A steering committee formed and the Phillip Island Auto Racing
Club (PIARC) developed with a dream “to build Australia's first
international grand prix circuit”. The current site was
purchased in that year. PIARC calls for 7000 subscriptions at 10
pounds each to assist in the development of the circuit and
building work begins. An Alfa was used to measure the three-mile
distance required for international certification as an
Between 1952 and 1956 the building of the circuit had met with
major engineering hurdles, and PIARC had to call for more money
from its shareholders. The Grand Opening Meeting was held with
much acclaim in December 1956.
Phillip Island stages numerous trophy races including the
Australian Motorsport Magazine Trophy Race 1957; the Formula
Libre race of l958 and the Phillip Island Trophy race of l958.
The Light Car Club of Australia developed and staged the
inaugural Armstrong 500 – a 500mile event which was Australia's
first long distance race and a precursor to today's Bathurst
enduro. The race was won by Frank Coad and John Roxburgh driving
a Vauxhall Cresta. They completed the race in eight hours 15
minutes. It was a David & Goliath achievement, because the
unknown Vauxhall pilots beat the highly fancied pairing of Bob
Jane and Harry Firth in a Mercedes.
Jack Brabham wins the Moomba Trophy driving a Cooper Climax
Due to extensive track damage resulting from the 1962 Armstrong
500, PIARC is unable to repair the damages and the track is
closed. Subsequently Phillip Island loses the long distance
event, which is transferred to Bathurst.
Melbourne businessman, muffler manufacturer and racing driver,
Len Lukey purchases the Phillip Island circuit with a view to
The circuit reopens for racing in April 1966 in the heyday of
Phillip Island hosts numerous rounds of the touring car
championship. In the '60's, names like Pete Geoghegan, Bob Jane
and Norm Beechey starred; while in the '70s drivers like Peter
Brock, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, John Harvey and Colin Bond
were established and over the decade became household names.
Peter Brock wins at Phillip Island in his Holden Dealer Team LJ
GTR XUI Torana to claim the 1973 Manufacturers Championship.
Due to extensive track damage, racing declined at Phillip
Island, with the property farmed by its owners.
Phillip Island Circuit purchased by Placetac Pty Ltd, with the
view to re-introducing racing to the famous facility.
Barfield Pty Ltd, led by engineer and promoter, Bob Barnard, was
awarded a round of the world motorcycle championship. Barfield
granted lease on land and begins restoration of the track and
Phillip Island stages Australia's first round of the 500cc World
Motorcycle Championship on April 6-9. In an emotional victory in
front of a crowd of 90 000 plus, the race was won by the
Wollongong wizz and world champion, Wayne Gardner.
Phillip Island stages Swan Six Hour Motorcycle Endurance
Race. Domestic racing resumes for both cars and motorcycles.
Phillip Island hosts its first round of the Superbike World
Championship. Phillip Island continues to host a round each year
and over the past decade Aussie names racing in the dynamic
formula include Michael Doohan, Peter Goddard, Michael Dowson,
Rob Phillis, Kevin Magee, Anthony Gobert, Troy Corser and Troy
Phillip Island loses its round of the 500 cc World Motorcycle
Grand Prix to Sydney's Eastern Creek, outbid by the NSW
government to attract the event to Sydney.
Phillip Island stages its first round of the Shell Australia
Touring Car Championship. It was voted as the best round in
Australia for that year and again in 1994. Phillip Island
Circuit continued as one of the leading circuits for racing and
testing to Australia's top touring car teams.
Australian superbike rider, Troy Corser, wins the Superbike
World Championship on board a Ducati at the October race at
Australian Touring Car Championship changes its name to V8
Supercars and Phillip Island continues to host an annual round.
After a six year absence, Phillip Island wins back the right to
stage the 500 cc World Motorcycle Grand Prix. Mick Doohan had
already secured his fourth straight GP crown when the race came
to Island in October l997. Unfortunately Doohan crashed out
whilst leading and Spain's Alex Criville took out the round.
Mick Doohan wins his fifth World title, winning the Phillip
Island round to clinch the 500 cc World Motorcycle GP in front
of a crowd of 75,000.
The action continues with March's round of the World Superbike
Championship delivering an Australian trifecta. World superbike
champion, Taree's Troy Bayliss wins both superbike races; while
world supersport champion, Kempsey's Andrew Pitt takes the