The following is a detailed lap of the Eastern Creek circuit to be used as the venue for the 13th and final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend - The VIP Petfoods Main Event. Also find following thoughts, results and...
The following is a detailed lap of the Eastern Creek circuit to be used as the venue for the 13th and final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend - The VIP Petfoods Main Event. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.
EASTERN CREEK -- A LAP WITH MARCOS AMBROSE
As you cross the start finish line half way down the long main straight, you are doing around 270kph, but you are already starting to set yourself up for the fast left hander which is turn one. The straight actually continues down into the start of the drag strip and as you turn left you actually feel like you are heading down a side road in fourth gear. That is actually a bit of an illusion because the track widens up as you go through the corner. It is then into the left-hand hairpin which is actually fairly long and wide, but still a first-gear corner. There are two or three different lines through here, depending on how your car is working. There is a rise on the exit, which makes the car quite light and easy to spin the rear wheels.
It is then up to the quick right-hander, building speed as you go. Initially the car is well settled, but by the time the corner is over you are doing around 160kph and the car squirms because of the speed you have carried through it.
You then go down the short back straight and over a rise where the wheels leave the ground and the car becomes very light, this is a bit of fun. It is then into a quick down change to a right and left-hander which you treat as one.
Out the left hander and you are into a technical part of the track with a series of left and right handers before getting to another hairpin -- There are another 10 gear changes before reaching this point. This is tricky because the road drops away. If you carry too much speed you will just not make the inside apex. I think this is where Mick Doohan and Alex Barros came off in a GP a few years ago.
You then shoot up to the last corner where you need to take the late apex to come on to the straight and have a straight line as soon as possible. You need to get on to the power early and drag top gear immediately. The downhill run helps.
If everything goes to plan you should clock a lap around the one minute and 31-second mark.
THOUGHTS ON EASTERN CREEK--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
Eastern Creek is a frustrating track because whenever you ever drive on it, it feels like you should be going the other way. All the corners over the back all have kinks before the entry, which makes it difficult to pass. While saying that, it is safe, wide and has good amenities for the fans and the teams, so I actually enjoy going there.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I was sitting on the grid for my first Formula Ford National Championship race, and only my second ever, and my father would not let me out on to the track until I had drunk two litres of water. As I was revving the engine on the grid all I could think about was going to the toilet. The car was vibrating a lot and was giving me the urge pretty badly. Thankfully I crashed after a handful of laps and could get out of the car and relieve myself. It was a twilight meeting, so I could go at the side of the track and no one could see me.
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
Eastern Creek is a little bit like Phillip Island in that if you have a dog of a car it is not a nice place to be. Considering it is not one of my favourite circuits I always have reasonable results there. It is not a hard track to win on if you have the right toy to play with.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Tipping Wayne Gardner out in 1997 at turn four. He was actually pretty good in the stewards' hearing and did not try to nail me, so I guess I still owe him one. We were like two magnets in those days, but on that day he came off second best.
TRACK FACTS -- EASTERN CREEK
Venue: Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney, NSW
2003 Race format: Entire field Shootout, Race 1 - 39 Laps (Saturday); Race 2 - 64 Laps (Sunday)
Circuit Length: 3.43km
Circuit Direction: Anti-clockwise
WEEKEND SCHEDULE -- ROUND 13
11.50am-12.25pm -- Practice session
2.40pm-2.55pm -- Practice session
8am-8.30am -- Shootout draw
11.10am-12.55pm -- Entire field shootout
3pm-4pm -- Race 1 (39 Laps)
10.50am-11.10am -- Warm Up
1.30pm-.1.40pm -- Driver Parade
1.40pm-2.20pm -- Pre-race build-up
2.30pm-4.15pm -- Race 2 (64 Laps)
TV TELECAST -- NETWORK TEN
Saturday -- November 29
Sunday -- November 30
1pm-5pm -- Round 13 V8 Supercar Championship Series