The Maiden Voyage

5:30am Sunday morning, my eyes smashed open, and I jumped out of bed. This shit is super bizarre for me. Due to my work hours I’m nearly nocturnal. I rushed over to Benny’s room and woke him up, cause I’m a cunt like that (he normally does it to me). Shortly after we were out the door, and on our way to Sydney Motorsport Park.

We arrived super early, we were the first handful of people there too. We sat patiently, awaiting for the front gates to be opened.

We were let through and we secured a pit-lane garage for our gear and cars to be stored in. Shortly after unpacking we headed out to Maccas to get breakfast.

During our travel to the nearest McDonald’s, I saw a dark green car sitting on the side of the road, and I instantly shat bricks. It was highway patrol. I was stressing out like a hooker in a church, my track record hasn’t been the greatest in terms of pull overs/defects. I thought this would be a similar scenario. But somehow, the Holden Commodore remained stationary. Feeling relieved is an understatement.

Ok ok, so we got our breakfast of champions and headed back to camp, right in time for the drivers briefing. SMSP are pretty up-tight, and it seems like they dis-like drifters the more events we have there. The briefing emphasized on their precious grass, and how we aren’t allowed to get on it.

After the briefing, Benny and I rushed to our cars and lined up in the dummy grid, both eager to get out on track.

This is it, the first time I’ve ever been on the North circuit. I was getting anxious, and excited. I cruised the first lap to get a feel for the track and then it was game on!

I was loving every minute of  the North circuit. Though my excitement and happiness came to a thundering halt. Towards the end of the first session, the Stagea had started to lose power, and the screamer wasn’t making any heavenly sounds.

After the session, Benny and I pulled in the pits to go over both cars (Benny was having some problems too). My car felt like it had a boost leak somewhere, so I checked all the lines and cooler pipes. Everything was nice and tight. I started to stress out a little and took a step back and had a look at the engine bay. That was the moment I knew what the problem was.

The big AAC hose that crosses over from the plenum to the IC pipe, was toasted by my Turbosmart wastegate! So I got out a roll of electrical tape, and wrapped that sucker up. It kinda worked for a few laps then melted through again.

The drop in power resulted in lots of clutch kicking to keep the momentum going, and I was stuck at the top of second most of the time. All in all it was still a great day out. I can’t believe how quick I adapted to the Stagea, and how well it actually slid. With a few more tweaks, it’ll be a weapon.

I was also surprised on how much attention the Stagea received, there are a stack of pics of it sliding around and I even made it on Scott Mitchell’s latest vid! So stoked about that.

My mission has been completed. The Stagea not only made it to Sydney Motorsport Park, but it some what survived a full day of abuse. I managed to kill a lot of spare tyres too (which means I can get rid of a lot of stockies!).

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