Updated October 2011
It's still a bit of a surprise to me that there has been no successor to Around the Houses written by some other motor racing history enthusiast. After all, that book concluded with the 1979 competition year, which is now a long time ago. It's not as though I have any exclusive rights to local racing history.
However, the re-issue of Around the Houses on CD-ROM last year inspired me enough to commit myself to doing the sequel. Provisionally entitled Around the Raceway, it will cover the history of motor racing during the Wanneroo Park (aka Barbagallo Raceway) era, that is, 1969 to date. It is going to be a horrendouly big job, even though racing has been largely confined to Wanneroo Park / Barbagallo Raceway, which opened in 1969.
The Size of the Task
There has been an enormous proliferation. The days when a turnout of 60 cars for a race meeting was considered good are long gone. Today, as many as 200 cars and drivers crowd the paddock. Similarly, the number of categories has expanded dramatically. In Around the Houses I could confine myself easily to just three - racing cars, sports cars and saloon cars - because these three were the only Western Australian Championship categories. Today the sedan car racing category alone is split into several sub-categories, each with their own championship: Street Cars, Saloon Cars, HQ Holdens, Historic Touring cars, Improved Production, and of course V8 Supercars. Sports cars have subdivided into Sports Cars, Marque Sports, Production Sports, and Sports Sedans, each with its own championship. And the former Racing Car category is now occupied by two classes at present, Formula Vee and Formula Ford, although others have come and gone. In the years since 1969, a number of other categories and race series have appeared and disappeared again.
My policy for driver profiles is that anybody who has managed to win a Championship, and anybody who has managed to win one of the big-ticket races such as a 300-km race (popular in the 1970s), deserves a profile. In addition there are "wild cards" - drivers and personalities are so conspicuous, or who are so persistent, or are so entertaining that to omit them would be to lose the flavour of the times. With all these many Championships, and with nearly forty years of racing, it means I have a very large number of people to track down. Possibly as many as 400. Each ought to have a profile, some photos, and an achievements table.
My original plan was to publish it as a CD-ROM, or e-Book. This was because I had overestimated the size of the finished product. I know realise that it would come in at about 300 pages, or a little more than twice as big as Around The Houses, which makes printing more feasible. So I have labouriously converted all my HTML web page drafts into WP files and I am now in effect laying out the book as I write it. For a preview of how I think the book will finish up, CLICK HERE.
Because of the complexity of the categories and championships, it has taken me quite a while to establish a viable structure, but I think I've got it sorted now. However, I don't doubt that I will have to restructure the whole thing again when it's closer to completion.
In the process of research, I have to recreate all the Championships from 1969 onwards, and this meant going through all the race results from 1969 onwards. The actual race results I have dug out do date can be found elsewhere on this site. So far, the reconstructed Championship lists are starting to look like this although there are still a lot of gaps to fill.