UPDATE, 24 June 2021: The 2021 Beat The Blue motorkhana test of skill between police and car enthusiasts has been postponed from 30 June 2021 to 19 September 2021 after new COVID restrictions came into force following a recent outbreak.
A statement issued by organisers overnight said entry fees would be refunded or carried over to the new date.
Beat The Blue is a not-for-profit charity. All money raised goes to NSW Police Legacy, a support network for the families of fallen police officers.
The original story published on 17 June 2021 appears below.
17 June 2021: It’s likely the only place on the planet you can legally try to out-run the police.
The NSW Police Beat The Blue motorkhana has been rebooted for 2021 – on the evening of June 30 – after it was postponed last year due to lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus crisis.
It is the second time car enthusiasts will have the opportunity to test their skills and line up against the law in a closed course motorkhana slalom set up at Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek.
The original Beat The Blue motorkhana was conducted in September 2019 but the event was postponed in 2020.
Organisers have received more than 500 applications to secure one of the 98 spots available on the night to line up against one of six highway patrol cars – two Holden Commodore SS sedans, a pair of BMW 530d sedans, and a pair of Chrysler 300 SRT V8 sedans.
Drivers who are selected to participate in the motorkhana pay $95 to line up against police, while enthusiasts who want to put their car in the “Show And Shine” static display pay $25 each.
Spectators have free entry to the venue – gates open at 6pm on June 30, 2021 and the event concludes at 10pm – though donations are welcome, and there is a raffle to win $7000 worth of car accessories and other prizes.
All money raised on the night goes to NSW Police Legacy, a not-for-profit group that supports the families of fallen police officers.
Steve Planinic, founder of Beat The Blue and an Acting Sergeant with the NSW Police Highway Patrol, said the event was created to help open up the conversation between police and car enthusiasts.
“We want car enthusiasts to enjoy their cars off the street and on the track,” said Mr Planinic. “The aim is to create an opportunity for car enthusiasts to have a conversation with police in a neutral environment, rather than on the side of the road after they’ve done something wrong.”
The police officer said he and his colleagues were most commonly asked about certain road rules and the legalities of various vehicle modifications.
“We’d rather engage with the car enthusiast community before anyone does the wrong thing, rather than stopping someone on the side of the road once it’s too late,” said Mr Planinic.
“In many ways the event is a myth-busting exercise, as well as an opportunity for drivers to put themselves and their cars through a contest of skill in a safe environment, rather than hooning in a back street.”
Mr Planinic said most entrants and spectators were well behaved during previous Beat The Blue events such as “Show And Shine” displays.
“So far we’ve never had to give anyone a ticket or a defect notice,” said Mr Planinic. “Everyone who attends is there because they’re into the spirit of the event, and it’s also important they’re safe and responsible.”
About a dozen highway patrol officers will take turns behind the wheel of the six police cars on hand throughout the night. All are serving, frontline police officers.
Sydney Motorsport Park donates access to the venue – and the lighting for the night – and advanced driver training provider Driving Solutions lays out the course and assists with logistics.
At the event two years ago, police won about two-thirds of the contests, but they’re expecting stronger competition this year from motorkhana specialists.
“Even if we get beaten in a motorkhana contest, everyone’s a winner,” said Mr Planinic. “It’s all about taking speed off the street and having drivers improve their skills in hazard-avoidance situations.”
The 98 positions in the 2021 Beat The Blue motorkhana have been assigned – and there are already 400 on the reserve list – however there are spaces available for the “Show And Shine” event held on the same night adjacent to the competition area.
Spectators who want to attend must register via EventBright and bring their ticket to be scanned on the night.
In 2019, there were 6500 spectators; this year organisers have capped the number of tickets to 5000.