In case you don’t follow Formula One, the 26-year-old former Perth lad made his F1 debut in 2011 at Red Bull’s development team, and then moved to the big leagues last year to drive for the dominant Red Bull F1 team. He won three races in 2014, but has had poor luck this season.
Ricciardo, who these days lives in Monaco, will return to his birthplace to drive an F1 car at the Speed Fest, which is being billed as a moving motor show – sort of like the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. It’s being held at the Perth Motorplex on 13 December.
Ricciardo will go head-to-head against two drag cars down the quarter-mile – the organisers are not yet saying whether they’ll be full-blown Top Fuellers or Junior Dragsters. We’re also told Ricciardo will race a third time against something else – V8 Supercar, maybe? F18 fighter jet, anyone?
The Red Bull RB7 F1 machine Ricciardo will drive is from the 2011 season, which means it’s got a screaming 18,000rpm V8 under the bonnet instead of the newer, quieter turbo V6 engine. She makes over 700hp in max-attack race tune and weighs just over 600kg with a pilot on-board, so the Red Bull beast should lay down some impressive numbers at the strip.
While F1 teams do gearbox and reaction-time tests at drag strips, they’re not into sharing and comparing quarter times. However, a few years ago a V10 Honda F1 car clocked the quarter in around nine seconds, on a poor surface and with no launch control function. While F1 cars aren't optimised for drag racing, could Ricciardo could slip into the eights?
Other attractions that caught our eye include appearances from V8 Supercar driver Will Davison, MotoGP star Jack Miller and Aussie F1 legend and 1980 world champion Alan Jones. A variety of V8 Supercars, rally cars, bikes and street cars will also be on show for the day.
Tickets for the Perth Speed Fest are on sale now at perthspeedfest.com.au.