The Supercars Championship may have forced a temporary change of venue for this year’s supermoto event but race promoter Graeme Boyd believes the move to Newcastle Showground provides a more technical track for the two-wheeled riders.
Modifications around the foreshore for the upcoming V8 race mean the FIM Oceania Supermoto Championships will shift to Broadmeadow in September before returning next to Newcastle Harbour in 2018.
Boyd said he eventually hoped to take full advantage of the infrastructure put in place for November’s season-ending Newcastle 500 but said the transition now has allowed officials to extend the length and nature of the supermoto course.
“The scope of works [for Supercars] didn’t give us a technical track [at the foreshore this year] and we want a great race meeting. If you’re going to bring champion riders to Newcastle you want to give them a champion track,” Boyd said.
“We’ll have 20 internationals and more than 20 Australian champions – those guys want a technical race. They don’t want to race up 100 metres and then come back 100m. They want corners, late breaking and everything the showground car park gives us.”
The new-look 940m circuit will start and finish in front of the grandstands, curve along the dirt track towards Newcastle Entertainment Centre, then exit the arena to battle a dozen tarred twists and turns in the car park, before returning past the pits at the northern end for a few “bumps and jumps”.
The other shuffle in proceedings has the 2017 event run under FIM Oceania rather than FIM Asia. It also becomes a one-off championship rather than a stopover in a larger season.
“Australia are part of FIM Oceania and not FIM Asia anyway,” Boyd said.
“It gives us a little bit more control jurisdiction wise.”
Boyd said he was unsure whether last year’s healthy crowds at Newcastle Forshore would be emulated this time around but remained confident in growing the event near Nobbys Beach in the future.
“The potential next year is fantastic,” he said. “We’ll see what infrastructure the V8s create and go from there. But imagine running it a week after with two or three grandstands and a road going out around Horseshore Beach. Plus the roads will be wider and the car park twice as big.”
Boyd said he expected a quality international field later this year featuring three-time world superbike champion Troy Bayliss, 2005 world supermoto champion Boris Chambon and Japan’s Masatoshi Ohmori.
They test out the showground track on the weekend of September 2 and 3.