Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival 2022

The thing I love about motor racing fans is they generally have an appreciation of most forms of machinery, two, four and even more wheels that go at varying speeds in a competition. It’s where the love of the car seems to transcend era’s in most. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, but all sports have some narrow-minded followers.

I think it’s bred into us from an early age, like when a parent takes a young child to the Formula 1 where there’s a show and shine on, and you’ll see them talking with the owner of a 1930s car and listening intently to the story around it. I’ve seen on many occasions where motor racing legend Jim Richards will spend time talking with the owner of a 1960’s muscle car and both are fixated by their love of the car.

I found myself in a similar situation recently when a person was talking to me about a place in West Australia, just outside of Kalgoorlie called Lake Perkolilli which is purportedly Australia’s oldest motor racing track and in recent years it’s been revived as the “Red Dust Revival”. I was so intrigued I had to find out more.

More than a century ago from 1914 to 1939, drivers would annually take their cars and motor bikes to the rock hard claypan of Lake Perkolilli to race in the dirt, and over those years it was the location for the setting of many Australian Speed Records.

As legendary as Lake Perkolilli was to racers over the War Years, it would have been totally forgotten by most had it not been for a group of hard-core vintage motor racing enthusiasts and volunteers who wanted the legend to continue and so in 2014 staged the first ‘Red Dirt Revival’.

Entry was restricted to vehicles classified as ‘pre-war’ and constructed using components from cars built before the Second World War, which made for an amazing sight in the WA desert. Such was the success of the first ‘Red Dirt Revival’ that another was held five years later in 2019 and again in September last year (2022), when over 100 cars and 40 motorbikes raced in front of an estimated 25,000 people visitors over the week, many from the East Coast of Australia as well as international visitors from Norway, the UK and South Africa.

This ‘Motoring Past’ article gives a closer look at the ‘Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival’ including ‘Race Car Construction Guidelines’ and an ‘Eligibility Summary’ which I must say is a lot better reading than current day Racing Regulations …….

Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival – Motoring Past

To give you a taste of how unique this event is, here’s a highlights video from the 2019:

Red Dust Revival, Lake Perkolilli 2019

And if you want to see more, here’s a great doco that the guys from Bennetts Customs Co in WA produced from their adventure to the 2022 Red Dust Revival.

’10 Days in the Dust – Red Dust Revival 2022’ -Bennetts Custom Co

As far as I’m concerned, forget about Goodwood, I’m heading to Lake Perkolilli and although dates for the next ‘Red Dust Revival’ haven’t been announced yet, the organisers are trying to host it every 3 to 4 years.

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