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Vale Circuit

The Vale Circuit was established around Bathurst for motor cycle racing in 1931. Around 7.2 miles of public road, most of which was unsealed, was used for road racing. Speeds of up to 90 miles per hour were reached on the main straight but tricky hairpin bends, hills and turns made it difficult to maintain the high speeds without taking out a farmer’s fence or two. The Auto Cycle Union of NSW held its first annual classic road race meeting here on Easter Saturday 4 April 1931 with the feature event being the Australian Senior Grand Prix.

Initially events were run with just an imaginary line down the middle of Vale Road separating the racing bikes from the travelling public. At some stage a mound of gravel was graded to form a ridge along the centre with motor cycle racing on one side and public traffic, mainly horse drawn vehicles, on the other. This situation obviously caused a great deal of anxiety to everyone involved with a variety of reasons proposed for using the road this way.

Racing continued on this circuit at Easter until 1937 bringing many well-known riders to compete on the gruelling track in front of large numbers of spectators lining the roadside. In 1938 meetings were transferred to the new Mount Panorama circuit.


Find out more about early motor racing in the Bathurst region