Superlap Coverage
Day 1: Rad Trip
Day 2: Friday Practice
Day 3: Saturday Racing
Day 4: The Long Road Home

Waking up at 5.30am in a strange hotel on the western fringe of Sydney is not something one generally thinks of as being pleasant or exciting. But when Foy woke me up the next morning and it was still dark and foggy and frozen outside, I didnt mind at all. I lay in bed for a few moments, slowly trying to get my eyes all the way open, a big grin slowly spreading over my face.

Superlap! The day had finally come, and even though we missed the press launch and an opportunity for cool photos in the Sydney CBD the previous day, Friday practice was looking like a promising day. Foy and I finished our packing, dropped in to McD’s for a coffee before being waved through the VIP gates on account of our media passes. We both felt pretty special…thanks Greg!





Almost all the teams were already preparing their cars, with some of them burbling away in the pit garages; the occasional rev sending shivers up my spine in anticipation of max revs to come on the main straight. After finding the media room and dropping off our stuff, Foy and I headed down and threaded our way through all the garages and scrutineering building, discovering some incredible machines from all three classes – Club Sprint, Open and Pro – with increasing levels of hardcore. We ended up in the Sierra Sierra garage with a full-carbon Evo; rollcage bars everywhere, octopus-like turbo manifold, canards, diffusers…everything. At the time I thought to myself: ‘this was going to be the car to watch!’





There were expensive parts lying around all over the place, like these absolutely enormous, lightweight Rays CE28Ns in the PanSpeed garage:


There was a bit of rivalry and smack-talk on the forums about the BYP EG vs Insight Motorsports EG Civic battle, and here were the competitors in the flesh:





I was really digging some of the (relatively) less-hardcore cars, like this gorgeous 180sx:


Eventually the cars got out on the track and, holy crap, what a noise they made! Excitement ensued and I started practicing some panning shots (since I’m not the best at them). A few turned out pretty good, though:





Full carbon Lotus:


I started getting hungry a while later, so I came back into the pits area and chowed down on a wrap and a Coke. Admittedly, it was better than I expected, but they’re not exactly shy with the prices, are they? Here’s some of the Japanese-looking promo girls from the pits (apparently they’re locals? Can anyone confirm?):


There was a Wicked energy drinks stand, with some lovely ladies handing out free samples. Was digging this one:


Back into the garages:




This S30 was MINT. I even went looking for rust on it, but there wasn’t a single speck or bubble of it to be found. Even the interior looked like it had just rolled off the showroom floor:


By the end of the day, the Sierra Sierra Evo was leading the pack, with a 1:32.2480. To put that into perspective, the V8 Supercar lap record is 1:31.7301 and they run full slicks! The other classes of racing were exciting also, with the Pulse Racing Evo and Insight S2000 at the top of the Open class. The little BYP and Insight EGs were fastest FWD, and making stupid amounts of noise!

There was quite a bit of drifting too during sunset in the final couple of turns on the Eastern Creek:



The Motul 350Z was sounding and looking like a million bucks:


Until, unexpectedly, one of the tyres popped off the rim…mid-drift!


It rolled uphill, off the track, and slowly returned to sender, where Rob Whyte was waiting for it. He promptly grabbed it and hoisted it into the air, much to the great amusement of the spectators:


We headed home shortly after that, being out of energy and out of light for the cameras. Wicked day all-in-all.

I had thought it was over, but later on that night I even had a brush with fame. While I walked down to the lobby of the hotel to talk to reception about using their microwave, in front of me stood a few Japanese people talking to the lady at the desk. I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation, which went something along the lines of:

“Hello, we want exchange money please?”

“No, sorry we don’t exchange money here. You’ll have to head to a bank to do that. They’re about a 15 minute drive away. And it’s 9pm on a Friday, so they’re all closed. They reopen in 2 days time on Monday.”

*helpless look*

I felt sorry for them, so I offered to buy some yen off them in exchange for AUDs. I ran up to the room and grabbed a hunji, which I exchanged with them for a 10,000 Yen note. I started chatting to them, and found out that the guy who was speaking to the receptionist was Sasaki, the driver of the R-Magic FD, and the lady was the team owner! If you’re not familiar with the R-Magic team, this is the car:


I shat bricks, and immediately gushed like a little groupie bitch about how nice the car is, etc, before letting them get some dinner next door. Felt a bit bad that Rooty Hill RSL was the side of Australia they were seeing briefly, considering they were only staying 3 days.

But the real racing was about to begin!