- Smooth, wide surface that’s a pleasure to ride
- An exciting downhill turn
- Multiple course layouts
Sydney Motorsport Park (SMSP) is a motor racing track located in Western Sydney. The venue supports numerous track configurations. In addition to using the main 3.93km Gardner GP Circuit (pictured), Sydney’s cycling clubs often run races on one of SMSP’s shorter circuits.
Many riders enjoy racing at Sydney Motorsport Park because of its buttery smooth surface. Unlike other Sydney venues, SMSP serves up flawless bitumen, allowing cyclists to float along at speed without feeling like their teeth are rattling loose.
The track’s corners are equally smooth and flowing. There are no narrow squeezes or technical hairpins. Instead, the peloton carries momentum through a sequence of wide, sweeping curves. Even at its narrowest point, the circuit is a whopping 12 metres wide, leaving plenty of room for bunches to pass safely.
The full circuit includes a small climb in the south. This hill is just under 500 metres long at 3%. It’s nothing decisive, but it’s enough to encourage an attack or two. Bulkier riders may have to fight hard to hang on, but with 1.5 kilometres to the finish line there’s time to close any small gaps.
Turn 15 is a fast, exciting downhill; a unique knee-scraping rollercoaster. For safety, race organisers may omit this section when it’s wet.
After the long straight, the final turn is deceptively steep. It may look flat to the naked eye, but you’ll feel it climb as you curve around. If the pace is high – especially when leading into a bunch sprint – don’t be surprised if you have to push hard just to keep position.
The finishing straight is long. Very long. After rounding the final bend, you can see the line from over 500 metres away. Even though it’s downhill, don’t be tempted to hit out too early. The high speeds and open, windswept track means timing is crucial. Before the race, it’s a good idea to ride backwards from the finish line, measuring out the distance from which you plan to launch your sprint.
alternative TRACK CONFIGURATIONS
One alternative circuit is the Druitt Circuit, or north circuit. This circuit eliminates the southern section, including the climb. It’s the wet-weather alternative whenever the dramatic Turn 15 is deemed unsafe for racing. With the climb omitted, the Druitt Circuit is a flat affair – one for the big engines, not so much the lightweights.
For the climbers, Marconi CC occasionally uses a short southern circuit featuring repeated efforts up the hill. You go up the climb, down the other side, flick through a quick chicane and head straight up the hill again. These rinse-and-repeat efforts are made even spicier by an uphill finish.
When to race
Three clubs host bicycle racing at Sydney Motorsport Park.
For over-30s, Waratah Masters Cycling Club has SMSP in its regular rotation. Racing takes place every few weeks on Sunday mornings at 7:00AM.
During the summer months, Marconi Cycling Club alternates between SMSP and the nearby Dragway for its Tuesday night racing. The action kicks off at 6:30PM.
North Western Sydney Cycling Club holds races at SMSP intermittently. When they do, they generally take place on Saturday mornings at 7:00AM. NWSCC has also hosted feature events such as the ‘Odd Spoke Cup’ and inter-club races called ‘War of the West’ and ‘Judgement Day’.
The clubs usually arrange for a coffee cart to attend their races. Toilets are available near sign-on no matter which entrance and track configuration is used.
How to get there
There are two entrances to Sydney Motorsport Park which lead to two different carparks, so check with the race organiser beforehand.
The first entrance is to the north, at the roundabout between Brabham Drive, Peter Brock Drive and Ferrers Road. NWSCC and Waratah Masters CC use this entrance.
The second is the ‘Competitors Entrance‘ off Ferrers Road. This entrance provides access to the nearby Dragway, but there’s also a road that takes you towards the SMSP’s pit area. Marconi CC uses this entrance on Tuesday nights.
Many competitors ride to and from SMSP racing. It’s just a short distance from the M7 Cycleway to the west, and 20 minutes from Parramatta to the east via the Great Western Highway.
For a race video featuring footage from Sydney Motorsport Park, check out this SMSP B-Grade Criterium.