On the 27th of April I attended my first track day in the new car… and I’m in love.
Unfortunately the Gods of Eastern Creek did not smile favourably on me again and I was met by a wet track, with the possibility of more showers… not the ideal way to get introduced to a new race car on a still unfamiliar circuit!
Oh well, no use in complaining. Not much else to do but get on with it. The guys already had wets set up on the car, and as we were the first session out there wasn’t too much time to think about anything prior to getting in and going.
I realised after I was on the go (without stalling… minor victory) that I had’t adjusted my mirrors and so spent the first session being very cautious as visibility was limited. The car was running very well though and the grip from the wets was amazing. I had a spin on turn 9, but it was slow speed and no drama.
During the second session I came in a lap early due to a strange flapping noise from the rear of the car. It sounded as though the bodywork was coming loose on the left rear. Back in the pits the guys did a stellar job of pulling the car apart and inspecting everything for damage, but to no avail.
I went out again on the next session, and the noise was still there. Worried that a piece of bodywork may come off and hit another driver I returned back to the pits. After another inspection the guys raised concerns about the safety of the wing, as it had arrived from England with quite heavy damage and the main plane was rubbing against the endplate. Rather than risk any damage we put the car in the pits and the guys got to work on changing the main plane.
John and Warren installing the new plane:
Fitted (old wing in background):
Being confident that the issue was now sorted it came as a suprise when on the first lap out in the next session the noise returned! I immediately came back into the pits and while the guys were working out what the issue was I noticed the fairing behind my head had come loose. A bit of race tape later and problem solved! The guys were even good enough to make it yellow.
On the next session the track started to dry, so on went the slicks.
Just as we were about to go out it started to rain again… dang. The drizzle stopped and with some sage advice from the pit crew I took it easy… until I got on it a bit early around turn 3 at the top of 3rd and had a massive spin! Thankfully I spun toward the inside of the track, and got my foot on the clutch quick enough not to cause any damage to the starter, or the rest of the car… the only damage was to my ego. Tyres seemed fine so I continued on, but turn 1 has never looked so scary. Coming down the straight and entering turn 1 at 170km’h with damp spots of track and having never driven on slicks before I was definitely nervous. The car was fine though, and the tyres eventually got some heat into them and the rest of the session was a great chance to get to know the car a bit better. The other guys were going flat out through turn one, but it will be a fully dry day with some more confidence before I try that!
We had one more (uneventful) session before the day was done, and I can’t wait to get back up there. Unfortunately I didn’t hook the camera up as I had other things on my mind, but will endeavour to next time.
Some more random images are below: