BACK AT HOME: Motoring enthusiast Don Hughes is
BACK AT HOME: Motoring enthusiast Don Hughes is "totally ecstatic" drivers can return to the track this weekend at Morgan Park, even for practice sessions.

Raceway to make noise after months of silence

MOTORSPORT: The buzz of cars whipping around the racetrack will return to Morgan Park Raceway this weekend, as the facility reopens to drivers looking to go full throttle.

It’s the first time in over two months racing enthusiasts will be allowed to use the facilities, with the committee electing to open for a small group of drivers within a 150km of Warwick.

Warwick driver Don Hughes was “totally ecstatic” after hearing the track would open on Sunday for restricted practice sessions.

“I retired from competing about four years ago, but I cam up (to Warwick) with the idea of practicing so I don’t get any speeding fines,” he said.

“I go out and I’ll run up 30 laps in the morning and just have a wonderful time.

“And that’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday at 8am.”

It’s the longest Hughes and his Ford GT40 have been off the track however, it’s time he hasn’t wasted.

“I’ve owned it for 20 years – it’s my little baby,” he said.

“The whole thing has been pulled apart and put back together.

“That’s kept me alive working on the car; I’ve probably worked on it two hours per day.”

Morgan Park Raceway facility manager Callum Espie said he was surprised by the steady interest in the track’s reopening.

“It’s doing well seeing as we’re limited to people in 150km, unless they have an exemption as part of their business,” he said.

“We might reach capacity but we’re sitting at about 20 at the moment.”

While it’s the first taste of normality for drivers who use the much-loved track, Sunday’s practice session won’t be without closely monitored restrictions.

“People will be stuck in their own areas; there will still be people around but it’ll be a minimum of 3 metres away,” Espie said.

“It won’t be quite as close as people are used to but it will be safe.”

With plans to hold weekly practice sessions until restrictions are eased further in June, drivers like Hughes will take whatever opportunities they can get.

“It’s small beginnings, we normally have four hours and we might have 30 cars on the track,” he said.

“This time we’re using a shorter track and only putting 10 cars out at a time.

“Some people love having more cars on the track; I just love getting out and driving fast, the noise of the car, and going corner to corner, feeling the car underneath you.”