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Offline amgsl55

  • Tooth hurty

  • Joined: Feb 2011

  • Location: Adelaide
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/love-of-fast-cars-and-a-lost-licence-drove-this-private-world-class-track/story-fndo1sdf-1226533204151

Quote
IT'S not Monaco, the Nurburgring or even Oran Park - this racetrack is NSW's best-kept secret.

The privately owned road in Kulnura, on the Central Coast, is a 5.1km Formula One-style track with 22 turns, described by one motorsport champion as the second-best track in the world.

Pictures: See the full Kulnura circuit here

The track, which is said to have cost $10 million, was built by car enthusiast and former Coca-Cola Amatil boss Dean Wills after he lost his licence for speeding on the old Pacific Highway in 1996.

Pictures: Australian International Motor Show

Mr Wills wanted to enjoy his growing fleet of exotic cars - which included the only McLaren racing car ever sold privately - without having to worry about oncoming traffic.

Pictures: Formula One World Championship

His son Mark said the track was motivated by a lack of opportunity for "spirited" driving in a safe environment.

"In the early days it was possible to wake up early on Sunday morning and go driving," he said.

"It was becoming increasingly less safe so we really needed somewhere we could go where we wouldn't get into life-threatening situations.

"Safety was the most important thing, to be able to enjoy driving in the way manufacturers designed the cars to be driven without on-coming cars or cyclists.

"We don't do lap times, the only way we measure it is how long the smile lasts."

While from the air it looks every bit a hair-raising speedway, Mr Wills said it was deliberately built as a country road, without a race track's ripple strips, barriers or gravel run-off areas.


The McLaren F1 believed to be owned by Dean Wills. Source: Supplied

Guests have to adhere to strict road rules including "no racing" and it even features standard road signs with recommended corner speeds.

"It never really entered our minds to create a race track, we just wanted a country road to drive on."

Mr Wills would not reveal how much the family had ploughed into the road but a conservative estimate of about $60sq m for the bitumen alone puts the 40,000sq m of circuit at $2.4 million.Getting to race on the track is akin to joining the mafia - someone has to vouch for you.

"It's all friends of friends," he said. "We know the people who are inviting (other people) here and we trust their judgment."

Those who have done a few laps include motorcycle champion Casey Stoner, the "Flying Scot" Sir Jackie Stewart and Formula One great Jack Brabham.

Mr Wills said Wayne Gardner described the road as his second favourite circuit in the world behind Suzuka in Japan.



Offline blackr35


  • Joined: Jan 2012

  • Location: adl
Can we get something like that happening in SA?



Offline jamesatfish


  • Joined: Oct 2009

  • Location:
  • Drives:
Interesting to see an article about this track - I'd always been told the place was a loosely guarded secret and certainly not something that the owners would have agreed to a newspaper article about.

The facility is definitely more akin to a road than a race circuit - no runoff and plenty of native trees around to stop you suddenly should you come off.

It's certainly a great place to drive though - I've had the privilege of driving there twice over the last few years and on both occasions came away wondering how much harder I'd have to work to be able to build something like that for myself.

Both Dean and his son Mark are fantastic hosts and seem genuinely happy to welcome people to their property, and Dean's wife (whose name I can't remember) opens up her home and kitchen to the complete strangers driving on their facility which is an amazing experience to anyone used to track-side cafe food and hospitality...



Offline JBP


  • Joined: Oct 2012

  • Location:
  • Drives:



Offline Peloton25

  • McLaren Fanatic

  • Joined: Sep 2010

  • Location: California, USA
  • Name: Erik
Interesting to see an article about this track - I'd always been told the place was a loosely guarded secret and certainly not something that the owners would have agreed to a newspaper article about.

It seems the source for all these recent articles on "The Road" can be attributed to this article written for Ferrari Magazine back in December 2011, which was clearly done with the family's permission.

http://magazine.ferrari.com/blog/2011/12/road-dreams/

Wife's name is noted there as Margaret - she's credited with encouraging the building of the track. We should all be so lucky to find a wife like that. ;)

Is that the F1 from Melbourne?

It is, but that photo is from late 2004 when Wills was selling the car.

>8^)
ER



Offline ferrarista2


  • Joined: Mar 2010

  • Drives: Slowly
  • Location: Sydney
Just about every Ferrari VIP day is held there. Great day out, have been a couple of times but not yet bought a new Ferrari from them. Not sure how long I have before they stop sending me invites, might have to 'look' interested so I keep getting invited :)
Everything looks better in carbon fibre



Offline JBP


  • Joined: Oct 2012

  • Location:
  • Drives:


It is, but that photo is from late 2004 when Wills was selling the car.

>8^)
ER
Oh ok, thanks for that. I thought for a second that chance of seeing it on the road down here had slipped from slim to zero!



Offline tdc911


  • Joined: Apr 2006

  • Location:
  • Drives:
Oh ok, thanks for that. I thought for a second that chance of seeing it on the road down here had slipped from slim to zero!

Nope, still around, was speaking to the owner a couple of weekends ago and he had taken it to a carwash earlier in the morning.



Offline 360c

  • 300kph+ club
  • Drug Dealer

  • Joined: Apr 2006

  • Drives: Purple People Eater
Nope, still around, was speaking to the owner a couple of weekends ago and he had taken it to a carwash earlier in the morning.

Why did he send it to England recently? A service presumably.



Offline Peloton25

  • McLaren Fanatic

  • Joined: Sep 2010

  • Location: California, USA
  • Name: Erik
The car went to Italy for the F1 Owner's Club 20th Anniversary Tour back in May.

I think at the end of that event it spent some time at the factory before getting sent back home and in the course of its time over there it participated in the CAR Magazine 50th Anniversary issue.

Image <-- click

>8^)
ER



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