50 years and still rac­ing


HOW many race tracks also have fish­ing, model boat rac­ing, pocket bikes, driver train­ing and cy­cling?

Lake­side In­ter­na­tional Raceway — now Lake­side Park — turns 50 this year and is set to in­clude even more ac­tive sports such as BMX.

The his­toric cir­cuit on Bris­bane’s north­side has been the stage for epic tour­ing car bat­tles be­tween Peter Brock and Dick John­son and hosted the Aus­tralian Grand Prix in 1966 and ’69, plus rounds of the leg­endary Tas­man se­ries and the Aus­tralian Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships with rid­ers such as Mick Doohan and Wayne Gard­ner.

The V8s last raced there in 1998 and the track closed in 2002. Queens­land Raceway owner John Tet­ley took over the lease and re­opened it in 2009 af­ter sev­eral years of deal­ing with is­sues of noise and heri- tage list­ing. The track was resur­faced and the fa­cil­i­ties up­dated at a cost of $3 mil­lion.

‘‘There aren’t many tracks in the world that are still op­er­at­ing af­ter 50 years,’’ says Tet­ley, who be­lieves it is also the old­est track in Aus­tralia still op­er­at­ing. The track was opened on land owned by the Sakzieswki fam­ily on March 19, 1961, af­ter the Queens­land Mo­tor Sports Club mem­bers put their blood, sweat, tears and money into the pro­ject.

‘‘The track was built on do­na­tions and bor­rowed equip­ment,’’ Tet­ley says.

The club went bust, but the Sakzieswki fam­ily con­tin­ued to run the fa­cil­ity un­til 2002.

It is now owned by the Moreton Bay Re­gional Coun­cil and leased to Tet­ley on a 30-plus-10-year agree­ment.

Tet­ley has planned four spe­cial race meet­ings this year to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary. Each event will in­clude guests who com­peted or volun- teered at the first event in 1961, such as orig­i­nal clerk of the course Ken Peters and com­peti­tor Beryl Sakzieswki.

The first cel­e­bra­tory event will be ‘‘The Orig­i­nals’’, which is open to all cars man­u­fac­tured be­fore 1969.

The April 8-10 meet­ing is bound to rekin­dle some fond mem­o­ries. Among those rac­ing will be Richard An­der­son, 60, who raced a 1964 EH Holden at Lake­side in 1969.

‘‘Not much has changed since then,’’ An­der­son says. ‘‘Most of us still have bench seats, but now we have seat­belts.

‘‘The track is also largely un­changed, but there used to be two big bumps un­der the bridge that would move you two feet side­ways.’’

Queens­land Race­ways has in­vited sev­eral orig­i­nal par­tic­i­pants but is keen to hear from any­one who knows of oth­ers who should be in­vited to at­tend.

Con­tact: (07) 5461 9100. Visit: www.ql­drace­ways.com.au

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