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Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper today offered a front-page story about a new Motorsport Park on 400 hectares of land between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The site will be the home of Rally Australia in 2008.

Effectively the site of current cane farms, the project will result in a $650 million dollar complex, intended to attract international motorsporting events to Queensland.
It mentions a strong bid to attract the current Australian F1 event from Melbourne, while also clearly inferring that the site will contain purpose-built permanent rally stages.

The project is to be owned by i-METT (Integrated Motorsport Education Tourism and Technology), and the report suggests that some 90% of the required land has been acquired.

The precinct plans include a flood-lit racing circuit more than 6km in length, a permanent special stage for rallies, a hotel, theme park and Australia’s first wind-tunnel for aerodynamic road car and race car testing.

An approach has been made to German architect Hermann Tilke, who is the brains behind race tracks that have been constructed in Shanghai, Bahrain, Malaysia and Istanbul over recent years.

The site will need to be subject to a land planning review, but the i-Mett managing director, Ron Brown, is quoted as saying that any impacts could be properly controlled.
In any case, with months passing by rapidly and the World Rally Championship event scheduled for late 2008, there is much work to be done to provide a home for the rally of
an appropriate standard.

The exclusive release of this information now cements the past snippets of news that have been leaked. The site is within 50 kilomteres of Brisbane and it would appear that permanent infrastructure will be built on the site.

It is readily accessible via the M1 motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and apparently a new train station may be established at, or near the site – with an internal light-rail system to shuttle visitors.

What is still not clear is the intended location of special stage roads, with limited choice in the immediate proximity. Some reports have suggested that forests in northern NSW will be used.

The rally community now awaits a formal announcement through the motorsport media with more details of the WRC event layout.

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