Goldfields motorsport event named finalist for UK award

Darryl Freind in his 1929 Ford Model A, Raymond Major in his 1928 Ford Model A Speedster, and Harold Hitchkock in his 1936 Desoto during the 2022 Red Dust Revival at Lake Perkolilli.
Camera IconDarryl Freind in his 1929 Ford Model A, Raymond Major in his 1928 Ford Model A Speedster, and Harold Hitchkock in his 1936 Desoto during the 2022 Red Dust Revival at Lake Perkolilli. Credit: Carwyn Monck/Kalgoorlie Miner

A unique Goldfields motorsport event has captured the attention of a prestigious motoring award in the United Kingdom.

Last year’s Red Dust Revival has been announced as a finalist for the 2023 Historic Motoring Awards which is presented by Octane magazine in the UK.

The highly anticipated 2022 event caught the imagination of petrol-heads across the nation wishing to celebrate a bygone era at Lake Perkolilli which lies 37km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Perkolilli is regarded as one of the oldest motor racing circuits in the world, marked out seven years after the Brooklands Motor Circuit in England and only three years after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the US.

The Goldfields event will compete for the Motorsports Event of the Year award against some of the world’s greatest motorsport events, with Le Mans 24 Hours, Le Mans Classic, Mille Miglia and Circuit des Remparts Angoulême also named as finalists.

Red Dust Revival is the only finalist from the southern hemisphere competing in this category.

Graeme Cocks, one of the masterminds behind the event, said event organisers were thrilled to be recognised by a panel of international motorsport judges.

“It was fantastic, it’s very rare that anybody in the northern hemisphere recognises what we do down here so it was great that they got behind it,” he said.

“The other events that are included in the list of finalists is a pretty elite bunch of historic motorsport events.

“We nominated it . . . just to fly for Kalgoorlie and Western Australia and we’re down here and we do some pretty good (events) as well.”

Mr Cocks reassured Red Dust Revival fans the event’s formula would remain the same in the future to retain its Goldfields charm.

“The whole essence of why Red Dust Revival is so good is that it’s very relaxed, it’s cheap to enter, it’s got cars in it that people can afford and it’s got that outback atmosphere that we all like,” he said.

“The judges over there have recognised that what we do here is really different.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on November 15 at The Dorchester Hotel in London.

Mr Cocks said he planned to attend the ceremony to spruik the Red Dust Revival to event attendees.

“We have absolutely no expectation of winning but just to be able to talk about Red Dust Revival will be good,” he said.

In June, organisers announced the dates for the next Red Dust Revival in 2025.

To accommodate for more families wishing to attend the event, it will fall during the school holiday break from September 29 and October 5, 2025.

Mr Cocks said the response to the announcement was overwhelming.

“It’s gone berserk,” he said.

“When we finished the last event in September . . . so many people just started talking about it and wanted to know if we were going to do it again.

“When we announced the (2025 dates) there was this whole groundswell of support.”

Mr Cocks said as car entries were limited to 100 vehicles, the Lake Perkolilli Motor Sports Club would preference entries that resembled race cars which raced at Lake Perkolilli in the early 20th century.

As a result, he said some entrants had conducted their own research to ensure their vehicles were as historically accurate as possible.

“People are going out and looking at the old pictures and wanting to build cars which look like the original Lake Perkolilli cars,” Mr Cocks said.

“I can imagine at the next event we’re going to be able to put together fields of cars which looked just like the cars that actually raced there.”

Car and motorcycle entries for the Red Dust Revival must be pre-World War II-era vehicles.

Following an agreement between Variety Goldfields and the Lake Perkolilli Motor Sports Club, members of the children’s charity will take on a major role in co-ordinating the 2025 event.

Mr Cocks said the role-switch means the motor sports club could dedicate more time to the car and bike entries.

Proceeds from the event will support children who are facing sickness, disadvantage or disability, with a focus on Goldfields families.

Mr Cocks said the success of the event depended on the condition of Lake Perkolilli and he encouraged the general public to help protect the surface of the lake.

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