Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.
ARARAT Car Club will take the next step in expansion thanks to a government grant for safety upgrades at One Tree Hill.
The club has received $50,440 in the first round of the State Government’s Community Motorsport Program - Infrastructure Upgrades and Equipment Category.
The funding will go towards upgrading permanent Armco safety barriers along One Tree Hill.
Ararat Car Club president, Daryl McRae, said the financial support is going to minimise setup, improve safety and benefit the local community all year round.
“When we race, we use a lot of portable barriers, water barriers and tyre barriers, but this will enable us to put Armco in which will be a permanent feature… probably reducing setup down to just over an hour,” he said.
“We use it six or eight days a year but the rest of the year it's also going to benefit the community.”
The car club will contribute another $10,000 on top of the grant to complete the work which will see 100 metres of new Armco installed, 140 metres replaced, and newer barriers touched up.
“We're also going to install what they call bike rail. It's designed that if someone comes off a bike, they hit that instead of going underneath the guardrail and injuring themselves,” he said.
“Bike rail also stops an open-wheel car going underneath and causing damage.”
This addition will improve the hill’s safety and provide the club with an opportunity to bid for larger events.
“Our ultimate aim is to attract an Australian Hillclimb Championship here,” Mr McRae said.
They have been unable to host such events under their current track license with Motorsport Australia because of safety concerns.
Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the Ararat Car Club project was one of 12 across the state to share in over $2 million.
“I strongly encourage other local motorsport and motorcycling clubs to follow in their footsteps and take advantage of all the new possibilities this funding boost can deliver,” she said.