This is how a street race usually goes: drivers meet near the designated race location. Racers buy-in. Bookies collect bets, then pool money. Drivers use their cars as the blockade; twenty, thirty, or more, plod along the highway – or on a side street, although that carries the risk of residents, jolted awake during the race by the whizzing of engines accelerating to upwards of 100-150 miles per hour, alerting the police. The racecars lead, lined up like the first row of a marching band in a parade. Traffic slows. Commuters wonder what the hold-up could be. It’s the middle of the night.
I’ve watched one or two F1 races in my time, and while I’ve marvelled at the way F1 cars are often almost rebuilt during pit-stops mid-race, I’ve never much thought about how such cars are assembled in the first place… and it’s not quite the way I envisaged it might be though.
You may be surprised to know that over 90 percent of the horses present at any given race meeting have likely all descended from the same stallion, a horse called The Darley Arabian, who was born in Syria, who was then moved to England in the early part of the eighteenth century.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of horse racing at Royal Randwick racecourse, in Sydney, Australia. The racecourse however isn’t notable just for horse racing, and the venue has acted as an arena for all manner of momentous and historic happenings.
Over the last 150 years the site has hosted musical and religious events, is synonymous with fashion, has been used as a backdrop for movie and television shows, and will shortly become home to Sydney’s newest drive-in cinema.
Given the milestone, I decided to put together a list of just some of what has happened at Randwick racecourse during the last 150 years.
While the racecourse doesn’t have a big association with movie making, there are still some ties to the film industry. A scene from 2000’s Mission: Impossible II was filmed at the racecourse, and later this month Sydney’s second drive-in film venue, the Racecourse Drive-in Cinema, is scheduled to open.
In the seven seconds it takes to complete an average Grand Prix pit stop, a driver will get four fresh tires, a tank of fuel, an inspection to remove debris from nooks and crannies, and maybe some shiny new parts to replace any track casualties. It’s a hyperdrive time warp where jobs that might take an afternoon at your local garage are crammed into a few heartbeats.
Twenty thousand years ago six male Australian Aborigines chasing prey left footprints in a muddy lake shore that became fossilized. Analysis of the footprints shows one of them was running at 37 kph (23 mph), only 5 kph slower than Usain Bolt was traveling at when he ran the 100 meters in world record time of 9.69 seconds in Beijing last year. But Bolt had been the recipient of modern training, and had the benefits of spiked running shoes and a rubberized track, whereas the Aboriginal man was running barefoot in soft mud. Given the modern conditions, the man, dubbed T8, could have reached speeds of 45 kph, according to McAllister.
Some interesting discussion also accompanies the article.