THE TRACK THAT COATES HIRE BUILT
Get set to party at the Armor All Gold Coast 600. This weekend the Gold Coast will see three action packed days of street racing. With a jam-packed program both on and off track, don’t miss out on the Gold Coast’s biggest event of the year!
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 showcases the brilliant partnership between the V8 Supercars and Coates Hire as one of the most exciting and challenging tracks to get up and running. The Coates Hire team is the backbone of the V8 Supercars events all year-long through all regions of Australia. From the initial planning stages, to the event set up, the team is dedicated to ensuring the event is powered up, supported and running smoothly.
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 race has been an overwhelming success with fans, drivers, teams and the locals. Each year the surrounds of the Surfers Paradise beachfront and Gold Coast Highway are transformed into a 2.96 kilometre race track, that’s one of the most popular on the championship trail. Behind the transition from public roads to racetrack is a dedicated team of full time staff and many local contractors, racing against the clock to get the job done. They rely heavily on many Gold Coast businesses to provide equipment and expertise.
“We not only have to rely on our own people we also work closely with other contractors on site as well as coordinating with crane companies local & interstate transport as well as adapting to environmental conditions (ground & weather). In essence it’s a lot of hard work and long challenging hours, but when you see it all come together on race week, it gives you a sense of pride working for Coates Hire.” Coates Hire Event Project Manager, Corey Machado said. Before construction commences months of planning has taken place. Then the race begins – a six-week race from the first site meeting to the first car on track. Amazingly, the Gold Coast highway is reopened within hours of the chequered flag being waved and the rest of the roads, beachfront and parklands are open to the public not long after. Unlike the Clipsal 500 track in Adelaide, the Grand Prix track in Melbourne or the Townsville track, the entire Gold Coast circuit is made up of public roads and the build and dismantling process is carefully designed to minimise disruption nearby residents and businesses.
The circuit is lined by over 1,300 concrete blocks and 1,600 debris fence panels. Each piece has to be transported from its storage yard and carefully put in place, without any damage and lined up precisely with the next piece. It’s slow painstaking work using forklifts, cranes and manpower. It’s like putting together a huge Lego set. Add to this are the all portable toilets, temporary barriers, buildings and generators. Once all the blocks and fence are in place, more than 2,100 litres of paint will be used to carefully mark the track and adorn the many sponsors logos on the walls, each strategically placed to maximise their exposure to the fans and the television audience.
The pit buildings are erected for the V8 Supercars teams, with the upper level becoming prime corporate entertainment and viewing areas. Within the circuit, paths and roadways are constructed, fences and gates erected, grandstands and corporate facilities are built for the race weekend.
Around the circuit site sheds are turned into makeshift offices and meeting rooms, food and merchandise vendors set up their shops and generators whir away providing power to satisfy the demand of the temporary city the precinct becomes.
The project is led by Kurt Saksewski, V8 Supercars General Manager – Events and he and his team face many challenges in building the track. Disruptions to residents and businesses must be minimal, placing the track overpasses must be completed without affecting the power lines, redirecting the heavy traffic flow on Gold Coast Highway (which forms the front straight) must be enacted, as well as removing the local traffic infrastructure used during the rest of the year. In many ways it’s the race before the race.
When the gates open to the public on Friday morning and everything is going like clockwork, Kurt and his team will make their own pitstop, before the race to transform the circuit back to public roads and parks once again. We welcome you to the Armor All Gold Coast 600: it is promising to be a weekend of red hot racing as drivers set out to gain serious points as they enter the latter end of the Championship. Click here to follow the action