However the first race wasn’t until 530pm on Saturday, which left a little time in the morning to get out and do some spectating.
Everyone seems to have their favorite spots to watch from around the track, and mine is the tight series of corners from Turn 4 to Turn 7. The only real downside is the lack of big screens, however free grandstand seating, lovely shade trees, nice surrounding houses and for some reason fewer bogans than other parts of the circuit make it top of my pick.
It also gives you the opportunity to have the most interesting conversations with other punters. I met one guy, drinking a beer at 930am, who told me he’s going to buy an Aussie Racing Car as soon as his work compo payout comes through, and another chap who informed me that some of the V8 Supercars have CD players so the drivers can listen to music to ‘get them in the mood for racing’. At Turn 7 you can stand practically right on the apex of the corner. As a normal spectator, it’s about as close to the action as you can get.
The Saturday crowds were huge, and the majority of our morning was spent letting people look over and sit in the 360. I have a memory as a 12 year old kid of a race mechanic letting me sit in one of the Ferrari’s at Clipsal, probably in about the year 2000. This time, a 12 year old kid came up to me and started asking about the Ferrari. First thing I did was ask him if he wanted to sit in it, and he jumped at the opportunity. I see it as just paying back the favor!
… and timing each lap. Despite being a little bit off his qualifying pace, Brenton was putting in a solid effort and making up places through the attrition of others. Brenton’s fastest lap of the race was a 1.34.86.
At about 20mins in to the hour long race, we called Brenton in for his compulsory pit stop. Some teams have two drivers and use the stop for a driver change, however with just the single driver we had to hold Brenton for the compulsory 40 seconds.
After a lengthy safety car period caused by an oil spill comparable to Exxon Valdex at Turn 1, the race resumed with a rather hairy restart for Brenton. But he managed to keep his nose clear and finished in 18th place, 3 higher than he started.
Unfortunately due to Any Given Reason commitments I wasn’t actually able to see a whole lot of V8 Supercar racing, other than the first 20 or so laps of Sunday’s race. I quickly discovered that attempting to shoot through the catch fence is very frustrating, and without a huge zoom lens my only option was to shoot super slow, super blurry.
From my quick look at appears that the Car Of The Future has changed things for the better. If you’d told me 3 years ago that we’d have an ex DTM driver racing an AMG powered V8 Supercar I would have laughed at you, but here’s the proof.
It looks like the Erebus AMG’s ran around the back of the field for most of the race, but they were still hands down my favorite car. The sound they make is awesome! For those that haven’t heard it in person, it’s the perfect mix of V8 Supercar rumble and refined Le Mans racer howl. Excellent.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brenton Griguol for inviting me to be part of his team, and to Simon, Fred and Cameron for welcoming me so kindly. I love exploring new sides of the sport we love, and it’s been fascinating to get a glimpse at what it’s like on the other side of the fence at such a high profile event.
And to our readers out there, I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at what it’s like to race a Ferrari GT car around the Adelaide Street Circuit. I hope I haven’t missed anything, but feel free to ask any questions you’ve got in the comments section, and whatever I can’t answer I will pass on to Brenton.