HERE at The Race Torque, we don’t shy away from tackling the big topics, and if we’ve read the room right in recent times, then there are an awful lot of toilet paper enthusiasts out there.
WORDS: Mark Walker, Richard Craill, Dale Rodgers & Tony Schibeci
Let’s face it, you don’t go to the racetrack to spend time on the bog, but amenities are still important; nothing leaves nastier, long-lasting impression than sub-par facilities.
So, drawing on our years of experience at events around the country, here is the definitive list of go to toilet blocks worth visiting, and perhaps some of those you should steer clear of.
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The dunnies at the top of the pit building are serviceable, that is until late in the afternoon when many corporate guests develop “food poisoning” after consuming 10,000 Coopers.
Outside of that, it’s the standard porta-potty affair for the most part, though a good life hack is the permanant bathroom facilities just inside the paddock gates. They’re not great, but at 3pm on a 42-degree day at an event with 50,000 people, anything is better than a porta-potty.
Built in such an expansive park, it’s hard to single out a lone ablution block that takes the cake. For the sake of this exercise, head down to “gate 10”, the Fitzroy Street/St Kilda end of the facility on the eastern side of Albert Park – there tends to be fewer punters in this area, so in theory, the facilities should stank less.
Because it’s 32 degrees (check, we bet it’s 32 degrees, it’s always 32 degrees in Darwin), it’s too bloody hot to be hanging out near toilets. If you haven’t sweated yourself into dehydration, head to the toilet block near pit entry – on Supercars weekend it’s a hidden gem behind some merchandise stands.
They also built a nice new facility behind the pit exit end of the paddock, but for some reason they made the whole thing, sit-down facilities included – out of metal which – when it’s 32-degrees – only amplifies the residual heat left from the previous occupant, which is not fun.
There is only one option, if you don’t use it, and say use a tree instead, you will get bitten by a snake. Fun fact – Peter Brock once signed the back of the toilet door, why this wasn’t framed for all occupants to see forever more is beyond us.
Mallala’s punter toilet facilities were probably built when it was a RAAF base in the 1940s, and have not changed since. There’s some slightly more modern ones near the paddock vehicle gate but – fun fact – strangely have very small doors so they’re not the most.. private loos in the world. They are, however, generally kept quite clean so that is a bonus.
The facilities have come a long way from the days of a long drop. There are three options, use what is nearest to you. Don’t just pee in the long grass, you will 100% pick up a tick or two.
There are toilets attached to the various stairways on the backside of the garage complex, and the higher to the top, the better. There is also insider trading that the National Motor Racing Museum has impeccable facilities.
Otherwise, there is a loo block at Forest’s Elbow that is typically too far to walk for most people. The good news is that following your visit you should be lighter for the walk back up the hill. Once upon a time you would avoid the toilet block at Reid Park like the Spanish Flu, not because of any particular unpleasant toilet issue, but because of the high probability of mortar/shrapnel wounds. Boys will be boys…
The Media Centre loos are very good, but it is a life fact that at the time you need to use them, both will 100% be occupied.
Coates Hire make fantastic portaloos, but by race day, they are a definite hard NOT from us. See if you can wriggle your way into the Custom’s House Hotel, where even the public toilets would be and are preferable. Plus, it’s a good excuse for a beer.
While you might share a urinal with a famous racing car driver in the dunnies halfway down pit lane, head to the toilets behind race control/the canteen. It’s a secret, shhhh!
The true highfliers know that the toilet in the driver’s briefing room is premium, although it has been the scene of hilarity, mirth and embarrassment in the past. The secret spot that nobody knows about it the rather temporary toilet block at the top back of the pits near the scrutineering shed.
Did you know: the Sandown media centre toilets have more toilet seats than actual seats in the media centre?
Sandown is unique in that it is a permanent facility decide to service the needs of 10,000 punters at the same time – because they all duck out for a pit stop in between horse races. So while the Sandown loos have not changed since the 1970s, they work well are plentiful and because horse racing tracks always seem to get much more love than car racing tracks, are always clean, too.
Also suffering from the Newcastle-spec plastic thunderboxes, before the party gets going too hard, head into Club 600. Patrons are far too busy “partying” to be consuming booze, thus the toilets tend to be amenable.
Sydney Motorsport Park
The pick of the litter would be the upstairs facilities behind the pit lane. But then again, that’s adjacent to the media centre, so we would be horrendously biased.
Full credit to the ARDC, they actually upgraded the toilets (or at least some of them) recently and have started to remove those stupid, always-broken rotating towel dispenser things as well. Bonus points.
Did you know: the hand dryer in the toilet built into the pit lane can thaw our hands that have been frozen blue by the Tasmanian weather?
That is all.
The Bend has the best toilets in Australian Motorsport and this is a Fact. Many options on any levels and at varying points at each end of the garages (some garages have their own facilities!), the pick would be the ones located behind the Welcome Centre reception desk because not that many people know about them yet.
They have the added bonus of walking through what is essentially a car museum to get there, too.
Not that we are advising this, but fraud your way up the stairs to the corporate level of the pit building. Worth the jail sentence – North Queensland is a lovely prison destination.
Assuming you want to risk dropping your dacks for risk of instant frostbite, the loos just behind the dummy grid are serviceable.
There’s a block at the back corner of the infield pits, the sheer difficulty to get there makes it good. Otherwise, local knowledge suggests that the sandy loam is easy to dig – go full bushman style out the back of the spectator area.
Head into the media centre, the reception staff love a chat.
Sneaky hint: There’s a decent loo room beneath the old control tower up between turn two and three. You need to be allowed into that area to get to it, but it’s always quite secluded.
Otherwise, Benalla McDonalds is a short drive away.