There was plenty of handshaking and backslapping going on when Singleton’s Paul Cox became one of only three rookies to reach 200 miles per hour (321km/h) in his first attempt during speed week at Lake Gardiner in South Australia.
It is one of only a few places in the world where you can go flat out on a salt lake for 12 miles, and accomplishing this feat means the 60-year-old driving instructor can tick it off his bucket list.
He is now the proud owner of a coveted Dry Lake Races Association (DLRA) 200 mile per hour achiever’s hat.
This “black cap with the red visor” can only be earned, it can’t be bought, he says.
Over the years Cox has turned his hand to various types of motorsports but reaching this dangerous speed on his Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300 - in 1350 MPS-F class - eclipses all else.
He likens it to one of the other proudest moments in his life – having children.
“Not many people manage to do this on their first attempt,” Cox says.
Although some call him “crazy” for even attempting this, clocking up the average speed of 200.591 miles per hour over a timed mile involved 11 months of preparation, and a number of controlled runs during the five day event.
“I had to do a licensing run at 125, 150, and then 175 miles per hour before attempting 200,” he explains.
And, it was all pretty stress free until some rain on Wednesday night before the all-important final run on Thursday.
He says the wet track made his back wheel spin, and caused the bike to fishtail.
Despite this complication, Cox prevailed and attained what he describes as the “holy grail” of racing.
Asked how he explains his need for speed to impressionable young drivers, the instructor of twenty years says there is a time and place for everything.