Sandown Track Day, October 31st 2003

Sandown Track Day

Just a quick write-up of the track-day that Rod and I attended last Friday at Sandown Park Raceway, here in Melbourne.

I had been hoping for a warm and sunny day, but we got a typical Melbourne spring day – rain, strong winds, sunshine, and a hail storm. All in the course of 5 hours.

Overall we managed to get 6 track sessions – I skipped a couple because I was talking to various people and doing stuff. We had to use the short “outside” track as the horse racing people have covered part of the infield track for use by the horses. This annoyed me a lot, because I like the two hairpin corners in the infield track.

The first session was very wet and very slippery. The track has the words “Sandown Raceway” painted across the main straight, and as I rode over the writing, the whole bike would slide for about 2 or 3 metres, and the back wheel would spin up as it lost traction. Lots of fun – each time I came around the corner towards the writing, I would accelerate harder and harder to see how far I could slide it.

The second session was better – a damp track, but with dry patches everywhere. Faster than the first session, but still not that fast.

The third and fourth were beautiful – warm sunshine beaming down, a dry track, full throttle out of corners and down the straights. Excellent.

The fifth got cut short for lunch, and the 6th was a dismal failure – after 1/2 a lap it started raining lightly, after 3/4 it started raining very heavily, and two corners before the entrance to the pits, it became a hail-storm. Everyone got off the track very quickly then.

There was a professional photographer there taking photos, so Rod and I bought one each. You should be able to see them at his website: Follow the links to the picture gallery, motorsport, bikes, track days, October 31st, (and finally), Blue Group. Rod and I are in there somewhere…. :-)

We took some movies and pictures with my digital camera – the sound of my bike at full throttle is pretty darned wicked!

Overall, despite the weather, I had a great time. I learned just how stuffed my rear shock unit really is, and how slippery the track is when it’s wet. I think that Rod will voice similar opinions…