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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Henry Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 11:52:49
Had a 10 lap putter at Lakeside yesterday - MAN!! Awesome fun!

My first blat in an open-wheeler; even talked the girlfriend into it, and she had a ball too!

Wish I'd sold a kidney when I was 20!
9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Sonic Posted - 27 Mar 2014 : 12:11:35
think I would have enjoyed it at a different track Henry... Have driven Sandown in my Monaro a lifetime ago (they still had the international inside track) and it was a blast even though it was only a 6 and I only hit around 170 odd...

it's funny that I have since been around in 2 different Saloon's and got around 220 and it felt slower in a proper race car than the Monaro felt screaming its lungs out :)
Henry Posted - 27 Mar 2014 : 10:30:19
I went into this one - and a previous "Supercar" experience at Qld Raceway (on the Clubman circuit) - with the view that the organisers have to provide as much of a safety net as possible, not only because the experience is open to just about any numpty with no circuit or race car experience, but also those whose estimation of their own abilities exceeds the reality by a considerable margin.

In the Supercar experience, you're two-up and they'll call you as far into the braking area as they think you're good for - I had eight laps and we were picking up a ton of ground on the other cars both under brakes and through the corner... we were down on straight-line grunt compared with the other cars though...

With the Formula Ford, we did a handful of laps with the instructors in a Camry. Both experiences used witches' hats to mark the braking, turn-in and apex points. At Lakeside they especially made mention of braking and turn-in at the Kink, and the run under the bridge. Some time ago, I'd been told that drivers used to reference the Dunlop sign that featured there many years ago ("D" for Death, "L" for Live) to explain the correct line through there. They explicitly work on the "he who ****s, fixes" dotrine, and I certainly don't possess the folding currency required to replace anything on a FF, so I kept their cautions firmly in mind. Some were less concerned. I passed one guy on the front straight, as per the briefing notes, but found him crowding my tail out of the Karrussel. I waved him around me (not strictly as instructed, but competently enough), and while I was straight back into it, he had pulled a white-eyed run under the bridge and away - I was a hundred yards behind across the line at the end of the lap.

While I wasn't out there for FTD, I was certainly impressed. The bosses were less so, suggesting that he had been bordering on an earlymark when I expressed astonishment at how quick he'd been.

IN the Van Diemen, the Kink was exhilarating: the recommended braking marker was a fair way out, and I found myself picking the throttle up again prior to the apex - the G loading centred heavily on the front end: you could feel it bite and tighten, and while the tail wasn't loose, I can only imagine that a run through there at the limit would leave little margin between a very fast run down to the braking area and a very fast change of direction.

The Karrussel was huge fun: by the last handful of my 10 laps, I was carrying more speed into the corner that I had previously thought prudent, but the car held its line against increasing lateral loads. The run up past the bus stop into the blind right hander and under the bridge was a constant 4th gear wail, with a confidence-maintaining feathering of the throttle as we aimed for the (unsighted) left-hand apex on the approach to Hungry, lifting at their first brake marker, and giving the middle pedal a bit of a squeeze at their second. A snick into third at the turn-in, and then firmly but smoothly feed in the power as we ran up through Hungry and up towards the Eastern Loop. The run down the hill was fairly tame, and I suited myself as to whether I held third for the run onto the straight, or grabbed 4th early.

10 laps just weren't enough.

As I had been first on track, and the missus was last out, I had plenty of time to chat with Tony the flaggie and some of the other guys. I can only imagine what a completely flat-out run across the back would be like: it'd take plenty more laps for my head to catch up to the car to the extent that I'd be ready to really give it a try.

And while some part of me agrees with you, Sonic, that it's not the white-eyed, red-misted maelstrom that the Real Thing would be, given that it's available at a fraction of the cost of buying a car, set of race gear, competition licence and entry fees, and I'm not having to re-tyre my car or whatnot. It's a relatively affordable, and certainly a politically-correct and responsible way to get a fix of the need for speed.
Sonic Posted - 27 Mar 2014 : 08:00:55
from memory it was an ex-v8sc... my head is saying it was a VZ one...

it was just disappointing because the Calder short track is a nothing thing (after having driven Sandown a lifetime ago)... and they set the brake markers they want you to use which mean you may as well get out and walk... think we still got up somewhere around 220 odd but just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have.
DJRford Posted - 26 Mar 2014 : 23:02:55
quote:
Originally posted by Sonic

think they offer a 12 lap go at Broadford for $300 if I remember right... guess the pain is that if you go to a circuit you have never seen you won't get to enjoy it all that much because you have to learn the circuit too...

i drove a v8 ex supercar at Calder short track but was pretty bummed with it as it was just 3rd, accelerate, 4th, brake... and repeat... oh well



So a proper V8 Supercar with 650 odd horsepower, not the 450 odd those "V8 Experience" cars have? Because that's always looked disappointing to me. Like they'd still be great fun, but not authentic in my opinion.
Sonic Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 23:40:59
think they offer a 12 lap go at Broadford for $300 if I remember right... guess the pain is that if you go to a circuit you have never seen you won't get to enjoy it all that much because you have to learn the circuit too...

i drove a v8 ex supercar at Calder short track but was pretty bummed with it as it was just 3rd, accelerate, 4th, brake... and repeat... oh well
DJRford Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 22:52:48
Man I'd love to do something like this one day. I wish I had more money. Haha.
Henry Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 21:26:55
I concur… I've done 8 laps of Qld Raceway's Clubman circuit with the V8 Experience out there, which was great, I've had the better part of a couple of hours around Lakeside in my AU XR8 in fits and spurts… but to be strapped snugly into a purpose-built racing car with the sort of power-to-weight ratio and handling that a Van Diemen/Zetec combination enjoys is nothing I'd ever experienced before.

The available grip is completely unlike anything you'll experience in a road car; while I was always conscious of the instructors' advice that there is unbelievable grip right up to the point that there's none, I was cornering hard enough to impress myself (though I don't mind admitting that I was very ginger with my approach to The Kink). 10 laps went very quickly. My girlfriend raced Sigmas in the Juniors at Archerfield in her early teens, and while she was a little apprehensive as her turn approached, she hooked in and ran hard.

If you really, really love racing, treat yourself to the opportunity to do one of these things - the crew at FFEA (Ash Walsh was instructing one of the groups at Lakeside) aim to make the whole shebang pleasurable and as safe as hurtling around in a race car can be.
bengatta Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 17:38:25
quote:
Originally posted by Sonic

they come up now and then on one of the 'special' sites I get emailed... haven't had the cash at the times they come up as yet but one day...



If you have ever wanted to do it then you should try to make it happen... these are the best types of activity... Consider dropping going to the B12 next year and the money you save can go to doing a day like this... The B12 will come around every year, but this activity will last all your life even if you do it only once... 23 years ago I got drunk and conned into doing a skydive before the days of tandem jumps... 2 weeks later and $600 well spent, I still remember every second of the 4 minutes... Driving a proper race car will give that same level of excitement...

If you do get to do it I recommend taking an option where you drive the car for 5 or 10 laps... Then get out and have a think about it, then get back in for a second go... You will get more out of the second run because you will have an expectation of how it feels... Not sensory overload...

The first you will just be trying to absorb all of the feelings you are getting... The second run you can have some fun and start to drive and see what different inputs give you different responses... This will then give a greater appreciation of the sport overall... Any more than that if you are not used to it will just hurt...

Then with that experience who knows you could go to the B12 and buy a drive....
Sonic Posted - 25 Mar 2014 : 12:14:09
they come up now and then on one of the 'special' sites I get emailed... haven't had the cash at the times they come up as yet but one day...

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