The works, part of an $11m Federal Government grant, are focused in three distinct areas of the venue; the racing surface itself, upgrades to the ablution blocks and amenities, and upgrading the track lighting and return road lighting.
Willowbank Raceway began its life thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers who personally financed the original works, to ensure that Drag Racing had a home in south east Queensland after the closure of Surfers Paradise International Raceway.
The venue has grown into one of the most historic continually operated venues in Australian motorsport, with nearly 40 years of history under its belt.
Civil works began Monday last week, with machinery on track immediately after the Nostalgia event on Sunday August 13.
Primary civil works included the removal of over 800 metres of bitumen from the half-track point of the racing surface through to the gravel trap.
This will be replaced by fresh concrete from the 200-metre mark of the track to 50 metres beyond the finish line, with the latest in motorsport asphalt to be laid through the braking area.
The all-concrete surface will be the third in Australia, with Sydney Dragway having completed construction on a new surface several years ago and the yet-to-be-raced-on Dragway at The Bend, part of Shell V-Power Motorsport Park in South Australia.
The first half of the racetrack from the start line to the 200-metre point of the track has been assessed by engineers and will not be replaced, as it is structurally sound and does not require any works.
The new concrete and existing track will be ‘tied' together using the latest technology.
In addition to the on-track work, there will be changes to the ‘turnout' space at the end of the braking zone as well as re-laying the staging lanes and start up area due to drainage work that is required.
Works will also be carried out on the grass drainage alongside the racing surface to ensure that water runoff heads away from the race track, and that water cannot lay underneath which would limit the amount of movement that would be expected in the surface.
“This is a very exciting time for us here at Willowbank,” Harry Rowsell, Willowbank Raceway operations manager, told Speedcafe.
“So much work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that these projects were ready to go; it's the culmination of around five years of consultation, planning and costing and we should be back on track in November pending any weather-related construction delays.
The third part of the upgrades is to improve the venue's lighting to the required specifications for televised night-time events.
In addition, the return road lighting will receive a much-needed upgrade to improve spectator and competitor safety throughout the venue.
It is expected that Willowbank Raceway will re-open in November with the works completed.