WA Sporting Car Club seeks longer lease at Wanneroo Raceway site

 WA Sporting Car Club general manager Andrew Stachewicz and president Russell Sewell. Picture: Matt Jelonek d481721
WA Sporting Car Club general manager Andrew Stachewicz and president Russell Sewell. Picture: Matt Jelonek d481721

THE WA Sporting Car Club says a longer lease for the Wanneroo Raceway site will enable it to invest in upgrades as it gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Wanneroo Council recently agreed to surrender the existing lease for 60ha of the Wattle Avenue site in Neerabup and authorise the chief executive to enter negotiations with the club for a new 10-year lease.

Club president Russell Sewell said the not-for-profit organisation, which moved to the Neerabup site in 1969, planned works to resurface the track next summer.

Mr Sewell said the last resurfacing was done about 15 years ago and that was generally the lifespan of the tarmac.

“We can’t take on such major capital works without long tenure,” he said.

Mr Sewell said the track usually closed for about two weeks every January, but would be closed for at least a month for the resurfacing works.

General manager Andrew Stachewicz said, in today’s dollars, the club had spent about $150 million on capital works over five decades. Recent improvements have included a $500,000 project to replace tyre barriers with a concrete wall around the track, and Mr Stachewicz said tenure for the site was important for the club to keep investing in its facilities.

“There’s a large amount of capital work that needs to be done,” he said.

The general manager said longer tenure also allowed the club to establish partnerships and development programs, particularly for juniors. He said they were also discussing establishing a future motorsport hub in Neerabup with the City of Wanneroo.

Mr Sewell said the club had about 1500 members and about a third were active race licence holders.

“The track is funded by the sport and the members of that sport,” he said. “It hasn’t been a burden on the public purse, it’s truly self-sustainable.”

Mr Stachewicz said the club generated its income from membership fees, race entry fees and private hire during non-race days, largely for training and testing.

He said the spectator fees to the major annual events and monthly club meetings did not form a large part of its income.

One of the major events is the Perth SuperSprint, which returns to Barbagallo Raceway, May 4 to 6.

Visit www.wascc.com.au for more information.

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