on the edge

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Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed

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Tue, 28 Mar 2006

Lakeside revisited

I had finally got used to the idea that I’d never get another chance to drive on the Lakeside circuit, but yesterday brought a wonderful opportunity to go out and play—for the first time since 1999.

It all came about because of new plans by the council to seek business proposals for the development and management of the facility, as described on the LMRE website. One of the parties invited to submit a proposal was Total Driver and they invited a number of people from some Brisbane car clubs to participate in a demonstration of the kind of day they might run.

Most of us had plenty of previous experience of the track and we were all delighted to see that it had remained virtually unchanged since we last drove on it—the infrastructure had been seriously degraded, but the actual track was fine.

When the day started, we were all a bit conservative. The track was slippery, since there was no rubber down and there was plenty of dust and grass clippings to deal with. And we had been particularly requested to behave responsibly, in order to give the right message to any spectators.

But, even at slightly reduced pace, Lakeside is such a fast and flowing track that it was seriously thrilling just to be out there. And, as the day wore on and the rubber went down and the sun heated everything up, we all started to extend ourselves that little bit more.

This did lead to a rather silly comment from one of the Total Driver guys, who told us as a group to slow down a bit—because some of the people who didn’t know the track were taking the wrong line into Hungry Corner and ending up in the wrong place on the climb to Eastern Loop. It would have been ever so much better if he had explained the real problem—that they were turning in too soon. This is so unintuitive that most people need to have it explained to them many times before they really get it where it counts. But that’s really a very minor nit to pick.

The night before, I had found myself dreaming about the track and I had gone over the entire thing and found I remembered every corner perfectly. The initial slow sighting laps yesterday were a delicious confirmation that the memories were accurate and that it was going to be pure fun. I just hope that the council will see fit to open the track up to more of this use, not least because it will do something useful towards reducing the road toll. And, of course, because it will allow me to have some more fun. Lakeside is one of the best tracks in this country and it should be allowed to continue to offer its magic to the motoring public.

One of the BMW Club Qld members has posted some pictures of the BMWs in case anybody is interested.