1940.

In 1951, a group of six local businessmen decided to build a new track. About 2 km away from the original circuit, it still bears the corner name signs of the original circuit. The new track was opened in 1956 and in 1960 the first Armstrong 500 production car race was held at the circuit. Extensive damage resulted from the running of the 1962 Armstrong 500, and, with the circuit owners unable to finance repairs, the circuit was closed and the race was moved to the Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst in New South Wales, to eventually become known as the Bathurst 1000.

The circuit reopened in October 1967 and hosted the Phillip Island 500K endurance race, a round of the Australian Manufacturers' Championship, from 1971 to 1977. But again, due to its testing terrain, the circuit required significant maintenance and slowly declined through the 1970s. It was farmed by its owners while closed and was then sold in 1985 in preparation for reopening, but did not do so until 1988 after agreement on a long term lease and rebuild agreement. During the time the circuit deteriorated and finally closed, part of the main problem for its owners was that the main bridge from the island to the Australian mainland reportedly could not carry the heavy vehicles needed to resurface the circuit. This meant that the bitumen surface was a cold mix which easily broke up under the rigours of racing, instead of the standard hot mix which would have allowed a more durable surface. It would not be until the mid-1980s that the bridge would be rebuilt allowing the necessary equipment needed for resurfacing. The circuit was refurbished with a reduced length of 4.445 kilometres and was reopened on 4 December 1988.

In 1989, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix joined the F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship calendar for the first time, and was held at Phillip Island. Phillip Island hosted its first Superbike World Championship round in 1990, taking over from Sydney's Oran Park Raceway as the Australian round of the series.

In 1990, the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) returned to the circuit for the first time since 1977, this time as a sprint round. Dick Johnson won the round in his Ford Sierra RS500, in what was to be his final ever round victory. The event was not held in 1991 or 1992, but was reinstated to the calendar in 1993, with the sprint format then continuing every year until 2004. By then, the ATCC was known as V8 Supercars. From 2008 to 2011, Phillip Island returned to hosting a 500 km race. The Phillip Island 500 replaced Sandown's Sandown 500 as the annual V8 Supercar 500 km race, an event which was later reinstated for 2012. Since then, Phillip Island has returned to hosting a sprint round of the championship, which has become known as the Phillip Island Super Sprint.


Courtesy: Wikipedia.
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How to get there.

Melbourne is the nearest international airport, about two hours drive or roughly 100 miles away.

Driving to the island from Melbourne. You take the Monash Freeway (M1) to the Cranbourne exit, where you will turn into the South Gippsland Highway (M420). Follow this route to the Bass Highway (A420), through Grantville and Bass. Turn right at Anderson roundabout onto the Phillip Island Road (B420) to San Remo, over the bridge onto Phillip Island.

Ferry services are also available three times each day (at Weekends) running from Stoney Point to Cowes. You will need to book in advance if attempting to board on a race weekend.



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