Baskerville Raceway is located in Hobart’s northern suburb of Old Beach and is set in a natural amphitheatre with spectators able to sit in their cars and view the entire circuit.
The track is a tight and demanding 2.01 kilometres in length that includes a fast straight, off camber corner and a relatively blind corner at the top of a steep hill.
Baskerville Raceway was opened in February 1958, with one of the biggest crowds seen at a sporting event in Tasmania at the time. It was built on land owned by the Morrisby family and leased to the Hobart Sporting Car Club for a one hundred year period at a peppercorn rent of one shilling per year (Calvin Morrisby was certainly a circuit racing enthusiast).
Over the years to the early 1980’s the HSCC maintained and operated the property as well as being the promoter of all events there. A number of large scale events were held bringing all the big names of the day to the southernmost circuit in Australia, and maybe the world.
In the early 1980’s, following the death of Mr Morrisby, the land was sold to a consortium of local motorsport minded businessmen. The HSCC gave up the peppercorn lease in return for a 25% share in the company which was formed to own the land and the raceway. This company operated for a number of years until the consortium decided to sell the property and the HSCC then became the owners, albeit with a hefty mortgage. Much fundraising saw the mortgage reduce from around $275,000 to $150,000 over a period of a few years.
The Circuit remained in the hands of the HSCC with a number of large scale promoted events being held over the years to the mid nineties, including a couple of Truck Grand Prix and national sports sedan challenges. In the late 1990’s the club experienced financial difficulties following the acquisition of the Symmons Plains Raceway and the subsequent loss of the largest national event held at that circuit, The V8 Supercar Series.
A new company Motorsports Tasmania Pty Ltd was formed which purchased the assets of the HSCC and commenced operation in October of 2000. MST has operated the circuit since that time, and has improved the presentation and maintenance levels of the property and also paid off the balance of the mortgage previously held by the HSCC.
Baskerville Raceway today is an excellent operating facility, hosting race events for both two and four wheel motorsport as well as a large number of club level events. It caters for driver training, including defensive and advanced courses, has a national level 4WD training ground and is looking at utilisation of areas for Khanacross and motorkhana disciplines.
The Raceway is situated about twenty minutes from the CBD of Hobart, making it a short trip from anywhere in the city to access the facilities. This also means that visiting motorsport enthusiasts can have accommodation at whatever level they choose within a short distance of this hidden pearl of a Raceway in Tasmania.