Australian Festival of Speed...a 'dud'
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  1. #1
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    Default Australian Festival of Speed...a 'dud'

    I was really looking forward to attending today's Australian Festival of Speed at Barbagallo Raceway (Wanneroo W.A.) I even pre-purchased my ticket.

    The advertising was strong and of high quality, the liftout magazine, distributed within Saturdays West Australian Newspaper a couple of weeks back, was informative and of high quality and promised much.... Including 'Action everywhere'.... -Non Stop events' etc, etc.

    So today I arose at 5.30am (having only gone to bed at 3.00am following my night celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Western Australian Coffin Cheaters Motor Cycle Club) and hit the road early to avoid the queueing. I picked up my 'olde' Mate Bob Goddard along the way and we arrived at the venue about an hour before the scheduled start.

    It was obvious , upon arrival, that today was going to see a BIG crowd...The early 'events' were held on the infield and were for motor-cross bikes and Quads... their was a strong Easterly wind blowing and clouds of billowing fine black dust obliterated the view and blew into our faces, up our noses and down our throats...Grrrrrr!

    Then a series of 'boring' parades of vintage cars and bikes followed, finally at Noon Mark Webber did 3 x warm up laps in the Red Bull F1 car....this was followed by more boring parades and worse, a 'Drift' event, where a number of 'lunatics' slip and slide themselves around the track 'burning' rubber, which drifts across the track in thick cloudes causing spectators to cough and splutter....but alas there was no escaping it....More Grrrrrrr!

    Spectators were still pouring into the venue well past 1.00pm and they advised that the car queue, to enter the venue, was banked up for 5km.

    It was hot, dusty and horrible!

    I suggested to Bob that after Mark Webbers programmed 'Demo & Track Time Attack' scheduled for 1.30pm was over that we should head for the gate in order to avoid the traffic jam.... Bob agreed.

    Come 1.30pm and out comes the Red Bull F1 car, but NOT with Webber behind the wheel, instead (and without explanation) it was driven by rising star Daniel Ricciardo... who does 3 x 'hot laps' folowed by a series of rubber burning 'do-nuts', which results in more clouds of acrid chocking rubber smoke drifting over the spectators (great for my health).... More Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Then it was back to more 'boring' parades of various catergories of competition vehicles, coughing and sluttering their way around. A sprintcar 'Demonstration' turned out to be a total waste of time, as did a racing Truck Demo.... In fact, for me, the only 'bright' light being a cops & robbers chase between a Guy in a Black Renault Megane Sport and a pair of Cop Cars... now that guy who drove the Megane was really talented.

    No mention over th P.A. of what happened to Webbers track record attempt!!!!

    The next scheduled appearance for Webber was listed for 3.15pm and I reckoned that after that there would be a mass exit and 3 to 4 hour queue to get out of the venue... so we left at 1.30pm.

    As we were leaving so were hundreds of other spectators.... On the way out we saw hordes more people arriving on buses... they had been obliged to park 2 or 3 km away from the venue and were being 'schuttled' into the venue.

    How many attended????? My guess...maybe 30,000????

    Did the promoter cover his costs????.... at $50 a head he sure did!

    How many will go the NEXT time such an event may be promoted????

    Not me, not Bob.... and we have been involved in Motor Sport for the past 50 years.

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  2. #2
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    So I made the right decision and stayed home to clean up after having some ceilings replaced last week?
    Although I felt I should go, I kept thinking that after all they are only demonstrations, and unlike many West Aussies, I have been to several GP's in Adelaide so have seen the real thing.
    I also have noted since the event that nothing has been said about the lap record attempt. Of course, a lap record can only be set during a race, as far as I know, anyway.
    Not to be negative about it however, it was probably quite a good show for the enthusiast "man in the street" and as an inaugural event, possibly quite successful if measured in crowd numbers and profit.
    Rod, you may feel like me as an older enthusiast, that doughnuts by racing cars seem to be a pointless exercise, but everyone else seems to think its great, and drifting - well . . . . !
    Thanks for making me feel less guilty about not going!

    Cheers
    Chris.
    2004 Scenic I 2.0 auto (Hers)
    2016 Ford Territory (His)
    2004 WRX (Sunday car)

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