Lakeside Park is one of Australia’s most favorite and classic circuits. Since its opening in 1961, the circuit, formerly known as Lakeside International Raceway, has hosted mainly Australian touring car rounds, GT races and the Australian Superbike Championship. In addition, the circuit twice hosted grands prix for formula race cars, with Graham Hill winning the first edition with a BRM in 1966.

The circuit cuts through grassland along the shores of Lake Kurwongbah, and is situated 30 kilometres north of Brisbane in the state of Queensland.

Fastest Lap: 0:46.66 Paul Stokell, Reynard 91D
Number of track configurations: 1

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Whether you want to launch your new vehicle range in an iconic setting to a select few, or want to impress thousands of potential buyers with a launch party to remember, we know how best to use the versatile event spaces and facilities at our disposal. We can transform our venues to more than meet your needs or give you a blank canvas on which you can create your own launch event. For more information on our Corporate Facilities at Lakeside Park please email us at admin@lakesidepark.com.au

Venue of the Lakeside International & the Australian Grand Prix

Lakeside is a real driver’s circuit, one of the few left in the country outside of Bathurst

Dick Johnson
five times Australian Touring Car Champion and multiple Bathurst winner

If you can learn to race a motorbike at Lakeside you can compete at any track in the world

Mick Doohan
former multiple World 500cc Champion

Who would have thought that a circuit with such humble beginnings as Lakeside, built with volunteer labour and borrowed machinery, would receive and deserve such accolades from such talented racers, but deserve them it did.

In more than 40 years service to the motor sport industry Lakeside became revered as a drivers’ circuit, one of the fastest in Australia, which played host to some of the World’s finest drivers.

There were many motor racing venues in South East Queensland from the late 1940’s to the early ‘60s, Leyburn, Southport, Lowood, and Toowoomba’s Middle Ridge to name a few, but all of them were in those days, a cut-lunch and a couple of toilet stops away from Brisbane. What was needed in the state’s capital was a dedicated facility. There was Strathpine, a simple up and back affair on an airstrip on private land to which a loop was added in 1953. But it was too small to hold major meetings and racing on a Sunday was a problem.

In September 1957 Sid Sakzewski purchased the Everdell dairy farm on the banks of picturesque Lake Kurwongbah in Brisbane’s outer Northern suburbs and the Queensland Motor Sporting Club set about raising the funds needed to carve Queensland’s first permanent, purpose built race track, from the undulating and heavily wooded hills.

It was a huge struggle which often appeared set for failure but eventually sufficient cash was raised for work to begin. Writing in the 1964 edition of Lakeside magazine, motoring editor for The Telegraph, a Brisbane newspaper, Barry Lake described the enormity of the challenge. “The club’s limited finances could not be stretched to meet these figures and for a while it appeared that the new track would be delayed indefinitely. But businessmen, sporting organizations, the automotive industry and enthusiasts rallied and soon sufficient cash and promises of aid were received for work to begin using voluntary labour. With hired or borrowed equipment, picks and shovels and even bare hands, after several months, the track was readied for its first coating of bitumen”. Lakeside International Raceway was completed and opened on Sunday March 19th, 1961.

The Queensland Motor Sporting Club staged a Queensland Touring Car Championship meeting which began at noon with a grand parade, followed by several races and a mannequin parade The official opening was conducted by the Governor Of Queensland, His Excellency, Sir Henry Abel Smith.

Included in the 15 car field for the main event were Bill Pitt in a 3.4 Jaguar, Sid Sakzewski in a Plymouth Belvedere and Barry Tapsall in the obligatory Holden. First prize was 30 pounds plus a Qualcast Motor Mower, while the first Queenslander home received 10 pounds. Clerk of the course was Ken Peters and about 2000 spectators turned up, a modest crowd by today’s lofty standards but Lakeside was finally up and running.

It may have been a modest start, but Lakeside went on to become a premier venue on the Australian Motor racing calendar, hosting most of the country’s major events in a stellar four-decade-long reign as Queensland’s number one racing circuit.


International competition came to Lakeside the year after it opened, Jack Brabham won the first major feature race in 1962 at 90mph [145km/h] in his 2.5 litre Cooper Climax.

The country’s premier category was and still is the Australian Touring Car Championship, it was hosted at Lakeside for thirty years from 1967 to 1997. Rounds of the Tasman Series, which attracted the World’s best Formula One drivers during the northern winter, were held at Lakeside in the 1960’s. Gold Star Championship events, Australia’s top open-wheeler category were hosted in the mid 1960’s.

In 1965 Club Patron Sir Henry Abel Smith donated the Governor’s Trophy to be awarded to the winner of Gold Star races at Lakeside, or the equivalent major open-wheeler event of the year. The perpetual trophy shipped especially from England, was first claimed by Spencer Martin after winning the Gold Star race for Scuderia Veloce on July 25th., 1965.

The Australian Superkart Championships were held at Lakeside for more than twenty years, 1975 – 1997 and major truck racing events were also popular.

It was also a popular venue for motorbike racing with the Australian Superbike Championships, the learning category for the likes of World Champion Mick Doohan, held there from 1983 to 1998.

But it was the Tasman Series, which really started to put Lakeside on the map. Before its introduction Queenslanders had seen very few international stars, one or two at best, now they could watch the cream of the crop. Clark, Hill, Brabham, Stewart, Hulme, Surtees, Gurney, Rindt and all, up against the talented locals and Kiwis, Gardner, Bartlett, Geoghegan, Harvey, Palmer, Lawrence etc. It was motor sport nirvana for the state’s racing public, for so long starved of competition at the very highest level.

Sid Sakzewski , who’d become one of the sport’s stalwarts, was a major player in the development of the Tasman Series and it was fitting that the drivers and the spectators flocked to his Brisbane circuit. Motor racing was booming and the Queensland Motor Sporting Club like some of its southern counterparts ran several members-only meetings, with classes specially designed for novice drivers. They even ran weekend racing driver schools with top drivers like Leo Geoghegan, a member of one of Australia’s leading motor racing families, as instructors.


Over the years there’ve been relatively few changes to this ultra-quick, undulating, 1.5mile [2.4km] circuit and Sid’s original philosophy has largely been preserved.

A 100 metre section of the straight was raised in 1972 to keep the entire track above the flood level, made necessary as The Pine Rivers Shire Council raised the water supply levels of Lake Kurwongbah.

In 1984 an extra section of track called the “Bus Stop” was added to the outside of the circuit just before the right-hander to Shell Bridge. Used only by the motorcycles, it was the result of a series of accidents brought about by increasing speeds and the angle at which the bikes traveled towards “Hungry” corner.

The track modification was funded entirely by the Motorcycle Sportsmen Club and was actually constructed by its members and volunteers.

Another safety issue was addressed in September 1989 when Dunlop Bridge was purchased from the defunct Surfers Paradise Raceway. It was amalgamated with the existing footbridge in order to widen the run-off areas, particularly on the left where the bridge stanchion and protecting armco had been perilously close to the edge of the track.

In 1991, the run-off area at the end of the main straight and around the Carousel/Karrussell* was increased to 40 metres. The guard rail had to be relocated and raised to the level of the track, but there wasn’t any earth there as the hill fell away into the lake. Club members using borrowed equipment, moved 5000 cubic metres of earth from another part of the circuit to fill the area.

“Hungry’s” earth wall was also removed to allow more run-off in this very daunting off-camber-exit corner, so-named because of its propensity to gobble up the unwary.

The cutting in the pits evident in shots from the 1960’s was also removed.


Lakeside is very dear to the majority of Queensland motorsport fans for many reasons.

Spectator facilities were limited to say the least, it could be incredibly dusty when the wind blew and leaving the circuit took an eternity, but this somehow was all part of its charm. To some, it’s a sacred site because of the plaques and memorials to riders and drivers who lost their lives there. Others, who’ve passed on, asked for their ashes to be scattered around parts of the circuit and happy couples have even exchanged their marriage vows on the start/finish line

For many people Australia wide, Lakeside is the spiritual home of Queensland motorsport.

Courtesy Tasman Series Archives