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Old 07-25-2004, 02:31   #1 (permalink)
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The future of Winton

The red and the blue corner may be enemies on the track and in the grandstands of our race tracks but in the quagmire of a Winton car park all those differences mean nothing. Holden or Ford it was all hands pushing to get cars out of the mud - a task that meant being ankle deep in the stuff and getting sprayed with it as tyres scrambled for what little traction there was. The willingness of strangers to pitch in and help makes you proud to be Australian.

To the bloke with the 4WD who tried vainly to find a towing point on the GTp and looked doomed to spend most of the race time dragging cars out of the mud - a big vote of thanks.

Likewise to the bloke (himself bogged at one stage) in the F-250 who kindly left his shovel behind for others to use.

To the numerous people (including our own xa-coupe and smciner1) who pushed and kept a clear path for cars to get out another big vote of thanks.

To the organisers at Winton a large raspberry for placing cars in parking areas that they had no hope of getting out of and then allowing people to block the one clear exit. I am sure that the scenario we went through was going to be repeated a hundred times today all around the track except for the privileged few who had decent parking.

You have to wonder just how long Winton is going to continue to get a round of the V8 Supercar series. It narrowly staved off the scrap heap when the new corporate facility was built but I suspect the days are numbered now.

It simply cannot cope with the massive influx of people and everything from the parking onwards is simply inadequate. Works well for a Procar or Konica round where there is enough of everything to cater for the 4-8,000 people but not for V8 Supercar. It's even impossible to overnight up that way these days as the circus itself takes the bulk of the available accommodation.

Nice to see Nick Fry there. As a Pom he'd have felt right at home as you had to queue for everything: parking (45 minutes), toilets (10 minutes) and food (15 minutes).

Personally I can see the attraction of street circuits where there is sufficient infrastructure to support the large numbers who now want to attend no matter how much the purists or Cameron McConville may bemoan the loss of track venues. Whilst I would love them to stay viable as they are necessary for driver development and the other categories of motor sport, it might well have to be as venues for just those things rather than hosting V8 Supercar rounds.

We've lost a few. We'll be at one of my favourite circuits (Wakefiled Park) in a couple of weeks time for the Procar round - it is a great little track but even the close proximity to Sydney (about the same as Winton is from Melbourne) wasn't enough to save it when the infrastructure fell behind the market demand.

Sandown and Cochrane Creek will continue to survive as will Hidden Valley but you have to wonder about the long term future of the other dedicated circuits like Barbagallo, Queensland Raceway and Winton. I don't know enough about Oran Park to comment.

The others (Melbourne GP, Adelaide, Mt Panorama and Gold Coast Indy) are all on street circuits and NZ will follow suit shortly.

I may be getting soft in my old age but I think in future my visits to Winton will be restricted to Procar/Konica rounds where the track facilities can cope unless some major changes are made (unlikely) or the race gets moved to a date that isn't guaranteed to be wet like the June/July dates are (even less likely).

Cheers
Russ
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Old 07-25-2004, 02:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

Wow, what a post. It really makes you wonder whether it is worth paying for the spectacle of the V8's when you have to endure the lack of infrastructure, the extremly long lines and the poor attitude's of people in the carpack trying to get ot afterwards. Sometimes you are far better off watching it on Channel Ten....
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:07   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

Sorta glad I couldnt make it now.

Dont like the sound of what had to be put up with, and guaranteed I wouldve been bogged easily, and the lack of tread on the rear wheels (not unroadworthy) wouldnt have made it easy to get out of any mess I got into.

Its a sad thing to hear that it could be let go that badly. Last tiume I was there I was parked out the front along the road, and that was bumpy as all hell, a 20m drive took about 5 mins.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:16   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

I have to agree with you totally Russ, when i got bogged, i had 3 groups of young blokes help push me out.
then the third time (in 100m), i got bogged the tractor towed me out.

I spoke to him for a bit and he said that he had towed out 45 odd cars and it was only 3:30.
Apart from that i had a good day, but the Benalla Auto club has to do something about the facilities, the loo's are crap, and not enough of them.

The track holds some Major events and the general standard of the Place is Below par.
They spent alot of money on upgrading the entrance and the roads, but there is still alot of work to be done if they expect to keep such to line events.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:18   #5 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

i think the mud just adds to the event!lol
damn city slickers!!

/joke!


i think the track etc not too bad, but yeah the spectator facilities do need some attention!
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

Im no city slicker Pete.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

You got that right .. Country Boy...
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:33   #8 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

Well I can relate to what you have said Russ,I myself have just returned home from the mud patch (Winton), when I found my park it was one of the 1st thing's on my mind, HOW THE HELL am I going to get out of this place,I sat in my car for a hr or so watching people getting bogged or idiot's churning it up, I was so worried I wasn't going to make it out, but I found a exit and made it without getting bogged but like you say it may be my last time aswell if the weather is going to be like that, I even said to my Girlfriend durring the race that it is rediculous that they hold this race at Winton at this time of yr,you couldn't even find a decent place to watch the race without worry of falling arse over in the mud.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:37   #9 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

It's not often I leave a car race unhappy, and I have been to Winton before numerous times for club events ( and loved it ) but I was royally jerked off today .... I have mud all over me and in my car and couldn't find anywhere decent to watch and Russ has covered all of my other gripes.
At the risk of saying something inaapropriate .. look at Phillip Island and a better facility going to waste.
Winton is going to need some serious bucks injected to be able to keep a round IMO. They have spent some, and it looks good, but it's not enough.
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:24   #10 (permalink)
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Re: The future of Winton

My first venture to Winton was a few weeks back to the PROCAR round. I thought the track was nice, and with only a few 1000 people there had no dramas parking. But I though "how the hell would it be when the V8's are on with 30,000+ people?" Now I am glad I didn't go and I don't think I will ever go to a winton V8 supercar round after hearing all these reports.
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