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Vroom! Vroom! Unleash Your Inner Hoon

By Alasdair McClintock on February 8, 2019 in Sport

The seppos take their racing pretty seriously, by Austin Dillon

This February, chill the Woodstocks, unleash your inner hoon and settle in for hours of hot- ted-up cars going around in circles. No, I’m not talking about Bondi on a hot Sunday, I’m referring to the bogan Meccas that are the Bathurst 12 Hour and Daytona 500.

I’ve never understood the allure of car racing but, then again, I don’t understand Spanish and that doesn’t mean billions of people are wrong. I certainly understand the allure of sitting on an esky full of your chosen poison and slowly diminishing its contents over the course of a day in the name of sport, so I’m willing to get behind it for that reason alone.

The Bathurst 12 Hour is an intriguing event. As the name suggests, drivers race for 12 hours and the most laps completed wins. It is not the premier Bathurst race – that is the Bathurst 1000, which happens in October – but it is still a revhead’s dream, for reasons not fully explained on their website and beyond deduction to a layman like me.

Since it’s a four-day event and there’s camping, I’m guessing it’s basically Splendour in the Grass with cars instead of bands and Monster Energy t-shirts instead of glitter bras. I don’t imagine anyone would be dropping acid at Bathurst, but if they did I wouldn’t be too surprised either. I expect it would be a mind-boggling experience. Terrifying, even.

Speaking of terrifying, we also have Trump America’s conservative masterpiece, the Daytona 500, to look forward to. Raced over a distance of 500 miles (850 kilometres), it is basically driving from Sydney to Melbourne, except in circles.

Sydney to Melbourne is a dull drive. Imagine the landscape never changing (not too hard to do, in fairness) and that you were watching someone do it as a spectator sport. Yeah, yeah, I know there’s more to Daytona than that, but I’m finding the oval racetrack concept a hard one to get my head around. At least put a couple of wiggles in the course!

The Daytona generally only takes three to four hours, tornado warning delays notwithstanding (see: 2014 Daytona 500), so they’re going a little quicker than your average Volvo voyage down the Hume.

While the racing doesn’t appeal to me particularly, they must be incredibly eye-opening events from a cultural perspective. Get- ting up close and personal with the heart of Middle America is well and truly on my bucket list. I’ve no idea why, but it is. The thought of waterfalls of nacho cheese, giant hot dogs and enormous beers

is scarily appealing to me. The grotesque excess is both horrifying and mesmerising. I need to see it to understand it. I need to bathe in butter-soaked popcorn and can- non ball into swimming pools of Kentucky Fried Chicken to truly fathom who we are as a human beings and why we are on this planet, driving around at high speed in the name of reckless entertainment!

Or maybe I should just go to Bathurst.