Sunday, November 8, 2015

F1 City Guide - Sydney

When pondering Formula One in Australia, most people naturally think of the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne and the Adelaide street circuit.

However, Sydney and it's surrounding areas also has a history of Grand Prix racing.  This blog will explore it's past and also what Sydney offers F1 fans today.

The Past

The first Australian Grand Prix was run officially in 1928, however there was an unofficial race the year before near Sydney at Goulburn.

Sydneysiders could also enjoy Australian Grand Prix races at:

Bathurst, NSW 4 times: 1938, 1947, 1952, 1958
Warwick Farm, Sydney 4 times: 1963, 1967, 1970, 1971
Oran Park, Sydney twice: 1974, 1977

Some of these races were part of The Tasman Series which ran from 1964 to 1975 as well as The Australian Drivers Championship.

Bathurst, near Sydney, is an iconic track in Australian motorsport.  The Grand Prix circuit at Warwick Farm is gone however the horse racecourse is still there (with no references to it's Grand Prix past!)  Oran Park is now a housing development.

Sir Jack Brabham

Sir Jack Brabham was born in Hurstville, Sydney.  The house was in McQuarie Street near Queens Road but it's no longer there.  As a boy he raced his soapbox down Patrick Street.  In the early years, Jack worked on this famous "RedeX Special" car from his workshop in Penshurst. 

Jack raced on several Sydney circuits early in his career: Sydney Showground, Parramatta Park and the Mount Druitt Racing Circuit (now Whalen Reserve).  Later, much of his aviation was conducted from Bankstown Airport and after he retired he setup "Brabham Aviation" there.  He also owned a Ford dealership in Bankstown.

Today a street is named after him in Hurstville; "Jack Brabham Drive".  Also in the city of Orange, NSW, there is Sir Jack Brabham Park on the site of the historic "Gnoo Blas" circuit.

Sir Jack Brabham is not the only Sydney born F1 driver.  Joining him are Tim Schenken, David Walker, Frank Gardner and Warwick Brown.


Activities for F1 fans

If you are visiting Sydney, these are the options for F1 fans:
  • Events at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek and Sydney Speedway, Granville.
  • Goulburn and Bathurst circuits; a short drive from Sydney.
  • Several go-karting locations, "Ultimate Karting Sydney" has a replica F1 car. 
  • Sim racing at Bondi Junction and Darling Harbour.

  • The Motorsport Shop, Hurstville.
  • Automoto Bookshop (Sydney CBD) & Pitstop Bookshop (Warriewood).
  • Wheels Automotive Books, Parramatta.
  • Model Cars Too, 152 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD.
  • Various hobby stores such as Hobbyco.
  • Bridge Street Garage, Sydney CBD.

Thanks for reading.  Please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast


Australian Grand Prix:
Tasman Series:
Australian F1 drivers:

Wakefield Park, Goulburn:
Sydney Motorsport Park:
Eastern Creek Karts:
Sydney Speedway:

Ultimate Karting:
GP Shop, Hurstville:
The Grid, Bondi Junction:
RaceCentre, Darling Harbour:

Automoto Bookshop:
Pitstop Bookshop:
Bridge Street Garage:

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