The year 1969 will always be remembered as a famous year in history.
Man walked on the moon for the first time, the Beatles performed their iconic final show on a roof in London and Barbagallo Raceway held its first public meeting.
While the latter may not be as famous as the other two moments, Barbagallo’s impact on the local community has been arguably just as significant.
Officially opened on Sunday, 2 March 1969 and then known as Wanneroo Park, the track has since become the heartbeat of motor sport in Western Australia, as well as acting as the home of the Western Australia Sporting Car Club (WASCC).
Over the years, thousands of grassroots, state and national events have taken place there, while the Australian Touring Car Championship, now known as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, has attended the track on a regular basis since 1973.
Barbagallo has also seen Formula 1 driver Mark Webber take his Red Bull Formula 1 on the track, while a young Daniel Ricciardo and Garth Tander both used it as a training ground before reaching the pinnacle of their respective disciplines in recent years.
From a maintenance point of view, the WASCC secured funding to resurface the ageing track last year to get it back up to speed with the roads of today and was completed successfully without a hitch.
A lot of hard work and determination went into the track’s relaying over the summer in readiness of the first event on the new surface, which is conveniently this weekend, the 50th anniversary of track’s first public meeting all those years ago.
With the WASCC’s Golden Jubilee set to be one of the club’s biggest events in recent times, former club president John Hurney is expecting a brilliant weekend for the historic track.
“We confidently expect that many lap records will take a hammering as a result of the new surface,” Hurney said.
“The weekend will feature all local racing categories, displays of heritage vehicles – both road and race and it concludes with a giant sundowner function on the Sunday night.
“Every competitive event the WASCC has run at Wanneroo/Barbagallo has been CAMS sanctioned – which would amount to literally hundreds if not thousands of race meetings, sprints, regularity events and hill climbs.
”For the Golden Jubilee, more than 240 cars have entered across 14 different categories including more Saloon Cars, Excel Cup, Formula Vee and Time Challenge. The event will also be headlined by both the Formula Classic and Historic Touring Cars categories, which will no doubt contain vehicles that have competed in the circuit’s early years.
The event is expected to attract motor sport fans from around the state, with spectators to pay a gold coin donation for entry and children under 13 to get in for free.
The gates to Barbagallo will open at 7am on both days and racing will begin at 9am local time.