Track Day 15th January 2023
The first track day of 2023 was held on the 15th of January. The team was eager to hit the ground running with our 2022 electric car “Annie”, and 2018 internal combustion car “Susie”, getting back out on track for their first drives of the new year.
The team hit the road bright and early and made our way up to Sydney Motorsport Park to give our members another chance to get behind the wheel and rip a few laps around the skid pad.
After arriving shortly after 8am, both cars were unpacked and the marquee set up along with all the equipment needed to keep the cars running at their best throughout the day. However, some electrical gremlins were running around amongst the wiring, meaning everyone had to get their hands dirty trying to fix the issues. This gave our newer members the opportunity to learn about how the electrical systems of both Annie and Susie work, and how to fix issues on the go. This set us back a few hours, with the first laps being completed shortly after lunch.
Despite this, everyone still was keen to get their chance to drive around the tight turns and twists of the track. Following a safety briefing from our Race Engineering Manager, Cam McDougall, who gave everyone the run down on procedures in place if a problem arose; everyone was taken on a track walk. This gives our drivers the chance to create a mental map of the track, knowing where to turn or brake and where to go flat out. We also use coloured cones to let drivers know what side the vehicle should be when you pass them- orange cones on the left, and blue cones on the right. Shortly after, the team had Annie up and running again.
Coupled with this knowledge, our first drivers suited up and strapped in for the first laps of the day!
We also had the surprise of two team Alumni bringing along our 2003 internal combustion car, “Sergio”, out of retirement and back to show off the performance of a 20 year-old FSAE car. Despite his age, Sergio started up right away and was put to his paces on the track. It was a great opportunity to see the evolution of design and manufacturing processes, and also to gain invaluable knowledge on how to create a robust and reliable platform.
While Annie and Sergio were out driving around, the team continued to work on Susie who was still encountering electrical issues. Unfortunately, we were unable to get her running under the marquee and had to retire her for the day.
Even in the 30-degree heat, there were smiles all round and many exciting memories created at our first track day of 2023. Everyone on the team was able to get time in one or both running cars, giving many the adrenaline rush they’d been needing after working tirelessly during 2022. After a long and hot day, we decided to pack up shop and head back home from Sydney Motorsport Park.
This track day was a fantastic start to the year, and we could not have done it without support from our friends at Sydney Motorsport Park and the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, as well as the University of Wollongong for their continued support of the team. We would also like to give a big thank you to Evan and Woody for bringing along Sergio!