PARRAMATTA, Australia – Valvoline Raceway, one of Australia’s most well-known race tracks, may be in danger thanks to planned expansion of the Sydney Metro transportation system.
Track officials revealed Monday that the land where the track is located is part of a compulsory land acquisition to facilitate a new rail system, which will take passengers from Paramatta into Central Sydney, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The news comes after track owner Barry Waldron had begun negotiations with the Sydney Speedway land owners, Crown Lands, about a long-term lease for the facility.
“This is devastating. Absolutely devastating,” said Waldron. “I can’t believe that in all our dealings with the government through Crown Lands in our proposed long-term planning discussions (that) nobody thought to give us even a hint that this could happen.”
Metro Rail’s plans include the compulsory acquisition of 116 properties – 23 residential and 93 commercial businesses.
A large stabling yard and operations center for the single-deck, driverless metro trains will be built at the Clyde and Rosehill Industrial Estate, bounded by James Ruse Drive, the M4 Motorway and Unwin and Shirley Streets.
The Waldron’s current lease for Valvoline Raceway does not run out until June of 2026.
Several campaigns to save the venue have already hit social media, including a change.org petition and campaign with the hashtag #WeAreVR. In addition, track officials are planning a rally at the facility on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. local time.
A forty-year staple of the Australian racing landscape, Valvoline Raceway is a hub for sprint car and midget racing in the Sydney area, including the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship.