Racing drivers come in all forms and from all walks of life. Not everyone can be a Formula One driver, as much as most of us want to be, and so many great drivers from grassroots motor racing never make a page in the newspaper.
Car and Bike News are working at changing the promotion of club and state drivers and by sitting down with them and asking questions so you can get to know who you are watching and racing against.
This week we spoke with Michael Burke. A driver who has been raced at many tracks and won some events along the way. Get to know Mick.
Name: Mick Burke
DOB: A long time ago
What was your first car? Datsun 200B Wagon from a deceased estate; great car went everywhere I needed to go, and a Kart fit in the back nicely.
What is your current car? Toyota Rav4, goes everywhere and tows well.
What is your ideal car? A small manual turbo diesel 4 wheel drive with a 2000kg tow capacity that I can use on the farm and is suitable for city driving as well.
Have you ever been done for speeding? Yes, not for over 10 years though. I like to keep my hard earned money, the police don’t need it.
What’s your philosophy of life? Every day you wake up is going to be a good day.
Do you get road rage and what do you do? Yes, when I’m in the city, too many dangerous drivers around, I try to get away from them.
What are you like as back-seat driver? Not good, I cannot sit still. I’m a driver not a passenger.
Where do you stand on fluffy dice? They have a place, in the bin.
Have you ever run over an animal? Sadly have hit a couple of birds, but that happens in the country.
Favourite Race Track? I have a few, Orange kart track, Oran Park (miss that place) & Mt Panorama Bathurst.
Have you driven this track? Raced at both Oran Park & Orange kart tracks. My wish list includes racing at Mt Panorama (in an Aussie Racing Car or Formula Ford), although I have driven hundreds of laps.
What major Race Series do you follow? Formula 1 & Aussie Racing Cars. Motorsport needs more free to air TV coverage to get the support. There are a lot of great classes around that do not get the coverage and that restricts fans from following them.
What do you think of the way motor racing is conducted in Australia? Too much parity at the top end of town, too much politics in a lot of classes. Motorsport needs more basic, simple cost and effective classes for people to have fun and get more enjoyment from the sport.
Favourite Driver that you look up to and respect? Ayrton Senna da Silva, is my all time idol in motorsport. I’m lucky to call one of his mentors & team bosses my friend as well.
Best race car you have driven and what made it so good? Have driven a lot of great karts when I raced for the DAP Australia Factory team in the 90’s. Number one would go to the AFF Motorsport Subaru WRX that I drove in Hill climbs to claim an outright series class victory. I also raced it at sprints events at Lakeside Park Raceway.
How long have you be racing? Started in the mid 80’s, raced for a number of years, retired for too long. I have returned to racing again and love it.
What was your first race event and how did you go? Karting in Junior National at Lithgow Kart Track in the mid 80’s, result not great, but it was a start towards greater things.
What racing do you currently compete in? I have returned to Karting and currently racing Endurance races which are 6 hours or longer.
Do you do anything for race fitness? I have increased my Cardio by walking steep hills on the farm regularly.
What does racing mean to you? Racing is everything after my close family, I have been around the sport my entire life.
If you could drive any race car in the world what would it be and why? McLaren F1 GTR, truly awesome car that did amazing things and I have always admired them. Another would be an Aussie Racing Car, I have followed them since the prototype ran at Oran Park on the figure 8 layout.
Who is your biggest supporter? Would have to say our cat, oh hold on I meant my Wife.
Motorsport and the auto industry are a true love of mine that not everyone will understand. I have been around cars my entire life and I have a deep passion for them. I am a racer, always have been always will be. On or off track I do what I can to make motorsport happen and assist others where possible.
There are a lot of great racers in Australia that need assistance to go racing to continue what they love and are good at. Assistance does not always have to be about money, people need a helping hand. This can be in preparing the car/kart/bike etc, at the track, training both physical and mentally to be at their peak. Money is necessary to go racing, but think what you can do to help a racer compete at their next event, reach out and offer some assistance. Regardless how small you see it, it can make a difference to them.
I would like to thank my long time supporters;
Check out my Facebook page Michael Burke Racer.
Photos sourced from Facebook