RCF Gets Racy at the 2004 Red Bull Billy-Cart Grand Prix
They have just finished raking up the straw left over from the second running of the Red Bull Billy-Cart Grand Prix, where a little
over 500 metres of Lansdowne Street, Melbourne was completely transformed into a dual-lane billy cart track - complete with three semi-trailer
loads of hay bails that were used as crash-barriers down the length of the track.
Well over 2,000 budding billy-cart designers submitted specially conceived entries for this, the second running of the event. Successful
applicants included a bowling pin with a steering wheel, a giant lawnmower, a miniature 1915 Model-T Ford (exactly 62 percent of original
size), the self-described “World’s Fastest BBQ,” and a variety of vegetable, cultural and cartoon-themed carts.
Off and Racing
It’s a real family day out where everybody gets to experience the thrills and spills of motor sport racing and joins in with other
adrenaline-obsessed motor heads - minus the engines.
It was a hugely successful event in 2003, and this year even more effort has gone into improving the entertainment value for the punters
with viewing either side of the track and in the neighbouring parks. All of the audio and vision on the track has been tied-in together
as one program.
The video, implemented by David Ferrier, included four large screens, fed by five cameras including a crane-cam at the cross-over. This
showed all the carnage and near misses, with constant live commentary from several commentators spread along the length of the track.
Crossover and Control Section of the Track
Sound for the entire length of the track, pits area and screens was provided by Lex Audio Visual, using 34 RCF ART 300a self-powered
speakers and a pair of ART 500A's for the larger areas at either end. "We use these speakers because they are an excellent sounding
single box, ready to go, with tonnes of power in a compact cabinet that you can put anywhere" said Alex Hasker, General Manager of
Lex Audio Visual.
Lex Audio Visual are a company normally heavily involved in Audio and Visual production for some of Melbourne's largest public events,
including FOH for the Melbourne Cup, and A/V for the Myer Fashions on the Field stage - this stage gets incorporated with the on-course
big screen feed, and Channel 7s worldwide feed - as always, RCF is used for this.
RCF Centre Clusters
Main sound control for the Billy-Cart Grand Prix was set up behind the Judges tower, in a mini-marquee, where a DJ was fed into a little
Mix Wizard, with a mild dose of ducking triggered from the commentators radio microphones and OB VTR feeds. The output was fed into a
distribution system, splitting two programs into five individual zones for the pits and various sections of the track. Total power output
available to the public was around 11,400 watts, to ensure extremely clear and detailed on-track listening, however in application, the
system was barely ticking over.
"Our aim was to keep an even, clear, consistent commentary level across the length of the track, with a decent amount of background
music and all without annoying patients at the Peter Mac Cancer Institute, which overlooks the track” said Alex. “From all
reports we succeeded. The organizers were stoked, and from our point of view, it was mission accomplished"
And for those who were left wondering, the winning team raced a huge four-burner BBQ down the course while roasting prosthetic sausages.
They took first place over 94 competitors, in front of over 40,000 spectators.
The Finish Line
RCF 300a Speakers in Action
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