Six hours had passed since I left Adelaide and it was time to exit the highway and go bush. Greeted by one of Australias finest country roads, you know the type, corrugated, red dirt, built for Cruisers and Land Rovers, not my buzz box rental. With no reception and no signage, I prayed the wheels wouldn’t rattle off.
Three hours of rough terrain passed, and there it was, the salt flats of Lake Gairdner. The meeting place for speed enthusiasts who live their lives in the pursuit of breaking the land speed record. Every penny earned, every available hour goes into preparing for this once a year event.
The landscape is surreal; the moon-like landscape is a complete juxtapose to the red desert that surrounds it. Battling heat in the forties, I set off to capture these petrol rats in their happy place. As the riders entered the salt flats, suits and helmets donned, I couldn’t help feeling like I was watching a scene out of a sci-fi film unfold.
At the end of the day, I sat up under the old tin shed making some new mates. Kicking back with a tinnie in hand, I left the talking to the old boys, stories you couldn’t make up and adventures I’ll probably never hear about again. The spirit of the salt flat racers was nothing I had encountered before.
Words and Photography by Nick Parkinson @nparko