Morgan Park Raceway..
Where the Hell is Morgan Park"..??
"Morgan Park" is situated about 10 kms...(6.2 miles) from the City Of Warwick, which is about 150 kms..93 miles..inland from Brisbane.
Out in the "sticks" so to speak..
What is "Morgan Park"..??
"Morgan Park" is a sporting complex, housing a Polo Club,a "Mud Buggy" track,a 1/8th mile Drag Strip and of coarse, a 730 metre Race Circuit..
All on 32 acres..!!
It is far enough out of town that the so called "noise pollution" does not upset the residents of the town.
The track itself is a bitumen short circuit affair with a short straight and many twists and turns, including a rather nasty "hair pin" bend..!!
A Morgan Park "Hot Lap"..
So you want to go for a "Spin" around this track..huh..Okey..!!..
Jump in and strap yourself down..
It will only take 30.0 seconds so dont get too settled in..hehe..
We pull out onto the track and take it quietly, allowing the tyres to get warm..
As we approach the right hand bend before the straight, we start to build up speed..
We round the bend..in 3rd gear..plant the foot..and it's away we go..
One "HOT LAP" coming up..!!
Holding 3rd gear, we cross the Start/Finish line.. touch the brakes as we head into the double right hand sweeper..cutting the apex and allowing the car to drift out to the outside of the bitumen..holding onto this line..we come around the second part of this corner..which puts us in line for the start of the "Dog Leg"..a sharp right/left set of corners..cutting the ripple strips as we go..on exiting the "Dog Leg"..we immediatly apply the brakes and downshift to 2nd gear..
This is the dreaded "Hair Pin" corner..a very sharp right hand "U" turn..
We hang the car out wide as we hit the corner and turn into the apex..feathering the gas pedal as we go around it and allowing the car to drift out wide as we exit..under full gas pedal..we then hug the inside of the next corner..a sharp left hand bend..holding the car to the left hand side of the track..we slap 3rd gear and enter the last right hand corner before the straight..hugging the apex as we head on to the straight..full throttle down the straight and over the Start/Finish line..
So there you have it...a 30.0 second hell ride around the Morgan Park Race Track..
Doug's "Damaged" Day..
After arriving and chatting to a few of the drivers that had arrived before us, Dean and myself decided to take a walk around this track, filling in time as we awaited the arrival of Jason and the rest of the crew.
The track looked good, although there were tyre marks left by cars that had departed the track on saturdays practise. Including one set that dissappeared into a "Mud Hole". It appears that this particular car had spun offs the track and landed in the hole..It sank to it's floor boards..and had to be towed out..!!
As the time for racing drew nearer, I was starting to get more nervous..I was to drive Jason's car, which I had not driven before, and had to get used to a new track..The combination of the two as well as Jason's words ringing in my ears as "Dont Damage It..Or Else.."..due to the fact that it was on the market..My nerves were well and truly letting go...!!
Due to this track only being 730 metres long..there could onlu be a set number of cars on it at any one time..So our practise laps were limited to 10 laps..
As my time came around..I was soo nervous that I had trouble getting into the seat belts..my mind was on another planet..I could not get it together..As I drove out onto the track, and taking it quietly, I started to get my nerves under control..by the time I had done a couple of laps..I had recovered my composure and was starting to get the foot firmly planted on the gas pedal..
This track is sooo short and sooo quick, that you dont have time to think..Like ..30.0 seconds and your back to were you started from..and that "Hair Pin" bend...WOW..What a "Doosy"..!!
You come onto it just as you come out of the "Dog Leg"..You have to start braking as you leave the "Dog Leg"..and down shift at the same time..then into the corner..I could see that this corner was going to bring a few drivers undone..
With me practise laps under me belt..and back in the pits again..My nerves well and truly shattered..I was told by Dean that I had got my times down to 32.8 seconds..
So it was on to the qualifying session..With Jason recording a healthy 30.6 seconds..I was to go out and go for it..We had 2 laps of warmup and then a "Hot Lap"..
In the 1st 2 laps..I had recorded a 31.8 and a 31.7 seconds.. but on the "Hot Lap'.. I stuffed up my gear change as I entered the straight and only recorded a 31.9 seconds..As usual.. I was last on the grid..!!
With only 4 cars on the grid for my 1st race..and me at the back of them..We headed off..for 6 laps of fast furious racing..it was not long before I was religated to 3rd..as a car had spun off on the right hand sweeper..and that is where I finished..But..HEY..IT'S MY FIRST TIME IN THE PLACINGS...YAHOO..!!
The next couple of races, saw me staying on the track and not getting any places..although there were 6 cars on the track and we were doing 10 laps..At one stage, I was in 3rd spot and catching upto second place holder, when I mucked up a gear change into the "Hair Pin" corner..I had the car axle hopping as I was trying to get it around the corner..not good..I finished up looking at a pile of tyres as the rear of the car swung around..yep..I lost it..finished up in 5th position..OH..WELL..!..
In my second race..I was in a field of 8 cars.. placed 6th spot on the grid..and having to do 20 laps..I was set to out do my best time so far..I was quietly confident that I could do it..So it was away we went..Got off to a good start and was keeping up with the rest..by about the 6th lap..I had a car right on my bumper ..he was trying everything to get around me..even tried to go up the inside of me as we came into the "Hair Pin corner..Lap after lap..I was able to hold him out..In the end, he tried a daring move and forced the issue as we approached the "Hair Pin" and he rounded the corner on the inside of me..but on the exit and into the next corner..he swiped the side of my car and sent me into a pile of tyres..Recovering and getting back into it again.. I finished up in about 5th place..
The looks on Jason's face..when I got back to the pits..meant that I was in trouble..or so I thought..If it had not been for the fact that he had witnessed what had happened..I think I would have been "DEAD MEAT" by now..
Anyway..the damage was only superficial and we were able to keep racing..
At the end of the day..I had got a 3rd placing and my very first accident..
On the whole..It was a very enjoyable day..and my regards to the marshalls and Circuit crews fpr a job well done..
As for the track..
Well!!..I LOVE IT...and will be back for some more next time...
Jason" "U Beaut" Day..
After arriving at the track and getting the car ready..He and Dean walked the track..His comments.."S**t..it's tight.."
Expressing the sentiments of us all..!!
Feeling a little nervous, he went out for his practise..and after a few laps.. he settled into his stride..and was putting down some goos times..on completion..he announced that he "Loved the track"..hmmm..
It's fast..tight..and with no "walls" to hit..reckoned that he could do better in qualifying..
Qualifying saw him get down to 30.7 seconds..but not good enough to place him on the pole position..but what the hell..it is a "Fun Day"..and no championship points involved..!!
1st race..a 6 lapper..saw him on 3rd place on the grid and that was were he finished..
A couple more races saw him in 4th and 5th..with one race seeing him in 2nd but only to be "tapped out" and finished 5th..
The highlight of his day was in the 5th race..Saw him on 3rd place on the grid..with an excellent start..got away nicely and chasing the 2 front runners..with one of them exiting in the "Hair Pin" corner..giving Jason second spot..He was able to catch upto the front runner and finally passed under him on the "Sweeper".. taking front spot..He held that position to the end..
At the end of his day..He had scored a couple of 3rd's..a 1st..and a damaged car..curtesy of Doug...humph...
His comments at the end of the day...
"I will be back..!!"
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