Oran Park Raceway Pty Ltd Cobbitty Road
Narellan NSW 2567
Oran Park opened in 1962 and the circuit was extended in the early 1970s to create the present layout. The original lap distance of 1.0 miles (1.6 km) was extended to 1.21 miles (1.9 km) with a further extension in 1974 creating an alternative “Grand Prix” circuit of 1.63 miles (2.62 km) in length. The Grand Prix circuit featured a figure-of-eight configuration with a bridge where the track crossed over itself. Despite the loop the racing direction was still regarded as being anticlockwise. The complex also had a motocross track, a skidpan, a dirt track and four wheel drive course and a 1000 foot drag strip. Most of the circuit was visible from the main grandstand or the grassed banks surrounding the track.
In the era of the thundering V8 Formula 5000 cars, it twice hosted the Australian Grand Prix, won by Max Stewart (1974) and Warwick Brown (1978). Oran Park pioneered racing under lights and hosted the world superbike championship races when the series came to Australia for the first time in 1988. However, touring cars and then V8 Supercars have been Oran Park's biggest annual treat, regularly going close to filling the 30,000-capacity venue.
Tony Perich's family company Leppington Pastoral bought Oran Park Raceway in 1983. Perich became an overnight multimillionaire after his vast pastoral land holdings south-west of Sydney were rezoned for housing - land including the race track. The last motorcycle race meeting, the BelRay 6 Hour, was held on the 21/22 November 2009. The final race meeting was scheduled for 23-24 January 2010 but was cancelled due to a lack of entries. This meant that the Independant Race Series event on 16 January 2010 was in fact the last race meeting ever to be held at the circuit, which is now closed forever.
Perich has been speaking with the state government about zoning for three possible locations for a new circuit which he says are "not too far away" from Oran Park. Unlike the two plans before the government for temporary street racing circuits at the Olympic precinct at Homebush Bay, the new track will not require any taxpayer funding. A figure of $40 million was rumoured as the cost to build it.
The amiable but media-shy 65-year-old said he wants the track at the new western Sydney venue to incorporate many of the characteristics of his existing circuit. "All the good stuff that the drivers and the spectators like at Oran Park I want to recreate at the new place," Perich said. These include replicas of the notorious flip-flop and some of the challenging Oran Park corners. He expects the roller-coaster effect to be prominent and a natural amphitheatre for spectators.