My dad is seventy five years old and loves racing cars. He has a bright red, 1972 TVR and he has taken it to tracks all over Australia, including Eastern Creek, Phillip Island and Bakersville down in Tasmania.
For Easter 2014 he was offered a chance to race at the Mount Panorama race circuit in Bathurst, the most famous and notoriously difficult race track in the country. Dad booked a little holiday house for the long weekend and Mum and I both chucked in a heap of camera gear to shoot his big adventure.
Dad had recently had surgery on his leg to open up a collapsed vein and it had been a difficult recovery. Still, nothing was going to stop him racing at Bathurst, it’s all he had been able to talk about for the last three months. We had even driven the six hours each way from Forster, in one day, so he could drive around the track a few times in his road car to get to know it. The track is a tourist drive when not being used for racing and we drove around the six point two kilometre track at the fifty kilometer and hour speed limit trying to get to know the endless twists and turns.
He was quite nervous about the race which was unusual for him because he is normally not fazed at all but Mount Panorama is where the big boys race and he was both excited and worried about the prospect of racing on the mountain.
We filmed for three days trying to capture his experience; the highs, the lows, the nervousness he was feeling before racing and the adrenaline pump after. As the weekend progressed and he got to know the track better he also had to come to terms with the limitations of his little car, a car which has been so successful for him on other tracks but struggled to keep up with the faster cars on a track designed for high speeds.
For Dad it was an amazing, eye opening and intense experience and a big tick off his bucket list.