The long-awaited Sydney Motorsport Park Center of Excellence has been rebranded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now known as the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct (AMIP), work on the Eastern Creek Circuit business center is slated to begin soon.
In 2019, the Center of Excellence was announced as part of a $33 million refurbishment of Sydney Motorsport Park with support from the New South Wales Government and Motorsport Australia.
Part of the $6.4 million center was seeing a Supercars team based there.
Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed construction of the facility and Team Sydney eventually moved into a makeshift garage.
With Team Sydney now out of the picture due to their demise, the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club has realigned its plans.
“We don’t call it a center of excellence anymore,” ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews told Speedcafe.com.
“The building we are building is truly the first in what we call the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct, or AMIP for short.
“We have now completed our planning application and submitted it to the municipality. They came back with a few questions which we have now answered and we hope to approve this development application within the next few weeks and start construction immediately.
“We expect the building to be pretty much complete by the end of this year, but we say it will be complete and operational in the first quarter of next year.”
As the name suggests, the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct will welcome motorsport-based companies specializing in research and development.
The circuit will host companies from myriad backgrounds such as automation, hybridization, electrification, solar and hydrogen development.
The district will host science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational programs, as well as driver and driver development initiatives.
Although Team Sydney should be a significant promotional tool for the circuit and a landing point for students, Matthews said it’s not the be-all and end-all.
“Team Sydney was probably one of the most recognizable parts of what AMIP would be, but there was a lot more to it,” explained Matthews.
“We are already working with a number of innovation partners. We have a number of organizations.
“I can tell you that an organization specializing in helmet technology called Forcite Helmet Systems is in talks with these people.
“We’re already in talks with Hydrogen House Australia so we’re looking at sustainability and sustainability is a really big part of our future strategy and we’ll be talking more about that shortly.
“There are probably half a dozen organizations, including let’s say motoDNA, that have intelligent technology for motorcycles. They are already based here, but will also form an important part of the innovation district.
“We are also in talks with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
“Although Team Sydney was very visible, and I guess probably the one that was newsworthy because they’re supercars, it didn’t change our plans at all.
“I mean, we still see that the ARDC will develop a school, a program to promote both drivers and engineers and everything else that has to do with motorsport, be it marketing or business.
“Some of the people will be partners, the TAFEs of the world, Western Sydney University. We’ve had ongoing discussions with all of these organizations, so we’re pretty excited about all of this. It fits very well with our sustainability and innovation strategy.”
Sydney Motorsport Park will be back in the spotlight next month when it hosts the first round of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship from 4-6 March.