The need for speed

SPEED enthusiasts gathered at Lake Gairdner, north of Wudinna for the 24th annual Speed Week from February 28 to March 7.

Around 140 people attended, with drivers coming from all over Australia for a week of speed racing.

Wudinna's Craig Jericho and Dr Scott Lewis participated but Dr Lewis also served as doctor on site.

Dr Lewis, who is in his second year of racing, said it was his fourth time visiting Lake Gairdner for what was a "fun event".

"There's a real sense of camaraderie as everyone is only competing for speed, they're not out against each other and everyone is keen to help out," he said.

"Certain salt lakes have been the traditional scene of land speed attempts for decades, and Lake Gairdner is ideal because it's thick and hard, and is only used once a year."

Dr Lewis participated in a 1979 Ford Escort with Mr Jericho, who was primarily responsible for building the vehicle.

The pair reached a top speed of 109 miles per hour (175 kilometres per hour).

One performance of particular interest was by driver Trevor Slaughter, who is in the process of attempting to beat the world land speed record.

Mr Slaughter recorded a time of 237 miles per hour (381 kilometres per hour) in his 2012 Streamliner.

Dr Lewis said there was a wide range of participants.

"This year there was everything from one guy who was on a small Vespa thing, to others in big and powerful cars," he said.

Dr Lewis encouraged the public to be more aware of the event and have a look for themselves.

"The local community are mostly not aware it's on, as it takes place 150 kilometres north of Wudinna, but I think it's something enjoyable for locals to be a part of," he said.

"It's on every year, usually in March, though a date hasn't been set for next year."

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