Eastern Creek 2023

Festival of Speed Motorcycle Classic.

After an early start from Mount Victoria I arrived at Eastern Creek Raceway on Saturday morning. No one else had turned up yet so it was a good time to look along the pits. I think the best thing about the Festival of Speed is the chance to get up close to the bikes and mechanics in the pits. The atmosphere in the early morning is special. The light, the smell of fuel and oil. We all would have seen some great riders working on their bikes over the years and will always remember watching Barry Sheene on the spanners all those years ago.

This year the international stars were absent apart from the great Troy Corser but I didn't see him as most of the day I was at the club stall. In fact I only caught one race which I was determined to see as it featured a Norvil Commando 750 Racer ridden by David Woolsey who I had spoken to in the pits early in the morning. 

By now Ben and the other club members had arrived and the club tent was soon erected next to the Royal Enfield stand and close to the massive Irving Vincent trailer that dwarfed everything else in the paddock. NOCNSW and the VJMCC where the only owners clubs represented this year.

Qualifying was in full swing and there was a constant stream of bikes returning to the pits behind our tent threading their way through the display stands. It was great when the first club Nortons arrived and parked up next to our tent as up to then it was all looking a bit bare.

As soon as the bikes turned up there was a constant trickle of current and ex norton riders to the stand and we picked up a few new members.

There seemed to be less classic European race bikes around this year, the meeting seemed to be more focused on the later periods. For a spectator it would be hard to describe the classic racing that I have seen in NSW as exciting. Beautiful to watch, yes, especially at turns one and two, but it is rarely close racing. The bikes are so unevenly matched, often in different classes because of the increasingly small field sizes, and the riders are such a mixed bunch that after the first few turns the race almost inevitably becomes processional. Because of the geography of the course, so much of the action is out of sight and for the most time you have no idea what is going on.

Having said this, looking at the PCRA facebook page while writing this there were links to live streaming, the festival program, live timings and race results, if only I could read my phone when the sun is shining and watch a race.

Well done to the PCRA for keeping the Festival of Speed alive and hopefully it will be bigger and better next year. I don't think you could have that much racing fun anywhere for a gold coin donation.

Lloyd Crook on the Norton Manx Molona took first place in Period 3 500cc

In the Period 4 750cc races, David Woolsey Norvil Commando finished 6th a way behind the 1st placed Rob North Triumph of Aideen Coote. Paul Coughlan on his Norton Commando finished last after 2 DNFs.

For more info on David Woolsey and his Norvil plus other riders and bikes at the 2023 Festival of Speed see the AMCN article at Festival of Speed - AMCN