Mildura's Sunset Strip will close soon for some much needed repairs after the 2011 flood dumped 300mm of water on the track and damaged the racing surface. The project is going to tender this Friday with the expectation that work will begin in a few weeks time.
According to Jenni Gledhill, Infrastructure Support Officer at the Mildura Rural City Council, "Water under the track has caused a deviation in the racing surface, a 30 to 40 millimetre drop off to the finish line from around the 380 foot mark. While not noticeable to many slower vehicles, higher horsepower vehicles have felt the effects".
"Core samples have been taken and it's still very wet underneath. For the track to move forward and comply with current standards it's necessary that these repairs be made."
Sunset Strip is located on local government land and the repairs are being funded by the Federal Government as part of the as the flood recovery program.
The existing track surface will be replaced with concrete from the start line to 10 meters past the finish line. Sub surface and surface drains will be installed with the water being diverted to a dam on the property.
"The new surface will comply with ANDRA's track regulations," said Jenni. "Concrete is the industry standard; it's much easier to maintain and repair, provides better traction and has a greater lifespan than asphalt."
Paul Keen, President of the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association is looking forwarding to the repairs being completed and getting back to racing. "As a club we're delighted that the necessary repairs will be underway soon and we can begin planning a new season of events."
"Indications are that the repairs will be completed before June 30 and we will be back up and running by the end of July. With the new surface we can run bigger events with a lot more high horsepower vehicles. They bring the crowds which will be good for everyone; the fans, the racers, the town and the club."
Along with these latest repairs, the club has been steadily updating the facilities at the track over the last 18 months. Improvements include the sealing of the pit area and stagging lanes, line markings, updates to the return road and grassed spectator mounds.