Dry lakes racing community pays tribute to stalwart Greg Telford after death on Lake Gairdner

Dry lakes racing community pays tribute to stalwart Greg Telford after death on Lake Gairdner

The Australian dry lakes racing and hot rodding community is in shock after one of its members collapsed at the site of a major race location in South Australia and couldn’t be revived.

Greg Telford and Rob Carroll were doing safety checks on Lake Gairdner in outback South Australia — the site of the  Dry Lakes Racers Association’s (DLRA) upcoming March “Speed Week” — when both of their cars became bogged on Saturday.

In a post on social media, the DLRA said the pair decided to walk off the lake, as it was very hot and windy.


DLRA president Greg Wapling said Mr Carroll was walking ahead of Mr Telford, and when he turned around, he saw Mr Carroll had collapsed.

Mr Carroll rushed back and tried to give Mr Telford water and perform CPR, but he could not be revived and died.

Mr Carroll then walked 14 kilometres off the lake and rested on Saturday night under a verandah at the lake’s canteen.

The following morning, he walked a further six kilometres to a DLRA camp and called the nearby Mt Ive station to raise the alarm.

“Mount Ive came out and picked up Rob and brought him back to the station,” Mr Wapling said.


“The police were called, and they retrieved Greg’s body and have taken him to Kimba Hospital.”

Mr Carroll eventually returned to the DLRA camp hoping to get some sleep on Sunday night, after turning down an offer to stay at Mount Ive.

Mr Wapling said a roo shooter from Mount Ive station stayed with Mr Carroll at the camp on Sunday night, for which the club was “eternally grateful”.

Remembering a dedicated racer

Mr Wapling said Mr Telford’s death was “a great loss to the club and the entire [racing] community.”

“He was very active in both,” he told the ABC.

man sits in a car
Mr Telford died at Lake Gairdner after his car became bogged wile doing safety checks.(Supplied: Greg Wapling)

“He was the type of guy that would get in and give something a go, he wouldn’t … sit back and wait for somebody else to have a go — and great credit to him for that.”

Mr Wapling said the association had undertaken these types of inspections regularly for many years.

“And while cars have got bogged, we’ve always been able to get them out,” he said.

“We’ve never had an issue with anyone getting into trouble in terms of heat stroke or stress or anything like that.

“To find out that he’s passed away doing one of these inspections was just an absolute shock to everyone … it’s just the most unfortunate thing.”


Mr Carroll, from Castlemaine in Central Victoria, has spent the past two days with police giving statements and is set to travel home in the coming days.

man jumps for joy in his car
Mr Telford set three land speed records in his belly tank land speed racer.(Supplied: Greg Wapling)

Getting the bug

Mr Telford first visited the salt lake in 2008.

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