News this week that V8 supercar engineers are ready to start building the track in Newcastle has got me excited and worried.
Excited that work is due to start at all, let alone May 1, because it seemed like a long shot when they first put it out there.
But by ignoring most of the protocols and consultations that hold up other public projects, it looks like they’ve got this show on the road.
I say flatten the Crowne, then run the big donks down Honeysuckle.
Now I’m excited that the road, all 2.6km of it, will be resurfaced, because Lord knows it’s gets bumpy round the East End.
I nod with approval that the track is maintaining the new trend in Newcastle road making, which is to make all thoroughfares that handle lots of traffic one-way.
It’s true the V8 supercar track will go the opposite way to the route around Nobbys beach, but I haven’t heard anyone protest about that, yet.
I’m excited, too, that they’re going to put a new road through Nobbys reserve because, let’s face it, after just on a year, the Bathers Way makeover near the surf club was growing tired.
The landscaping had just started to settle in, they’d got rid of all those backpackers defecating in the bushes and people were just coming to terms with the reduced parking. Time to dig it up.
Like they say: “Newcastle, See Change”: First it was the mayor and various state MPs, now it’s the railway, resistance to high rise and Norfolk pines.
What I’m really excited about, though, is they’re going to replace permanent speed humps with temporary ones.
What that actually means in terms of roads, I’m don’t know. But anything to do with removing speed humps, I’m in favour of.
They’re also talking about replacing temporary roads with permanent ones, once the race is run, which is surely just semantics if you’re a hoon.
What I’m worried about is, and this comes purely from a motorsport enthusiast view, is will the track be fast enough?
They reckon coming right out of the new Horseshoe Beach section and down Wharf Road, drivers will be able to crank it up to 240kmh before swinging left up Watt Street.
That doesn’t seem fast enough to me.
Organisers should be aiming for at least warp speed.
The way to achieve that is to forget about the Watt Street turn and run the track further down Wharf Road to Honeysuckle Drive.
I know it’s a bit late to be suggesting changes, but that hasn’t stopped the mayor.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels will be an incentive to go faster and concievably it will offer a chance to deal with that wacky chicane near the Crowne Plaza.
I know it took experts to clog the traffic up that heavily, and it will probably take more experts to unclog it, but clearly there is momentum for change.
I say flatten the Crowne, then run the big donks down Honeysuckle past Silo, Moneypenny and all the other eateries.
Keep the cars rolling past hairtail alley, where they’re currently dropping rocks, possibly impeding another influx of visitors to this city – the mighty hairtail hunters – then wheel it tight left at the emerging light rail interchange and then fang it back down Hunter Street to link up with Watt Street.
That’d feed the need for speed and food and fishing – a win-win-win situation, unless you cop a hook in the eye.
Yes, it’s true cars will be coming off about 500kmh as they approach the Great Northern, but nothing thrills like cars under brakes.
And yes, taking out the Crowne Plaza won’t be constructive as far as accommodation for the event goes. Exactly the opposite in fact. So maybe rebuild the hotel on the old rail corridor, like everyone reckons they’re going to do anyhow.
Or at least transfer the proposed Stockton foreshore tent city across the harbour so people can stumble back to their sleeping bags without having to swim and maybe get taken out by a bull shark or coal ship.
Setting up an airbnb seems like a definite no-go area, unless you’ve got connections.
Staying at home doesn’t seem like an option, either, even if you’re a resident.
The next thing I’m worried about is will the race be loud enough?
I’m not talking about the cars, because I reckon they’ll be plenty deafening, particularly if they tack the power boats onto the schedule for the Sunday.
What I’m really concerned about is Delta.
Can she rock Friday night hard enough to bring fans to a suitable supercar frenzy.
She’s synonymous with the Arias, but can she bring the “ARRRRRRRRRR” required for V8?
She’s good but she’s no Bon Scott, who I hope organisers are chasing for the Saturday night show. Jimi Hendrix would be ideal, too, but clearly there are complications on both fronts.
However, organisers have pulled off a few miracles to get the race thus far, so I’m not ruling anything out.