Lakeside International Raceway
|Time zone||GMT +10|
|Owner||Moreton Bay Regional Council|
Reopened: 5 April 2008
|Former names||Lakeside International Raceway
|Major events||Tasman Series
Australian Grand Prix
Australian Touring Car Champ.
|Length||2.411 km (1.498 mi)|
|Lap record||0:46.66 (Paul Stokell, Reynard 91D Holden, 1994, Formula Holden)|
The circuit is known as the spiritual home of Queensland motorsport and was built by volunteers and borrowed machinery in the 1960s. The 2.41 km (1.50 mi) circuit opened in 1961 and was closed in mid-2001. The circuit reopened on 5 April 2008, with a race meeting held the following day.
The circuit was the venue for a wide range of racing series including the Australian Grand Prix on two occasions, the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Australian Superbike Championship and the Tasman Series, playing host to such names as Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill and Chris Amon.
The fast and challenging nature of the circuit was an education for a generation of Queensland racing drivers and riders, including: John French, Dick Johnson, Gregg Hansford, Tony Longhurst, Will Power and five time 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion Mick Doohan.
|“||If you can learn to race a motorbike at Lakeside, you can compete at any race track in the world.||”|
—Mick Doohan, 5 time 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion.
Touring cars were a mainstay of the circuit’s popularity, with the venue hosting the single race Australian Touring Car Championship titles in both 1964 and 1967. Following the change to a series format, Lakeside staged rounds of the ATCC in most years from 1970 to 1998. For much of the circuit’s life these meetings were the largest of the year and played host to some brilliant racing, the highlight of which was the 1981 title showdown between local hero Dick Johnson and reigning champion Peter Brock. Despite a wounded car Johnson won the race and the title in front of his home crowd and secured for himself a future in the sport after almost 20 years of battling at times just to compete. Touring cars left Lakeside after the 1998 season, increasing the circuits decline as a venue.
Although national championship racing was still being held at the circuit in July 2001 declining revenues, mounting debts, court proceedings, an increasingly hostile local council and competition for event with the nearby Queensland Raceway led to the circuits closure in 2001.
The circuit reopened during 2008 strictly as a local racing venue, and the new operators, the owners of Queensland Raceway, have no ambitions to hold national level meetings, preferring to use the better quality facilities at their sister-circuit for higher level meetings. Lakeside was closed during the summer of 2008/2009 while QR staff and volunteers refurbished and widened the circuit.
During the refurbishment a tunnel was also added underneath the circuit just before the foot bridge. The circuit is now 12m wide on the exit of Shell Corner, previously it was 8m wide at this point. The Bus Stop was not resurfaced, and neither was a short stretch between Hungry and Eastern Loop. The majority of the bumps were removed during the resurfacing. Further upgrades following these works in 2011 involved removing the Armco barriers on the inside of the track on the exit of Karousel. A sand trap was added and the runoff area increased and concrete barriers installed. The track reopened after the refurbishment in early 2009 and has remained open since.
During the seven years the circuit was closed, several organisations and activist groups made up of competitors, fans and driver training advocates have campaigned to have the circuit reopen.
'Friends of Lakeside', led by Robert Hardacre and Trevor 'Shelby' Beutel compiled much data relating to the history of Lakeside and were able to initially have the circuit listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, which is the main reason why the local council were prevented from demolishing the track and facilities. Friends of Lakeside is a small group with the aims of preserving Lakeside as the home of historic and modern era motorsport for all.
'Lakeside Motor Racing Enthusiasts' is composed of both car and primarily motorcycle aficionados from 17 to 70 years old and hail from all various motoring fraternities and niches conceivable.
On 18 December 2007, Pine Rivers Shire Council and Queensland Raceway (Wrexmere Pty Ltd) signed off on a 30-year-long term lease (with an option for 10 years) to operate the facility, including both driver training and racing. Racing however will be limited to noise (95db) and time constraints as a means of ensuring neighbourhood management.
Major race results
- "Lakeside Park 06/04/2008 LIR Round 1". National Software. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Neville Roberts. "Lakeside: Venue of the Lakeside International & the Australian Grand Prix". Tasman-Series.com. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Lakeside International Raceway 08/07/2001 Konica V8 Supercar Series - Round 5". National Software. 2001-07-08. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- "Heritage lost - gone but not forgotten:Lakeside International Raceway". Queensland Government: Environmental Protection Agency. 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2009-01-31.[dead link]
- Official site
- Friends of Lakeside Official site
- Lakeside Motor Racing Enthusiasts
- Drive your own road car at Lakeside Raceway