Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 106 scoop SPRING 2010
LIFE IN THE
am not a rev-head.
I’d snapped up the chance to head to
Fastlane Racing for Scoop but the truth
is I consider myself a very, very cautious
driver. Not ner vous but very wary,
probably the leg acy of a head-on smash 20
years ago. Now, on an icy, icy morning at the
Barbagallo Raceway, I am kitted up in a racing
suit, gloves and crash helmet and listening to
school owner and chief instructor Brett Lupton
as he runs through the day’s schedule.
Brett, a compact, no-nonsense fellow with a
lifetime’s experience in motor racing, set up the
school in 1994. Past students include champion
V8 Supercar driver Garth Tander and Perth’s Red
Bull wunderkind Daniel Ricciardo. Today there are
10 pupils (myself included), all men, from a wide
variety of backgrounds and ages. At least nine of
them have a burning desire to see if they’ve got
what it takes. They’ve paid just over $700 for 40
laps, split into four chunks, to find out.
Any visions of fighter-jet-like cockpits fitted
with fancy electronics g o right out the window as
Brett walks us through the Formula Ford. It’s
an ‘everyman’s’ racing car – sturdy, basic (four
manual g ears) but still capable of hitting
200kmh-plus down the straight.
By now, rain’s threatening and my ner ves are
beginning to fray. “We don’t run in the wet,” says
Brett, triggering a groan the other nine in the class.
“I’ve heard you’re really looking forward
to this,” says Brett’s wife Teresa, who handles
the marketing side of the business and has
herself raced competitively.
“Err, not really,” I blurt out, sending up a
silent plea to all weather gods to let the heavens
open. But the g ods don’t respond and the smudges
of rain cloud melt away.
By now Brett is in full-throttle prep mode. He
isn’t afraid to call a spade a f***ing shovel and
emphasises that the day is as much about learning
proper driving technique as g oing flat out.
“You’ve got to drive within yourself. The only
person you’re here to impress is yourself,” he says.
That’s not quite the vibe I’m getting from
my nine eager co-drivers.
Of the nine, four are from the Reid family
(Phil, 50, and his sons Casey, James and Matt) and
Can our self-declared cautious driver get bitten
by the speed bug? We sent him for a day racing
Formula Fords to find out words Norman Burns « images Ross Swanborough
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