Living Life on the Edge

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Brett Comiskey is a name synonymous with off-road racing, having visited America over 35 times to compete in various championships. In a recent interview with @ The Coalface, Brett shared his journey from being a motocross and side by side racer in Australia, to becoming a champion in America.

Brett’s story is one of hard work, dedication, and persistence. Many of those in Central Queensland know Brett as owner alongside Brenden Camilleri of Comiskey Mining Services. Brett spent his early years moving around mining towns with his father Joe, eventually settling in Emerald where he entered the workforce at Capcoal Mine in Middlemount.

Brett’s introduction to off-road racing came about in 2013 when he visited Texas to watch the V8 Supercars. There, he met a guy selling machinery who showed Brett pictures of trophy trucks and race cars. Brett was intrigued and went back to America to watch some races in 2014. His obsession grew, and in 2017, he finally got his chance to race in the UTV World Championships for off-road racing, landing him a spot in American race history.

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Despite his car being squashed and suffering multiple damages in the first race, Brett persisted and still finished. He then raced in Mexico’s Baja 1000 from 2017 to 2019, making friends along the way, with a best place finish of 4th in 2019.

“In 2018, I said that if we did any good in the first race, I’ll stay and race. If not, I’ll sell the car and come back to Australia and race,” said Brett. “Well in our first race we were leading and ended up finishing second by only a couple of minutes behind. So, we ended up staying the whole 2018 season and won the championship. Then in 2019 and 2020, we won the Mint 400 in Las Vegas in the UTV unlimited class.”

Last year the Comiskey team did six rounds in the Australian Offroad Championships. Racing in Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria and ending with the championships in Western Australia. They finished second in the QLD championships, won the trophy truck class in the premier Australian event, and finished outright third in the Australian championships.

This year Brett headed back over to Las Vegas after a three-year break due to Covid for another shot at the Mint 400 in the trophy truck class.

The annual off-road race takes place in the desert surrounding Las Vegas and is known for its challenging terrain and high speeds. It attracts a large number of off-road racing enthusiasts, both as competitors and spectators. The race features a variety of different classes, including trophy trucks, buggies, and UTVs, and covers around 400 miles over the course of a single day.

“It was so great to catch up with old friends,” said Brett. “We had a few issues in the first lap in the Geiser Trophy Truck, a zeus clip got caught under our throttle and locked the engine to full noise. So that was a bit of a heartthrob moment and we lost 40 minutes. That meant we got caught in the back markers with the slow cars. The visor on my helmet got completely destroyed on the first lap, there were just so many rocks. We just kept about setting our pace and went from 54th to ending up at 10th, which was extremely good for us, after not being on the track for three years and having a new car and a fresh team.

“The Mint400 has been going as long as I have, 55 years. It a pretty special experience with a lot of culture and heritage behind it and carries a lot of American prestige.

“I love living life to the fullest and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity. It is such an adrenaline rush. The cars we race, they’re the V8 Supercar Formula One of offroad racing. They’re safe, they’re fast. When you get out of one of them, your veins are popping out of your arms. You’ve got to have an energy drink to try and slow down your heart rate, not speed it up! That’s why I do it, and above all, it’s the friendships made with all sorts of different people from all walks of life.”

There is no rest for the Comiskey team who are back in the country and back on the road as part of the Australian Championships. They also have plans to head back to the States later in the year for more racing action.

You can follow along on the Comiskey race journey at Comiskey Motorsports and Comiskey Mining Services on both Facebook and Instagram.

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