Winton Summer Matsuri 2013 – Day 1

First day recap of the summer matsuri at Winton, here it is.

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The last time i was at Winton was their last matsuri in November 2012 so hadn’t driven in quite a while. The car had changed a huge amount in the 3 months. New aero, new cage, new coilovers and a new steering setup as well, which i’ll cover in my next post.

Thursday I spent most of the day loading everything up. Car, tyres, tools and my suitcase for the weekend. I had spent most of the week going over the car and making sure everything was good to go. A couple weeks earlier my power steering pump seized so had to get onto that and have it fixed as soon as possible.

Thursday night I was set to go, having finished my new steering setup that morning, I didn’t know wether or not I would make it. Luckily I figured out a way to get it to work and had the car on the ground and steering properly.

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Friday morning, time for the drive down. I met up with a few other guys and convoyed down. Stopped halfway for some lunch, hijacked some free wifi and set off again.

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The drive down was pretty exhausting, having to stop once for a trailer tyre exploding on one of the convoy cars. Then about 5 times for petrol, food a few times and again to go to the bathroom. Not the best trip, but there’s some good sights along the way. By sights I mean grass, lots and lots of grass.

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Friday afternoon ended up with everyone at Winton, unloaded and good to go for the next day.
Headed back to the motel for some dinner and the thing I’d been waiting for all day, sleep.

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Saturday started out same as every other drift day, sign in, driver’s briefing and spending the morning half asleep. I had everything unloaded and the car setup, I was a little worried as to how my new steering setup would go, drove it around the pits for a bit with the tyres scrubbing on the guard quite a bit but went out for the first session anyway.

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First few sessions were awesome, bumpy as hell, but awesome! The steering was really whippy and I spun a few times trying to get the hang of it, but after a few laps I had it going pretty well. It has a bit more lock than before and also a heap more camber which makes for a better contact patch, feels like a totally different car.

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Just like last time I was going through tyres pretty quick, had to change a pair after every 2nd session, didn’t have any issues over the day though, really happy with how the car performed.

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Towards the end of the day, I was trying to get bigger entries with more angle and speed, which I was a little cautious about considering the size of Winton’s ripple strips, they are like mountains.

Down the main straight and into the 3rd turn I had an awesome run and a decent entry but didn’t quite make it all the way to the apex, so this happened..

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Grinded over the ripple strip! If you look closely, my lip isn’t attached on one side, that’s because when I went over the strip it broke off on one side then once I came back onto the track, it caught under the tyre and I ran over it.. At the time I was worried I had wrecked an LCA or broken something REALLY important because of how loud the scrubbing was.

Had to pull up and see what I broke, the lip was under the gearbox and twisted in half unfortunately.

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Not the best way to do a big entry, I pulled it off though so wasn’t all bad! The lip got smashed pretty heavy, ended up throwing it back on and keeping it on for the rest of the day. Only just enough of it together for it to look ok.

I didn’t get any pics from the night session which was a shame, I had my strobes on and also some super bright LED’s on my wheels which would have looked awesome on camera.

I got a couple tandem runs in, but not too many, the mate I wanted to tandem with had some car issues so didn’t come out for many runs.

About 10pm we headed back to the motel, grabbed some pizza, watched Bad Boys 2 and checked out what I had on my GoPro. Epic runs from the first day and really happy with how everything went. Sunday up next, started off sick, didn’t end too great.

Keep an eye out for part 2 next week!

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