Best event of the year- The Lakeside Classic Speedfest

13 September 2011 

The biggest historic event in Qld was held at the fast running Lakeside Raceway this year. Close to 12 000 people turned up for the Shannons Lakeside Classic Speedfest, which also strangely got the name of the Lakeside Touring Car Festival about a week before the event as well.. Can never have enough names right??  The event names confusion did not upset anything on the days with a great showing of cars both on and off the track.

Moffstang and Beechey Monaro share some quality time together.

We brought along three of the most iconic cars from our collection, to be reunited with this famous track for some significant anniversaries. First up we had the Moffstang and Norm Beechey Monaro, two absolute roaring legends from the days of improved production racing, joining another of the ?greats? the Ian Geoghegan 67 Mustang.


Could be 1970 all over again right, two of the greatest Mustangs..ever.

Last time all three of these were at this track together was 40 years ago in 1971, so it was pretty damn epic having them all together once again. With no noise restrictions on the day we were allowed them to run at full volume for the entire weekend, ask anyone who was there and they will tell you just how fantastic they sound together! 


No noise limits were the best thing about the weekend!!


Monaro was fantastic around Lakeside, ran like a dream all weekend.

I had my first ever drive of the Norm Beechey Monaro on Saturday and I have to say it was a great experience. It is not as precise in the way it moves around the track as the Moffstang. It is a different type of beast with heaps of torque and surprisingly supple handing which make it a quite forgiving animal around Lakeside?s unforgiving course! The noise is also something different, being a deep bellow that resonates right through you, not as highly strung compared to other cars we have from this era.  Very impressed by her and more so ?Stormin Norm? , for his skill of hurtling this yellow beast around the tracks with such ease back in the day.  I did not try and recreate history with the famous two wheeler shot through Hungry corner, but still had a huge amount of fun following Chris in the Moffstang and Des Wall in the Geoghegan Mustang on the Saturday.


Dan tyring his hardest to keep the Moffstang honest!


I ask on wheels?

 Sunday was the big day and after handing out a flyer to each car that came in the track, I realised that this day was going to be a lot bigger than anything held here since the late eighties early nineties.  All the car parks were at full capacity and there were people lined all the way around the track, which made for an impressive sight.    


Girls got a lot of questions all weekend! Answered here: "Meet Muffy".



Early parade lap with the legendary cars...fantastic.


Some nice footage blasting down the main striaght.

Our ?spirited demo? runs went great again, with two lucky people winning rides in the Moffstang and Monaro, from entering the popular free draw that morning.  After 5 laps with these people, we came in and dropped them off and set off for a few faster laps. I had the pleasure of being in the  Moffstang for the first time at Lakeside, which really showed how much easier it handles the tracks undulating surfaces. Jim Richards drove the Geoghegan Mustang in the run and after he passed me I hung on the back of him for about 3 amazing laps, getting some idea of the view Moffat saw for a couple of years, before I saw my old favourite ford of Tru Blu coming up fast behind us. So thought I would slow down to follow it for a few laps,  well I thought I could?


Frenchy going hard across the top of eastern loop.

 It was a special late minute addition we had Tru Blu there that weekend, to celebrate 30 years since it won the 1981 ATCC championship at this very track with Dick Johnson. His co-driver, the humorous gentleman John French was on hand to pilot her around, and that he most certainly did, in the ?spirited demo? laps Sunday showing he has lost none of his Lakeside track knowledge putting in a 1.01 lap around the track, quicker than most the other Group C cars racing on the day!  



Dan about to be owned by Frenchy in Tru Blu.


As I was saying above he was catching me quickly in the Moffstang and I thought I would back off so I can hang behind Frenchy for a few laps, to watch this great Ford icon in action at its favourite hunting ground. Well, he caught me quickly and then roared past me down the straight and that was the last I saw of him till the warm down laps, as I could not stay anywhere close, let alone catch him after he went past! 


He knows every inch of this track, not to mention this car...

For an 82 year old, French really does have a lot of go left in him!!! After coming back into the pits I had a quick chat with a very, very happy John about Tru Blu, he said she was exactly as he remembered it the last time he drove her. Upon asking when that was, he said it was October 1981 when he and Dick won the Bathurst 1000 race, so it really was a huge occasion and I hope those at the track that day really appreciated the show the young Mr French put on in Tru Blu, a highlight of the weekend, if not the year.  
A great event, thanks for Mark Pryor, Darren Bartlett and Luke Galletly for most of the great track images here. If you want to check out all our shots from the day view them here on our facebook page photo album.
Loving being at  Lakeside,