The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

Open Practice & PCV Sprint - Winton

In late October, after a gap of a couple of months, I was looking forward to a challenging and exciting 'long' weekend of motorsport at Winton Raceway, about three hours north of Melbourne. On the Thursday, our good friends and fellow Porsche GT3 folk, Chris & Julie, joined Robin and I for the road trip to the pretty township of Benalla.

Friday was a published 'Test & Tune' day (really an Open Practice session) at Winton Raceway. The format was 20 minutes for sedans, 20 minutes for open wheel cars and twenty minutes for bikes. Perfect! A solid driving session followed by a 40 minute break repeated five or six times a day for $120. Great country value IMO. So what was the outcome? In my defence there were a number of cars on the track, at varying speeds, so getting into the groove to nail a 'gun' lap escaped me, I'm afraid. My best timed lap was a 1.41.9 on Lap 6 of my third session. My exciting new Video VBOX Lite captured it all for your enjoyment on YouTube below ....

Also calculated by the VBOX, was my best 'optimal' lap of the nine laps on that session (made up of the best times from each of the six timed sectors on each lap), a 1.37.2. This 'ideal' time would make me 'mid pack' in our club events for GT3s, so now I just need to find some ability to harness those sector times into a single lap on Saturday. The data says I can do it!

Then during my last session on Friday, the clutch in the GT3 cried 'Enough'. No amount of resting between laps or sessions was going to refresh it.

So, sadly, I had to sit out the club event on Saturday, which was both a blessing and a curse given my potential speed and the wildly varying temperatures and track conditions on Sunday. The heavens really did open at one point. This weekend was Chris's first outing at Winton and he got quicker and quicker across the two days and enjoyed the track while The Baxter's finished 1st and 4th in Class B. An impressive effort!

Not wishing to make this a total boys weekend away, some effort was made on the social side. Pre-dinner drinks with cheese were had al fresco in the delightful surrounds of the carpark of the Comfort Inn each evening, dinners were arranged at various venues in Benalla (Raffertys, The North Eastern Hotel and Georginas) where the food, local wines and service were all excellent. The girls did sneak out one day for a spot of shopping and high tea in Beechworth as well.

So, apart from my mechanical failure, it was a great weekend and I look forward to our next outing.