Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

EXE Crew Exposure

The recent Exe Crew track day at Winton got coverage via Street Cover and Farm of Minds, thanks to Shaun for his photos and publicising of the event.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AROCA Sprints - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

JimJim, Eiji and I went to Phillip Island today for a track day run by Alfa Romeo Club.

All weather reports seemed to indicate that today would be horrible, with an 80% chance of rain and the entire day having continual showers. It certainly seemed to be the case on the way to Phillip Island and when we arrived, the skies were grey and the ground was soaked.

This was my first track day at PI and I wasn't looking forward to having to learn the lines and contend with a wet track simultaneously. Fortunately, the clouds started dispersing by 9am and patches of sun shone through intermittently. The driving conditions became perfect and although there was a brief period in the afternoon when it threatened to pour down, the grey clouds yet again cleared up.

So, on to the driving. As it was my first time at PI, I sought instruction from one of the regulars for the practice session. I was assigned Alister, who drives a 997 Carrera S. He was a great help, explaining the lines and what gear to be in for each corner.

Here is what I learnt from Alister.
Turn 1: Staying on the left, brake somewhere before the 200 and 100 metre signs, shift down to 4th gear. Take the middle apex and shoot out to the left side.
Turn 2: Stay on the left about a quarter of the track width from the left edge of the track. After the first apex, move out right about a third of the track width and then come back in for the second apex. On exit, take the car out to the right edge of the track. I short shift up to 5th gear before turn 3.
Turn 3: Come in from the right, apex and then exit by going a little wide to not lose speed. Then bring the car back to the left of the track in preparation for turn 4.
Turn 4: Down to 2nd gear, turn in and late apex, moving out to the left side of the track on exit and changing up to 3rd.
Turn 6: Stay about a quarter of the track width in from the right, a small application of brakes and staying in 3rd gear. Turn in and late apex, exiting the corner and taking the car to the right edge of the track.
Turn 7: Move to the left of the track, up to 4th gear and attempt to connect this corner to turn 8 with a straight line.
Turn 8: After exiting turn 8, following the curve to the right and prepare to brake a little for turn 9, staying roughly in the middle of the track.
Turn 9: From the middle, fly over the infamous Lukey Heights crest and move towards a late apex. Exit the corner about a third of the track width from the left.
Turn 10: Move back all the way to the left in preparation and brake hard before the 100 metre sign. Down to 2nd gear, turn in and late apex, exiting and ending up in the middle of the track.
Turn 11: Short shift to 3rd and take the corner with a middle apex. Exit the corner and get to the right, shift up to 4th.
Turn 12: Take a late apex and shoot out to the right side and keep the accelerator planted for the run down the straight. Shift up to 5th and move to the left side.

Still tentative and concentrating on Alister’s instructions and controlling the car.

Session 1
Still getting comfortable from corner to corner and figuring out stuff.

Session 2
Eiji and I missed the start of our session as we got lazy and thought other people would dawdle. It was still a good session - getting faster by chasing MX-5s and cracking the 2 minute barrier.

Session 3
Using the fast MX-5s in my group as a gauge, I chased them to achieve my PB for the day.
1:58.2519 PB

Session 4
No PB, but I was happy to see I achieved another 1:58.

Overall, I’m very happy with the result. My initial goal was the break the 2 minute barrier and then to get as close as possible to Silas’ 350Z PI time of 1:56. RaceChrono says that my theoretical PB is 1:56.8, so it is very possible. Thank you JimJim and Eiji for the company and support, I’m looking forward to what’s in store next year.

Full results: