GALLERY: All for the love of motor racing
MORGAN Park raceway was filled to the brim with racers for the third round of the A series Super Sprints at the weekend.
Born in Roma and raised in Toowoomba, Morrie Hook now lives on the Gold Coast but has been coming to the Super Sprint series since it started in 2000.
He said he became involved in race driving at 17 when he first received his licence, but had grown up around the track.
"I've always been into cars - my parents raced speedway, my grandmother raced speedway and my uncles all raced cars and motorbikes," he said.
"The best thing about it is the friendship we have, the camaraderie and the bantering that goes on.
"It's a good group of guys and we all give each other a hard time but really support each other."
Mr Hook has three racing vehicles and said he enjoyed working on each of them himself in his workshop.
"I really enjoy the engineering side of things," he said.
"I've got a workshop at home with a lathe and welders and other tools where I can make my own things and make stuff for the other guys too.
"You do feel more connected with the vehicle when you've worked on it yourself - you know everything that's going on in the car, you know if there's a different sound.
"The biggest challenge is just trying to move further up the grid and try to get your car to go faster and faster."
Like any hobby, motor racing takes a lot of time spent both on the track and tending to the racing vehicle, but for Mr Hook that's part of the appeal.
"There are quite a few hours that go into keeping them (the cars) up to speed and just keeping them safe," he said.
"You might get 12 months out of an engine before you need to rebuild, and usually a set of tyres will get you through a year.
"Every race meeting needs an oil change and a spanner check to make sure everything's tight.
"The sprints aren't too bad, they're pretty low cost - about $400 or $500 for this weekend, compared to last weekend at the state competition (which) cost me $1600," he said.
Enamoured with the world of racing, Mr Hook encourages more people to become involved in motorsports.
"A lot of young people are doing it (sprints) on roads," he said.
He said the sport provided a safe environment where drivers could learn.
"There is a strong racing culture here, even with the bikes and motocross to speedway, the Darling Downs is just an awesome place for it.
"I've really got to thank the Campbell family for all their dedication and the volunteers who help, because without them this wouldn't happen."