Gear Day at Lakeside
By George Row Photos by Ross Johnson and John Carson.
GEAR is a group formed about 20 years ago to fill a gap in motorsport where owners of pre mid 80s technology cars could enjoy a non-competitive track day, rather like an off-leash dog park for old racing cars. The club has been very successful and alternates each month between Lakeside and Willowbank.
Lately the relaxed atmosphere where there was time to chat was sorely tested when the full day format was reduced to mornings only to keep entry fees manageable. To go back to the full day sessions 80+ entries were required and this was done by inviting marque clubs to fill 4 x 15 minute slots with cars that would not normally be eligible for GEAR but with a non competitive attitude. The March meeting at Lakeside was the first trial with both the LCQ and Westfield Club together adding over 20 entries.
Considering that less than a month ago water was covering the Armco along the main straight, the track was in very good condition. As with most of SE Queensland and NSW, there has been a tremendous amount of work done to repair the flood damage. The weather was now again perfect, most of the carports were taken and there was a carnival atmosphere with groups of people obviously happy to be there just talking and doing car stuff.
The invited group was a very mixed bag of cars and drivers, many of whom had not driven the circuit for a long tome but we all conformed to the no pushing and only passing on the straights rule.
By the 3rd and 4th sessions the pace had quickened and drivers had found a comfortable place in the pecking order to play. Pat Richards and I had many laps of follow the leader in our similar Elises and with the non competitive atmosphere it was easy to pass or be passed. I noticed some quick clubbies enjoying some friendly banter too.
Times were not important and the theme of the day was somewhere between happy laps and Morgan Park Sprints.