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The raciest superstars: Arise Racing Lap Challenge

April 15, 2017 Sports No Comments Email Email

The Arise Racing Lap Challenge has brought out the raciest side of 27 sports, media and television superstars.

The ‘Top Gear style’ Lap Challenge attracted Australian cricketers Mitchell Johnson and Adam Gilchrist, Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe and team mate Stephen Hill, West Coast Eagle Brad Sheppard, professional golfer Brett Rumford, Olympian Steve Hooker and former World Rally Championship (WRC) driver Alister McRae, and five Wildcats players.

Also taking the wheel was Australian Survivor contestants Sam Webb and Kate Campbell, media personalities Nathan Morris, Nat Locke and Shaun McManus from the Nova Breakfast crew, Ben O’Shea from The West Australian, Mark Readings from Today Tonight and Sherri-Lee Biggs from Channel Nine News who all posted competitive times on the Arise Racing leaderboard.

The six-week challenge saw 20 male and seven female competitors undertake 20 laps driver training with professional coaching at Arise Racing around the 2.41 kilometre racetrack at Barbagallo Raceway.

The opposite to the famous British Top Gear television show segment of timed laps in a reasonably priced car, the Arise Racing Lap Challenge was in the world’s fastest production race car, the open-topped and incredibly quick Radical SR3RS that reaches 100km/h in 3.1 seconds.

Just over 10 seconds separated first from last and just 1.27 seconds separating the top three.

It’s little surprise that former WRC driver Alister McRae finished on top of the leaderboard with a fast time of 59.17 seconds around the 2.41 kilometre race track.

Olympic gold medallist and driving enthusiast Steve Hooker finished the best of the rest clocking an impressive time of 60.11, less than one second behind McRae.

Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe held third place for several weeks with a time of 61.18 seconds but was beaten by PGA golfer and winner of the Perth International Super Six Brett Rumford who posted an impressive time of 60.44 seconds. It was his first race experience.

The fastest female on the Arise Racing leaderboard was the ultra competitive Survivor Kate Campbell who finished in seventh outright posting 62.37 seconds, just 0.05 seconds faster than her television co-competitor Sam Webb.  Campbell, who raced go-karts as a youngster, was 3.2 seconds off McRae’s time.

Second fasted female with a time of 64.01 was pocket rocket Olympic gymnast and soon to be Ninja Warrior representing Australia in the US hit series, Olivia Vivian. One second behind was former Miss Universe Australia and Channel Nine weather presenter Sherri-Lee Biggs, rounding out the top three females.

Arise Racing Team Principal Adam Lisle said the Lap Challenge was a fun way to promote Arise Racing’s corporate motorsport events, driver training and the team’s state-of-the-art facility.

“There’s nothing quite like a little healthy competition while experiencing the exhilaration of pushing yourself and the car to the limits and nothing beats the feeling of racing at speed with confidence,” Lisle said.

Lisle said that he is considering making the Arise Racing Lap Challenge an annual event.

Anyone over the age of 16 years can participate and compare their time with 20-lap driver training packages.

Times were not recorded from the Perth Wildcats, the most successful NBL team of all time with eight championship titles including 2017. Damian Martin, Greg Hire, Casey Prather, Jarrod Kenny and Corban Wroe have been invited back at contest during dry weather.

Alister McRae, former World Rally Championship driver
Postion: 1st
Time: 59.17

“I’m thrilled to finish on top, obviously I know my way around a car, but this was my first time in a proper race car that’s built for circuit racing.  I’ve only raced on a racetrack about four times in my life and that was a long, long time ago.  I’m impressed with the facilities at Arise Racing and their proper race cars. The Lap Challenge was fun. They’ve got proper cars – it’s not often you go to kind of a corporate place and they have proper race cars that you actually get to drive at that speed. I’d do it again for sure – great fun!” McRae said.

Steve Hooker, Olympic gold medallist in pole vault
Position: 2nd
Time: 60.11

“Wow, so I finished first of the non-drivers? I’m pumped to be second on the leaderboard. I love driving cars and love driving them at speed. The result is more of a credit to BD coaching me than anything else. The team at Arise Racing are very professional and they prepare you to feel confident driving the car. I’ve done about 10 or 15 track and driving days before and in terms of overall experience, the quality of the car, the facilities and the instruction, Arise Racing is the best package I’ve been through, ever. And I’ve driven around the Nurburgring in Germany in a Porsche 911 with and instructor. In terms of learning to how to drive quickly, the experience at Arise Racing was incredible – in a genuine race car with the ability to get instant feedback from the coach is the most useful driving experience I’ve had,” Hooker said.

Brett Rumford, PGA professional golfer
Position: 3rd
Time: 60.44

“I missed out on the shoey but third’s not bad. To say I’m first of the rookies is awesome as I’ve never, ever done anything like this before. It was my first time in a performance vehicle on a race track driving at speed. The Arise Racing team are a great bunch of lads, the service was great and the set up and the cars are fantastic. It was so valuable having a coach next to me, his voice correcting me along the way – it’s invaluable information for improving. With the audio from the coach in my ear, it felt like playing X-Box live, with a drive assist. It was a lot of fun and I’d do it again, one hundred per cent,” Rumford said.

Nat Fyfe, captain Fremantle Dockers
Position: 4th
Time: 61.18

“I got tips about how to drive and brake and accelerate effectively. I enjoyed learning the skills of driving fast including the braking components and just gradually getting better and better. You don’t get to drive this fast on the regular roads so come give it a crack,” Fyfe said.


Kate Campbell, contestant on Australian Survivor
Position: 1st female, 7th outright
Time: 62.37 seconds

“I’m feeling amazing, this is one of the best highs ever. Even after a little spin out. I found it really helpful having a coach next to me, it really increased my confidence and helped me get the gear changes and where I needed to be on the track which meant I could really get my corner speed up. I think everyone and anyone would enjoy this experience, even those who suffer from a lot of fear who think they can’t do it – it makes your adrenaline go through the roof and makes you feel like you can accomplish anything. It was awesome!” Campbell said.


Mitchell Johnson, Australian cricketer and Perth Scorcher
Position: 5th
Time: 61.31 seconds

“After doing the Lap Challenge, I feel awesome. I got a decent time, which I’m really happy about. It was good being out there with [coach] BD showing me the ropes. Getting that confidence is amazing and feel I got quicker and quicker. I really enjoyed that – so much fun. To actually get to drive and experience a car that brakes properly, has grip on its tyres, has the power to take some of those corners and to feel those G-forces was a phenomenal feeling. I think I had a smile the whole time around the track for the 20 laps that I drove. Yes, I would do it again, every second day if I could!”

Johnson loved it so much that he has recently joined Arise Racing as the team’s Ambassador where he will continue driver training with the goal to test in a Formula 1000 and host corporate guests at Arise Racing’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Adam Lisle, Team Principal, Arise Racing

“The Lap Challenge participants were varied with their expectations before climbing into the Radical, some excited, some extremely anxious with nerves, but they all jumped out of the car totally elated with huge smiles raring to go again. Any nerves disappear once they’re out on the track with a coach beside them who’s teaching them the skills of racing – throttle application, braking techniques, finding the apex of the corner and the racing line,” Lisle said.

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