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Tasmania
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Tasmania
Queesland
N.S.W.
Victoria
South Australia
Western Australia

Here in Tasmania, we have the convenience of two tracks within a relatively short driving distance of both the north (Launceston) and south (Hobart) of the state.

Symmons Plains Raceway is located near Launceston in the north of the state.

Baskerville Raceway is located a short drive from Hobart in the south of the state and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. 

Both tracks are fairly short compared to other tracks on the mainland (Australia) but have produced spectacular racing over the years in most categories of motorsport. 

Although similar in length, Symmons and Baskerville are completely different circuits. Symmons demands good power and brake setup whereas Baskerville requires careful chassis tuning rather than big horsepower to go well.

 

Baskerville Raceway

Baskerville raceway in the south of the state is located approximately 18 km to the north of Hobart. The track is 2.01 km in length and the racing direction is anti-clockwise. Baskerville celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1999.

The track is located in undulating terrain making for a relatively tight but interesting layout. The track is known as a "drivers track" and despite the very hilly terrain, big horsepower is not necessarily an advantage at Baskerville, with chassis tuning and driver ability being far more important factors.

The run up the hill between turn 4 and turn 5 is deceptively steep and has a blind crest and turn in to turn 5. This makes for some rather interesting approaches to this very tricky turn and has brought many a competitor undone! This turn is reputed to be one of the trickiest corners in the world to get righ in a fast car!

The main straight, although quite short, is mostly downhill allowing for speeds over 200 kph to be reached in a 250cc International superkart! The main straight has a pronounced "hump" about half way down and the hump produces long and spectacular wheelies from the higher powered motorcycles when they race here! 

Sadly tho, the track surface has become fairly bumpy over the years and care needs to be taken in the big horsepower karts!

The official outright lap record is held by Tasmanian driver John Bowe, well known long-time Group A and, more recently V8 Supercar racer in a time of 50.16 sec. driving a  Ralt RT 4 open-wheeler in February 1982, however, in qualifying for Round 1 of the 1997 Australian Superkart Championships, Dave Baker from New South Wales managed a lap time of 50.14 sec. in a 250cc Rotax powered International class superkart and hopes were high for a repeat performance on race day, which would see the record officially recognised. Unfortunately, the weather conditions on race day were different to qualifying and lap times were significantly slower.

Note: In order for a new lap record to be recognised it must be set in an actual race and not in qualifying as was the case here so Bowes' long standing record still stands.

Not a bad effort for "those lawnmower powered billycarts" as some, rather unkindly, have been known to refer to superkarts!

Baskerville is available for private practice most weekdays and on weekends when no other events have been calendered.


Symmons Plains

Symmons Plains Raceway is located right next to the Midlands Highway about 34 km south of Launceston. The track is 2.41 km in length, mostly flat and the racing direction is anti-clockwise. 

Symmons is well known for its high speeds and really tight hairpin corner at the end of a flat out, vaguely downhill front straight. The inner radius of this turn is only about 2 meters and the track drops in height by about one meter, which makes for some really spectacular braking manoeuvres and passing stunts!

The "back straight" is really a long sweeper that, in the fast class karts, is a fair corner. The track is vaguely uphill at about the midpoint of the "sweeper" then levels out. The braking area into turn 3 is always an exciting ride due to very high speed along the back straight, and always makes for a good passing opportunity. 

Symmons Plains is a track that does tend to favour the bigger horsepower machines and drafting is an extremely effective race strategy, particularly in the smaller capacity classes. It is not uncommon to see positions swap up to three times on the back straight each lap thanks to drafting!

For many years, Symmons Plains hosted a round of the Australian Group A and more recently, V8 Supercar Championships and this winter round always produced spectacular competition and big crowds!

The current official outright lap record is held by Alfredo Costanzo in a time of 50.16 sec. driving a Lola T 430 open wheeler and was set back in March 1980.

The track is available for practice during the week by appointment and most weekends when no events have been calendered

 

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