A history of motorsport since 1928
Today Phillip Island is recognised as one of the world's leading Grand Prix circuits; host to the annual MotoGP, World and Australian Superbike Championships, as well as V8 Supercars and national level motor racing of all kinds. In line with international requirements, the circuit and its facilities are in a state of constant development. But few of the hundreds of thousands of spectators and race personnel who flock to the circuit each year are aware that the history of motor sport on the island goes back nearly 80 years.
It was back in 1928 when the Light Car Club of Australia and the Victorian Motor Cycle Union staged the first races over unsealed public roads near Cowes. The car event assumed the title of the Australian Grand Prix and was held annually until 1935, while the bikes raced on the 10.57-kilometre course until 1940. That circuit is still largely intact today, and a drive (or ride) around it serves as a reminder just what daredevils those pioneering racers were.
The circuit as we know it today was hacked out of dense scrub by enthusiasts belonging to the Phillip Island Auto Racing Club (PIARC). It took years of hard work before the track was officially opened in December 1956. Since then, the track has closed, seemingly for good, on two occasions, and endured plenty of highs and lows along the way. Thankfully, the arrival of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 1989 set the circuit on a path to glory that continues to this day.
Phillip Island. A history of motorsport since 1928, is a new 256-page hardcover book that records racing in all its various forms in the past 78 years. From the choking dust and pot-holed roads on the old street circuit to the early primitive existence at the 3-mile circuit and on to modern times, this book paints a colourful picture of one of the greatest motor sporting shows on earth. As well as descriptions of the more prominent events, there are pen-portraits of the major characters and hundreds of pictures from the main photographers of the day.
This is Bathurst-based author Jim Scaysbrook's seventh book on the subject. For the past 25 years, Jim's profession has been as an advertising copywriter, but he has contributed articles to motorsport magazines since 1966 and today his work is syndicated throughout the world. He has raced motorcycles since 1965, competing on the world motocross stage and also in road racing at the Isle of Man TT. A brief flirtation with car racing in the late 1980s saw him in Clubman and Formula Ford events.
Dimensions: 297 x 210mm
Cover Type: Hardback
Part number: BP53306
Number of pages: 256pp
Author: Jim Scaysbrook
Publication date: 8 September 2005