The Community Alliance Party candidate for Murrumbidgee, Michael Lindfield announced two election commitments today regarding the building of a drag strip and for the Nation’s Capital to be a venue for the FIA Formula E championship of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars.
Michael Lindfield said, “if elected he would lobby the Government to build a drag strip in South-East Tuggeranong which has a disused kilometer long grassed airfield and preferably co-located with the solar farms at Williamsdale or along the Monaro Highway.
Spokesperson for the deregistered ACT Motorist Party, Burl Doble and owned of Phillip Radiator Services supports the idea and considers the long term benefits for the community could be significant.
In drag racing, the objective is to complete a given straight-line distance, from a standing start, ahead of a vehicle in a parallel lane. This distance is traditionally ¼ mile (400 m), though ⅛ mile (200 m) has become popular since the 1990s. The vehicles may or may not be given the signal to start at the same time, depending on the class of racing. Vehicles range from the everyday car to the purpose-built dragster.
“The development of a drag strip would open up new economic and employment opportunities in the area that have been long overlooked and neglected by successive governments for the past 15 years.
According to Clubs of Australia there are 65 auto clubs actively present in the Nation’s Capital with more than 30 other types, including motor bikes, historic and heritage, vintage, classic, military, custom, collectables, production, muscle and restorers. This does not include motoring popularity around Canberra’s regional areas like Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan, Cooma, Wagga Wagga and down the NSW South Coast from Batemans Bay to Bega and Eden, which would be attracted to the Canberra venue.
“Many ACT car clubs and associations are community minded. They have regular show and shine events and proceeds are donated to charity organisations. For example, the ACT Street Machine Association gives all of its ‘show and shine’ competition proceeds to the Snowy Hydro South Care Helicopter service. At the annual “Shannons Wheels” held in May 2016, local and interstate motor enthusiasts brought along approximately 700 extremely diverse and very interesting vehicles for display and proceeds were given the local branch of Technical Aid for the Disabled.
“This recreational sector is not only valued by the not-for-profit sector but contributes millions to the City’s economy each year and is safety conscious and driver responsibility as a priority, Lindfield said.
“I believe that a drag strip, as stage one of a fully developed motoring venue meets community needs and expectations and the ACT government must take a lead role and not ignore its potential, in terms of intestate patronage, a venue for safer driving and an existing and expanding motoring enthusiast sector. It would also mitigate illegal drag racing on Canberra’s suburban streets.
Lindfield added “with the Formula E racing, which was introduced globally in 2014, it is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and is recognised for trialing future greener modes of transport and as an exciting spectator sport. It is also attracting multinational companies to invest in such technologies and very popular as a safe and quiet city street spectator event requiring minimal infrastructure.
“The flow on benefits of these two important election commitments are endless, including revitalising Calwall, Chisholm, Lanyon and Tuggeranong and Woden shopping centres; increased motel occupancy rates in the Woden and South East Tuggeranong areas and will lay the foundations to build additional motel/resort type accommodation with new employment potential, create new businesses in the auto industry e.g. mechanical workshops, panel beating and spray painting, customised trailer design and fabrication, tyre, lubricant and accessory suppliers; and put Canberra on the global map as an international sporting and tourism venue.” Lindfield said.
Background and reference points
Background to Formula E racing
The Formula E championship is currently contested by ten international teams with two drivers each. Racing generally takes place on temporary city-centre street circuits which are approximately 2 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long. The remaining racing international program for 2016-17 includes Marrakesh (Morocco), Buenos Aires (Brazil), Mexico City, Monaco, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, New York, Montreal (Canada)
All events begin with two practice sessions in the morning, an opening 45-minute session followed by a further 30-minute session. Drivers each have two cars at their disposal with 200 kw available throughout.
The qualifying session normally takes place at midday and lasts one hour. The drivers are divided into four groups of five, with each group having six minutes to set their best lap. Full power of 200 kW is available throughout with drivers only able to use one car. Since the second season, the five fastest drivers then go out again, one-by-one, in the Super Pole shoot-out to determine the top five grid positions.
The race itself lasts for approximately 50 minutes with drivers making one mandatory pit stop to change cars. Tire changes, unless caused by a puncture or damage, are not permitted during this pit stop. In race mode the maximum power is restricted to 170 kW. Points are awarded using the standard FIA system.
Backdround on Drag racing
In drag racing, the objective is to complete a given straight-line distance, from a standing start, ahead of a vehicle in a parallel lane. This distance is traditionally ¼ mile (400 m), though ⅛ mile (200 m) has become popular since the 1990s. The vehicles may or may not be given the signal to start at the same time, depending on the class of racing. Vehicles range from the everyday car to the purpose-built dragster. Speeds and elapsed time differ from class to class. Average street cars cover the ¼ mile in 12 to 16 seconds. Drag racing was organised as a sport by Wally Parks in the early 1950s through the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association). The NHRA was formed to discourage illegal street racing.
Drag racing is two cars head-to-head, the winner proceeding to the next round. Professional classes are all first to the finish line wins. Sportsman racing is handicapped (slower car getting a head-start) using an index (a lowest e.t. allowed), and cars running under (quicker than) their index “break out” and lose. The slowest cars, bracket racers, are also handicapped, but rather than an index, they use a dial-in.