Valvoline Raceway’s co-principal and lease holder Felicity Waldron has broken months of silence by coming out and slamming the proposed new speedway out at Eastern Creek, which included her labelling it a ‘white elephant’.
With momentum for the new speedway out of Eastern Creek growing, which includes the likelihood of the track’s construction beginning by the end of the year, Waldron has come out with all guns blazing.
“It will fail,” she declared to News Corp Australia journalist Joanne Vella from the Parramatta Advertiser.
“It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. It’s a white elephant!”
Waldron continued by saying that the proposed Eastern Creek wouldn’t be able to occupy the sport’s leading class, 410 Sprintcars, as according to her, it’s going to be simply too small, as the current track out at Valvoline Raceway is 205 metres in diameter compared to Eastern Creek’s proposed 170 metres in diameter.
“It just means that the blue-ribbon class of speedway is not going to be big enough to race in Sydney,’’ she said.
Apart from being critical of Eastern Creek’s actual track, Waldron then turned her criticism to the infrastructure of the track, which is proposed to be built alongside Sydney Dragway and the Sydney Motorsport Park facilities.
“I think the biggest issue is going to be transport in and out on race day,” Waldron said (pictured below).
“It’s going to create a huge, huge bottleneck and turn a lot of patrons away.’’
Ever since the announcement in October of last year that Valvoline Raceway would be closed down in order to make way for a train storage facility yard for the Sydney Metro, Waldron has been on a warpath. Firstly, she is far from happy about the government consulting with the sport’s licencing body, instead of the Valvoline Raceway lease holders directly. It’s interesting to note that the Waldrons are Speedway Australia stakeholders holders. Secondly, as the current lease holders of Valvoline Raceway, they had preferred that the track was built to the nearby Lighthorse Interchange. However, the government deemed that location unsuitable.
“The Waldrons have contributed so much to this sport over the past 15 years, but they certainly have their noses out of joint with how they have been treated by the government – not to mention Speedway Australia,” said one industry insider.
“It’s going to be very interesting times moving forward with the Waldrons and the sport of speedway, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they removed themselves from the behind-the-scenes running of the sport and just focused on the running of their 410 Sprintcar team.”
This industry insider continued on by saying that there are grave concerns for the final ever Valvoline Raceway season from many.
“It’s not looking good as the place has been deserted since April and all of the track’s staff laid off, and they finally during the week release a statement via an email to the committees of the classes that compete there declaring that the Valvoline Raceway season is going to be pushed back to November at the earliest,” they said.
“Of course there are currently a lot of restrictions about the country in regards to sporting events, but as private promoters, it’s simply up to them if they declare that it’s worth reopening Valvoline Raceway or not – as apposed to the two other tracks currently under the Made Too Go Pty Ltd banner – Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Queensland and Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia – that are club-run facilities.
“It’s a scary concept to think that the final ever season at Valvoline Raceway won’t be run but it’s one that could happen. With all of the current radio silence from the Waldrons regarding Valvoline Raceway, it’s hard not to think the worst when it comes to a farewell season that the track deserves.”
Recently, a Sydney International Speedway virtual information room displaying key aspects of the project, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) documents, video featuring information from industry specialists and a full 360-degree view of the proposed speedway has been released to view at www.sydneymetro.info/speedwayvirtual
EIS submissions can be made directly to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment by the Wednesday of September 16, 2020.
Further information about the Sydney International Speedway project can be found on the Sydney Metro website: www.sydneymetro.info