KEEN DRIVER: Neil Burley has recorded a personal best lap time five times at Morgan Park Raceway this year.
KEEN DRIVER: Neil Burley has recorded a personal best lap time five times at Morgan Park Raceway this year. Gerard Walsh

Driving success on a shoe string motorsport budget

MOTORSPORT: Neil Burley calls himself a low-budget retiree when he heads to Morgan Park Raceway for a race meeting.

He was a school teacher for the first part of his working life, then worked as a registered builder where he renovated houses, set up relocated homes, re-stumped buildings and built sheds.

After seven years in the building game, he returned to teaching where he spent 15 years at Warwick East State School before retiring.

Living on the southern side of Warwick, Burley said he heard all the noise from Morgan Park and then started telling his wife he was going to the dump.

Yes, he did go to the dump but also drove home via Morgan Park where he spoke to a few of the drivers in the pits.

He planned to start motor racing once he retired but decided there was no point in waiting and started driving in 2011, two years before he retired.

This year, he set six personal best lap times at five meetings at Morgan Park in an orange Datsun he calls Joose.

"I spent $60 on extending the lower front control arm by 25mm and it accidentally dragged the front wheels forward by 40mm which shifted the centre of balance of the car so it now handles like a go kart,” Burley said.

"The steering is light like power steering.

"I also changed the carburettors to two identical Weber carburettors which also helped me break my lap record.”

Burley said he was a low budget retiree who had as much fun at Morgan Park as any driver.

"I spent the least of the eight drivers in my class so it was a great thrill to record three thirds during the year,” he said.

His car is a 1971 Datsun 1600 which he found under a tree on Canningvale Rd, bought for $3800 and restored.



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