Last week I attended a half day track day at the Sydney MotorSports Park at Eastern Creek. It was run by The Formula Company and the team managing the day were the same as the Driver Experience Day I had attended a month or so ago.
The day was split into the morning used for full race cars and the afternoon for road cars and there were two groups: blue and orange. I was part of the orange group organised by a friend of mine and there were about 20 odd cars at the start of the afternoon. The blue group was a public one although there were a mix of cars in both.
What I like about these days is the variety of cars that turn up – from all continents and sizes. There were the obligatory Mitsubishis and Hondas plus some Ferraris and even a Jaguar XKR.
When I arrived at midday, it was clear that the track was still wet after a few days rain and at the driver briefing we were advised that the grass was very slippery and so black good, green bad. Yellow/black was very bad (it’s the outside wall….)
The afternoon was split into 5 sessions for each group and each session was 20 minutes long. My group was the first to go out and the track was drying out at this point although the back of the track had a small stream flowing across it and this meant that many drivers had to take care powering out of one of the corners – I certainly had a wobble on one lap!
During the blue groups first outing, a Mitsubishi lost a turbo and left a line of oil from the main straight, around turns one, two and three before leaving the track at turn four. This meant a small delay whilst the team dealt with it, however it left a line that meant care at the beginning of each lap.
Each session got better and better with the sun coming out and the track pretty much dry apart from two small areas and my lap times improved during the afternoon. I hadn’t run a track day on the Grand Prix circuit for several years, so it was good to get out and relearn the circuit. As I was in a new car for track days, I also needed to get to grips with tyre temperatures and pressures as well as them going off towards the end of the day meaning a fair bit of movement on the exit of some corners. I think they were pretty worn by the finish!
As with many of these days, several drivers started to head home after about three sessions, so the last two runs of the day were on a less populated track and this enabled me to concentrate on the laps rather than being aware of faster cars coming through.
The video above is the warm up lap from session 4. The track was dry however the sun was starting to get low in the sky causing some difficulties in seeing the track.
I did take away some great data and knowledge and am looking forward to the next run out there as I know that what I learned will help me improve even more.