The launch of the ground breaking Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct (AMIP) in Western Sydney has put Australia on track to become a world leader in high-performance technology.
Dubbed Sydney’s answer to Silverstone, the $10 million trackside precinct at Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek is being developed by the Australian Racing Drivers Club (ARDC), with support and investment from the NSW Government.
NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct was a key part of the NSW Government’s $32 million investment in Sydney Motorsport Park, which includes a major track extension at the circuit.
Funding has also supported the installation of permanent track lighting, as well as upgrades to Sydney International Dragway which includes a new world-class surface, grandstand and lighting.
AMIP was inspired by the Silverstone Innovation Park Precinct at the iconic British Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit in the UK. That location brings together more than 70 businesses specialising in advanced engineering, electronics and software development.
The precinct is now recognised as a world-leading cluster of high-tech businesses, and it’s hoped the AMIP project can do the same. ARDC president and chair Natalie Turmine describes it as the next chapter in Australia’s rich motoring history.
“By offering a dedicated on-track centre for innovation, education, STEM and motorsport skills training, precision engineering and safety technology, this precinct will create opportunities that benefit not just the motorsport industry but every road user,” she said.
“It is also vital that we create a professional environment that supports, attracts and encourages female participation in motorsport, engineering and smart manufacturing.”
For ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews the precinct is an invitation to the brightest minds across the automotive industry, and provides the chance to work alongside a smorgasbord of different car and bike events and experiences, race categories, teams and engineers.
Former Red Bull F1 head of operations Richard Hopkins, who is a high performance advisor at Walkinshaw Andretti United, a UNSW Professor and boss of the Guinness World Record holding Sunswift Racing Team, has come on board as the AMIP’s inaugural ambassador.
“This is an opportunity to nurture the talent of tomorrow, with enormous potential to create a competitive motoring ecosystem that will put Australia alongside the industry’s best,” Professor Hopkins said.
Among the first organisation’s to be housed in the new building is AGI Sport, which run its new Formula Four race academy garage from AMIP, along with more than a dozen race cars. It will also form an international base for the new F1 Academy Series for women.
“Our aim is to establish the number one elite race academy in Australasia at Australia’s number one race circuit. The on-track location is a real drawcard for the sport’s rising stars as we nurture Australia’s next F1 driver,” AGI Sport’s Adam Gotch said.
AGI Sport’s resident tenancy neighbour is the motorcycle technology company Forcite, makers of the world’s first mass produced smart helmet. The Australian start-up has recently gone global with its latest generation of smart helmets, the Forcite MK1S.
Co-founders Julian Chow and Alfred Boyadgis have established their design and testing headquarters, Forcite Labs, at the AMIP hub, and highlight the connectivity to the race track as a key advantage for their product.
“Forcite has motorsports in its DNA, so being in a smart precinct on track is an exciting opportunity for our company,” Mr Boyadgis said.