Geelong Speed Trials, since inception in 1956, have been conducted by a
group of volunteer based motor racing enthusiasts.
The event was conceived by Murray Rainey, then a prominent
member of the Western District Car Club and Geelong’s automotive industry,
as a means for promoting Geelong and offering the local community a chance
to see some of Australia's top motor sport identities competing in the most
powerful and exotic sports and sports/racing cars of the day.
The Speed Trials were modelled on the famous Brighton Speed Trials in the
United Kingdom. These originated in 1907. The venue and picnic atmosphere of
the Trials has been an attraction in itself. The course takes in the
Edwardian setting surrounding Ritchie Boulevard (Geelong's roadway access to
Eastern Beach) and part of Eastern Beach Road.
For the spectators, the track is lined on one side by terraced lawns that
form a natural grandstand. This gives an excellent view of the day's
competition with spectacular views over the historic Eastern Beach
waterfront precinct, picturesque Corio Bay and the distant Melbourne
In 1978, the Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria re-launched the event and
since then the Speed Trials appeal has become increasingly more nostalgia
based, demonstrated by the ongoing participation, by both competitors and
spectators, who enjoy historic motor sport and generally things ancient.
Over recent years, competitors have included a significant number of
international and national motor racing identities. These include Sir Jack
Brabham, Stirling Moss, Lex Davison, Tony Gaze, Bob Jane, Bib Stillwell,
Norm Beechey, Doug Whiteford, Jim McKeown, John Harvey, Darcy Russell, Dick
Johnson, Win Percy, Jim Richards, Glenn Seton, Craig Lowndes, Formula One
Champion Mika Hakkinen, Johnny Herbert, Pedro Lamy, Stan Jones and his son
Alan. Alan Jones, the World Driver's Champion of 1980, launched his motor
racing career at the 1964 Geelong Speed Trials.
The Speed Trials have evolved into an extremely successful event, with
capacity attendances in recent years exceeding 30,000 spectators.
The Geelong Speed Trials are unique. Since inception, they have been
conducted at Geelong's world class Ritchie Boulevard/Eastern Beach road
site. The Eastern Beach facility has become one of the country's most
significant and highly revered heritage motor sporting venues.
The Speed Trials traditionally attracts a unique and well-behaved crowd who
have a keen interest in the demonstration and preservation of our motor
sporting heritage. This makes for an excellent family day atmosphere.
The Geelong Speed Trials is the largest historic motor sporting event of its
type in the country.
Speed Trials are Apex's major fundraising activity. Apex disburses all Speed
Trials proceeds (typically in excess of $20,000/event) on community
The community continues to enjoy the benefits that the Geelong Speed Trials
brings to the region, including the profile the event enjoys both nationally
and internationally, the economic benefits derived form the influx of
tourists into the region, a source of community entertainment and an
activity that generates significant amounts of funding for community
Patron of the Geelong Speed Trials is Lindsay Fox, A.O. Previous patrons
have been Frank Hallam and Bib Stillwell.
Geelong has something special and unique in its Speed Trials that no other
city in the country has.
Recognition for the trials is now world wide, with coverage in international
magazines and television programs.
We are indebted to The City Of Greater Geelong, FORD and those sponsors
whose contributions enable the event to take place each year. We are also
indebted to the support given by the local media.