Link Sydney on track for new $40m circuit as Oran Park era ends Peter McKay August 20, 2006 EXCLUSIVE SYDNEY will get a new international-standard motor racing facility on the outskirts of the metropolitan area. Oran Park Raceway near Narellan will close in late 2008 to be turned into housing. But plans are under way to trade it for a modern, state-of-the-art racing circuit. Tony Perich, whose family company Leppington Pastoral owns Oran Park, has been speaking with the state government about zoning for three possible locations which he says are "not too far away" from Oran Park. Unlike the two plans before the government for temporary street racing circuits at the Olympic precinct at Homebush Bay, the new track will not require any taxpayer funding. It could cost as much as $40 million to build. Perich's company bought Oran Park Raceway in 1983 and since then he has become passionate about motor racing. Perich became an overnight multimillionaire after his vast pastoral land holdings south-west of Sydney were rezoned for housing. Up to 181,000 homes will eventually be built on the rezoned areas south-west and north-west of the metropolitan area. BRW estimates Perich's wealth at $637 million because of the land sales. The amiable but media-shy 65-year-old said he wants the track at the new western Sydney venue to incorporate many of the characteristics of his existing circuit. "All the good stuff that the drivers and the spectators like at Oran Park I want to recreate at the new place," Perich said. These include replicas of the notorious flip-flop and some of the challenging Oran Park corners. He expects the roller-coaster effect to be prominent and a natural amphitheatre for spectators. Oran Park opened in 1962 and the circuit was extended in the early 1970s to create the present layout. In the era of the thundering V8 Formula 5000 cars, it twice hosted the Australian Grand Prix, won by Max Stewart (1974) and Warwick Brown (197. Oran Park pioneered racing under lights and hosted the world superbike championship races when the series came to Australia for the first time in 1988. However, touring cars and then V8 Supercars have been Oran Park's biggest annual treat, regularly going close to filling the 30,000-capacity venue. Perich is planning to see off the old track with a farewell meeting laced with nostalgia and reminders of the circuit's grand history and star drivers. So motorsports worst kept secret has become public knowledge to the masses in the Sunday Herald at the weekend. So, Sydney members, although the Australian Supers give Oran Park a miss these days there's still club meetings run out there and from memory the World Supers have played there in the pre PI days what do you reckon?? Will you miss the old girl and are you looking forward to a new track that will able to be used by everyone and not just a silly street circuit around Homebush for the domestic taxi series??