A thrilling day at the races reaching speeds of up to 200-kilometres per hour!
Several invites later to join good friend John from Australian Building Inspection Services – ABIS on an action-packed race-track sprint event, finally down tools and go…
Destination? The Lakeside Park Raceway, for some fun and speed!
A little Lakeside history
Formerly known as the Lakeside International Raceway, which opened in 1961, the raceway hosted a couple of Australian Grand Prix in the 1960s and a popular venue for a wide range of racing series. Including, The Australian Touring Car Championship, which lasted three decades at Lakeside.
Where is Lakeside Park racetrack?
Lakeside Park track is around 30-kilometres north of Brisbane, in the fabulous, Moreton Bay region.
And, resting alongside Lake Kurwongbah, which also offers many recreational activities. A pleasant drive through lush native trees clears to Lakeside Park and its circuit.
Lakeside Park Raceway, hosts a plethora of events such as races and sprints, even publishing a detailed calendar each month to get the speed juices hyped. Varying car clubs also hold different events at Lakeside.
Once a month, passengers are allowed. This aims to introduce newcomers to this competitive racing sport, have some fun, and understand a little of how things work. And to allow people like me, to experience a fleeting moment of speed and an extreme flood of adrenaline, without the stress of competing.
Before the lunch-time passenger laps, cars venture out on several timed race laps. The fastest lap time wins. Road cars are also allowed to compete, check Lakeside’s website for details.
Club members with passengers must not exceed 200-kilometres/hour on the circuit, but this is enough as a first taste to speed on the track.
All Lakeside events have car classes based on engine power, type, and more criteria. Car clubs – Porsche, BMW, and others – also hold track days at Lakeside. Today’s event is a timed sprint.
Of course, on arriving at Lakeside, you need to complete formalities before heading out on the circuit.
Your driver accompanies you to the booth to register. Bring a photo ID. You also need to sign a Liability Waiver before receiving a wrist band to proceed and not allowed on the track, until this process is completed.
You need to bring a helmet and wear long sleeves, trousers, and closed-in shoes. If you don’t have a helmet, then you can usually borrow a smelly one for free.
Lakeside’s 2.41-kilometre circuit is not just for amateurs. Fast and challenging, this circuit doesn’t disappoint – especially in the driver’s seat!
Reflexes need to be in peak performance, or the crash barrier is the only alternative…
…prefer the look of this particular crash barrier from this angle, not head on!
A cool aerial shot mapping a much clearer view of the circuit.
Photo credit: Google Earth. Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Landsat/Copernicus.
Without further ado, it’s on to the machine…
At this point, it’s a good time to describe The Beast – my nickname for this extremely fast and boisterous racing machine, which can be heard from a mile away.
Let’s just say that this feather-light low-profile Mazda Mx5 is pumped up with a 400HP, 2.5-Litre L5 engine.
If this isn’t enough to get your adrenaline going, then add an HKS GTS7040 Centrifugal Supercharger to the mix and this racing beast develops speed like no other…
…well, you may think I’m exaggerating a little, but at 200-kilometres, it’s fast!
Although this is the only speed we’re allowed to do today, this car does go much faster.
Under the hood…
Like the vibrant interior?
Not driven only on a racetrack, this sporty car also ventures on the road…a lot.
Hot on the track
Even though I’m not driving, Lakeside’s challenging, daring track forces sharp twists and turns on the driver, which is enough to give you a memorable and intense thrill.
A few timed laps to warm up before I’m allowed on the track.
…anticipation builds while watching every lap.
Typically, at sprint events, lap times range from 50 to 80 seconds. Anything under 60 seconds is considered fast. Today, John comes in at second place for the BMW club track day, completing the 2.41-kilometre circuit in 60.3 seconds.
A preamble of what’s to come, until it’s my turn…
I’m strapped in with a belt that looks similar to a parachute harness. Nervously fumbling for my helmet, I put this on before taking my sunglasses off – ouch! Finally donning my helmet correctly, we cruise across noisily to the starting point, until we’re off and racing.
The thrill of feeling the beast’s powerful acceleration, changing gears, braking, swerving around corners at alarming speeds, then racing flat-out along the MMM Strait, is exhilarating!
John’s control of the beast is impressive, with lightning-speed reflexes tackling every turn and challenge, clocking 64 seconds for the 2.41-kilometre circuit.
A video by Australian Building Inspection Services – ABIS from the dashboard, for a real taste of today’s event…
Sixty seconds in a heightened state of extreme adrenaline rush is today’s experience! Unbelievable, adventurous, and loved it!
Coming down from the high…
Walking back to my Ford Laser to drive home on an intensified high, you can’t help but want to get in the car and speed off. Not a great idea with too many police radars about…
Speed seems to be a recurring theme in my life. Check out another euphoric encounter with speed – an incredible 25-minutes on a Jet Fighter Flight.