Mar.1 (GMM) Organisers are considering moving the Australian grand prix from Albert Park to Avalon, a suburb about 40 minutes from Melbourne.
A report in the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper said the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has been granted $130,000 in funding by the FIA to look into building a $200m permanent circuit.
The Albert Park race contract runs through 2015, but it is believed the Avalon plans are designed to accommodate floodlight night racing and therefore boost Melbourne’s chance of retaining the grand prix in the long term.
The proposed site is owned by Australian transport company Linfox, whose director Andrew Fox said a year ago that moving the race from Albert Park means taxpayers would no longer foot the costs of preparing the temporary circuit each year.
“I’m happy to put the capital up on behalf of the (Fox) family at Avalon and build a world class standard,” said Fox.
The CAMS/FIA study is being conducted by UK experts.
“We, as part of the feasibility study, will be looking at a whole range of options and opportunities for a potential venue at Avalon,” CAMS chief executive Graham Fountain confirmed.
Victorian sports minister James Merlino added: “A decision to relocate the race is ultimately up to government, regardless of CAMS’s findings.”