Home' The Loxton News : April 9th 2015 Contents 12 - “RIVERLAND REAL ESTATE” Thursday, April 9, 2015
Continued from page 16
The Riverland team members met through
their mutual interest in motorsport, and a
keenness to experience the unique salt lake
“It was a bit of a word-of-mouth thing,”
said Mr Johnson.
“Because it’s such a unique form of mot-
orsport, everybody was pretty curious just to
go there and see it and experience it.”
Mr Johnson said while it is the first year
the team competed in the event, it travelled
to Lake Gairdner last year in preparation.
“We went up just to have a look at the
infrastructure and what was required and get
some ideas,” he said.
“It is a completely different form of mot-
orsport to anything else I’ve seen.”
With Mr McGregor at the helm, the team
successfully completed two qualifying runs
but was knocked out in the record attempt
due to engine failure.
“You have to do two runs before you can
have a go at the record,” said Mr Johnson.
“The first run is a safety run so you go
out there and run at 100mp/h or something
like that, and they (officials) make sure you
can handle the vehicle and that everything is
Mr Johnson said the second run, to qualify
for a 125mp/h racing licence, was conducted
over a timed mile to ensure drivers could
control the vehicle at high speed.
“You have to do a run accurately to plus or
minus 5mp/h,” he said.
“If you’re a bit slower or faster they make
you keep doing it until you get it spot on, just
to show that you’ve got some control.”
Mr Johnson said the team easily secured
its racing license to run on the record track.
“We got that no worries,” he said. “We had
a GPS system mounted on the front of the
bike and Jamie was able to hold it there at
125 (mph) and passed with flying colours.”
Mr Johnson said the team was in good
spirits following the qualifying runs, with Mr
McGregor achieving high speeds during the
“He accelerated really hard and it zipped
up to almost the record speed without even
really trying,” Mr Johnson said.
“And he came back and he said that he
was all excited.
“He said, ‘I think we’ve got a chance here,
we’re looking good’.
“So then everyone got excited and it was
looking like certainly the bike had the poten-
“But something went wrong and we only
got halfway through the mile before the
Although the bike’s engine will need to
be replaced, Mr Johnson said the Honda CB
750 held up well in all other areas.
“The pistons in the engine melted... but
(it was) just an internal engine problem,” he
“The bike was safe, it handled well.
“We had a whole lot of options with us,
different frames and things, so if there were
any handling issues or anything unsafe we
had the ability to try and deal with it.
“But the bike handled perfectly and the
only thing that went wrong was the engine.”
Mr Johnson said a lot of downtime
occurred between races while waiting for the
right weather and track conditions.
“You go there and expect to do something
every day,” he said.
“But because there was an accident they
shut the track down, and then it was too
windy so they shut the track down and then it
was too wet so they shut the track down... so
it was a real challenge with the weather and
“To get two or three runs in it usually
takes a week by the time you wait for the
weather to be right and everything to be in
However, Mr Johnson said the team
passed the time quickly by chatting to other
“There’s a lot of other unusual vehicles
there at the lake,” he said.
“And a lot of people fill in time by looking
at all the other vehicles and discussing a few
finer points of how to build things.”
Mr Johnson said the team would return
next year to attempt the record again.
“The best thing for us next year is that we
are all qualified, so right from day one we
can have a go at the record,” he said.
“It’s something different and a bit of a fun.
“I really enjoyed it and there was a bit of
camaraderie between all the guys and the
folks up there.
“You meet a lot of interesting characters.”
Riverland speed racers hit Lake Gairdner
Jamie McGregor, of Winkie, was the driver for Team Mellow Yellow during the Speed Week
record attempts. PHOTOS: Supplied
Team Mellow Yellow members Kym
Crowhurst (left), Jeff Martin, Mark Johnson
and Jamie McGregor.
The team competed on the salt lake in the MG 750cc class with a classic Honda CB 750
Steve ‘Red’ Buchecker (left), Jamie McGregor and Mark Johnson tuck in at their camp in the
Lake Gairdner National Park.
The team had to complete two qualifying races on the dry salt lake before being allowed to make a speed
Team Mellow Yellow spent two years working on the Honda for its Speed Week
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