Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Why are bike races held in winter in Australia?

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by [FLUX], Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Straight up question. Looking for a solid answer. Most of the rest of the world seems to have worked out that racing in the typically warm and dry months of the year is largely "a good thing".

    Here in Australia it seems that almost all local racing series span the winter months, where it's often cold and raining. One of my mates races locally in Victoria and has often complained of how he's always racing in the cold, and frequently wet conditions, and crashing as a result. He's thinking of throwing the towel in because of the repair costs. I jokingly suggested that he needs to stop crashing, which is a fair point, but the point does still remain that here in Australia it would appear that we're one of the very few countries that holds its racing seasons (both car and bike for that matter) spanning the colder/wetter winter period.

    Why exactly is that? Are there some staunch stiff upper lip monarchists running the show who while bunkered down in heated offices think it's a good idea for Australia's top talents to be throwing themselves down the road in "bracing" conditions just to keep Australia's racing series aligned with the British calendar?

    It does possibly explain why Aussies are so decent at racing in the wet on the international stage though.

    They're constantly complaining about low audience attendences too. During winter the sport has to compete with the various football codes which at least offer seats under cover in stadiums. Bike racing fans have to trek near arctic conditions to set up in a wet and cold field with howling cold winds halfway across a state just to see their sport. At least make the whole affair somewhat more inviting for the fans too, by hosting the racing series when potential attendees are willing to venture outdoors.

  2. I think it's just to tie in with the european season? God knows why. I wondered the same thing when going to Wakefield Park and it was that god damn cold the toilets had frozen up!!

    It just doesn't make sense.
  3. ? Cold air, faster/better/more efficient burning - engines ? :-k
  4. Try racing in 40 - 45 degree heat. The temperature on a track can easily reach that and there are significant issues with heat exhaustion in longer races.

    Any major international races (Superbikes, GP) also need to take place within the Northern Hemisphere racing season.
  5. Yeah I suppose our summers do get hotter than europe, but can't we do it in spring?

    Fair enough with the international level, but why can't we hold our comps outside of their calender? Racing all year round then!!!
  6. Yeah, I don't buy it. They race in Spain, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, California and Malaysia in that sort of summer heat with the international series, and local series held there.

    For as hot as Australia is, 40-45C days are fairly rare. It's more like mid to high 30's. Yes it's hot. Yes, I've done track days in 42C heat. Yes - you need to drink lots. To be honest thought it's by far preferable to the wet and the cold where your hands are so numb that you can't feel the controls, your body starts to freeze up, and the visor fogs up so badly that you have trouble seeing where you're going at 200kph. F*ck that - give me a 40C day every time.

    As for international events, they already do host them at the very start or near the very end of the international seasons - for exactly the reason of not wanting to host MotoGP or WSBK in the freezing cold pouring rain.

    Basically mid-September to mid-May should be the Aussie racing season. Even the international guys have worked that out. Why haven't the locals?
  7. I'm with you flux, i'd deal with heat and better tyre grip than the problems we dealt with like manifolds freezing up!!

    And good point about the Spain races, etc, farken hot when you get down near the Mediterranean.

    You'd think they'd be able to put Aussie races at the start of the calendar like with the GP.

    Lets start a revolution!
  8. This is my understanding too. There is probably promotional doubt about the christmas-new year-Australia day period too. Though personally I think it'd be a good time to go to the bike or car races.

    The subject gets raised every now and then by the motoring media.

    I personally think they should seriously look at having an 8-14 week spell in winter in Australia.

    BTW in most states it rains more in summer than winter, so maybe that weighs on the decision not to change as well as the heat.

    How about a 24 hour race on new years eve at the mountain?
  9. AWESOME!!!!
  10. Minor climactic correction here. In most states there is a greater quantity of rainfall in summer, but not more "rain days". Summer rainfalls are typically short-lasting downpours that dump the equivalent of 3 day's worth of winter rain in a short period. Overall though you're far less likely to be riding in actual rain in summer, and the wet roads dry quite quickly, than in winter where it persistently drizzles (well, here in Victoria it does) and the roads remain wet for some hours after the rain has passed.
  11. My favourite is night time summer races here in Qld. Perfect temp, usually dry, asphalt remains hot well into the night, and a really cool vibe to the racing under lights.
  12. If they ran events in December & January entries would be down because traditionally those are our months off where many spend their time getting their bikes/cars ready for the new season.

    Besides Summer is the domain of Drag Racing, Speedway & Cricket, sports which are weather dependant.

    I worked at a bike meeting at Eastern Creek a few years ago and that was in early December & bloody hot with many people suffering in the heat, I'd hate to see if it was in late January or February when it gets even hotter.
  13. Yeah, but the months off would shift. Winter is the domain of rugby, AFL, league and as you've mentioned, they're already running motor racing series in summer so why not all of them?

    Come to Wakefield in winter and tell me whether you'd rather be there in winter or at the Creek in summer. I'd take a hot Creek any day.

    I still haven't seen a solid reason as to why it's in winter, especially when a majority of the world does it in summer already.
  14. ...and in the same sorts of temperatures that we get here too.

    Sure - if we need a "hot weather break", then consider mid-Jan to end-Feb as a mid-season break period.

    The only reason why the summer months are current spent preparing for the next season is because the racing seasons are in winter. If the racing seasons were in summer, then people would spend the winter months preparing instead.

    It just doesn't make much sense to have the motorcycle racing season be in the winter months when it's bad for the riders and bad for spectator attendance. People tend to have more time off over the summer months too.

    As for international cricket, that's only around 6-10 days in total in each state. Can't be THAT hard to work around the cricket calendar, surely? Compare that to the football/rugby season where there's multiple games on in each state, every day of every weekend. Putting forward cricket attendances as competing for numbers is a pretty poor excuse.

    I would really like to know why Australia does it this way. Racing in the warmer months works for the rest of the world, and as above, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Qatar, China, Japan, Malaysia, and the USA get every bit as hot as Australia does.
  15. IF we did have a summer season, would that mean we could see one off apperances by our dominate expat aussies, as it would be a great way to stay in-shape, or get ready for the next euro-season. And would allow us to see some of australia's best overseas talent vs our current local talent.
  16. Yeah exactly! Its just like A1GP cashing in on the off-season over there. O/s competitors would fatten up the series, bring in more cash and generally raise the standard and profile of drivers here.
  17. Do you mean World level riders? Unlikely as their off season amounts to little more than a month (if you exclude Xmas).

    There are ex-pat riders coming back to Aus. Check out Cam Donald at the upcoming Hughie Hoare race meeting in Victoria.

    The Aussie championship started in March and finishes mid October.
  18. Hands up anyone who remembers the Swann series, fantastic racing BUT
    Lakeside would cook your brain,hats made out of beer cartons and smothered in sunblock,and Gardiner trying for the clean sweep and if i remember right $50k.
  19. I think it's because December & January are genuine holiday periods for us. I'd say that many would object to racing so close to Christmas, family and travel time. So if you've got to have a month or two break, then that would also be the natural season end/start?

    If you start a petition to not race in winter I'd sign it though :)
  20. There has been very little racing in Vic. this winter.
    No-one really wants to race in the heat, as it is hard on Riders and Engines.

    This discussion comes up now and again.