Having an Australian Grand Prix experience lets you live in the fast lane!
Working with the Jordan and Andretti teams and drivers such as Radisich and Guegelmin, Brett Lupton is the right person to run the Fastlane Racing Driver School. His trophies and souvenirs are on display and an important part of the workshop is that Brett is able to build and re-build Formula Ford racing cars from the ground up. He has been running the business since 1992 and whether you are dreaming of a motor sport career or just want to feel the buzz, this is the place to go.
Christian Murchison, Fastlane's chief instructor, started out as a karter, then graduated to Formula Ford and Formula Holden, winning Rookie of the Year in both competitions. As a team, Brett and Christian offer skills and experience at Formula Ford's largest privately owned team and driver school.
The day begins at 7.30am at Barbagallo's Wanneroo Raceway for the first of a couple of classroom tutorials. They familiarise you with the day's activities and you get to know the others in the group. You also have a look at the car in the pit garages.
Everyone needs to learn to "blip the throttle". This means when you're between gears, whilst changing down, you hit the accelerator, so the revs are up when you go into lower gear. This minimalises the jarring experienced going down through the gears. Once this is done, it's time to go to the racetrack.
You are taken out in a road car so you know where everything is and have a photograph taken in the pit straight.
The first bit of driving is 10 slow laps behind the pace car, changing position on each alternate lap. It is designed to teach you the lines, familiarise you with the track layout as well as gearshift and braking markers but above all, blipping while the car is moving.
Once you have mastered all of this, it's on to some real racing, gradually building up speed, getting used to the car. You will get 10 laps with two or three other cars on the track, separated by about 700m.
Lunch is then served and your second tutorial occurs before returning to the cars. This time you will be qualifying. The Fastlane crew will have stopwatches on you and your team mates will show you pit boards each time you cross the line. After 10 laps it's back to the pits to give someone else a go. Everyone has a drive and everyone gets to be pit crew.
After that it's the real thing. The race is on but you must stay in your comfort zone and remember everything you have been told by the experts. You will do 10 more laps and your best eight are averaged to give you the fastest time. Just like in the real thing, if you spin or have to be rescued from a sand trap, you're out.
All up you will have 46 laps under fully-trained supervision while enjoying all the excitement motor racing provides. When you aren't in the car, you can enjoy cold refreshments, tea and coffee.
At the end of your day, everyone gathers over a cold beer, glass of wine, juice and snacks to have their day summarised, to receive time sheets and a cap, and the winner of the day is presented an engraved trophy.
If you find you are really hooked, you can take part in advanced courses, or just do some laps when you feel the urge.