Clipsal 500 2013 – A wet and soggy day 0

DSC_0001As I sit here and type, the sound of rain hitting the tarpaulin roof is almost drowning out the arty folk behind me discussing tonight’s Fringe shows. There’s lots of random old wooden doors scattered around, and a rigger is climbing over a stage, just to my right, readying it for tonight’s performance. The place is almost empty, except for the odd staff member who walks past, eying me off. I am of course sitting in the Fringe artists bar, my Clipsal lanyard and Koala Motorsport shirt causing me to stand out a little more than the mo hawked gentleman to my left. The lengths we go to for free wi-fi, right? I guess it’s kind of convenient that the artists bar offers this service and is located right next to the Clipsal circuit.

DSC_0012So why the on-location upload, and the lengthy, somewhat irrelevant intro? Well, for Clipsal 2013 Any Given Reason will be trying something a little bit different for our coverage. We’re jumping on board and helping out as pit crew for Brenton Griguol, racing his Ferrari 360 Challenge in the Australian GT category.

DSC_0014And instead of solely reporting on the event at its conclusion, I’m going to (attempt) to file a report at the conclusion of each day. I’ll save a couple of juicy posts for later (there’s only so much time, and so much free wi-fi), but in these series of posts I’ll be trying to give an insight into what it’s like to race a proper Ferrari GT car on the Adelaide Street Circuit. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it should be fun!

DSC_0162This, and the Fringe artists bar, will be my office for the next 5 days!

DSC_0009As far as the team is concerned, today was a pretty simple day of setting up. Brenton (aka Goober, left) and Simon (right) have taken care of most things in the leadup. Here they’re pictured doing something important, like real a real pro race team would.

DSC_0151Fred, the team mechanic, thankfully had little to do other than apply a few stickers.

DSC_0165This is our paddock garage setup, with everything we need and a whole lot of stuff we don’t. The toolbox even has a fridge and an audio system!

DSC_0476This is how much of a pro race team we are – the driver even takes his own tires over to the Pirelli guys!

DSC_0028The car itself is an early Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge. At almost 15 years old it’s one of the oldest cars in the field and one of the last 360 Challenge’s still racing at a national level, and as a tribute to its history Goober has applied these 360 numbers for this event. Eagle eyes will pick that these numbers were applied to the first 360 Challenge show car when first launched to the public. I’ll take a closer look at the car in a later post.

DSC_0003It does have one very important sticker – a tribute to what’s commonly accepted as the best movie of all time. Goober’s hat looks suspiciously similar to that worn by Broderick, too.

DSC_0516Later in the afternoon Mario from Veloce Motorsport came around and fitted some extra aero.

DSC_0517These front canards…

DSC_0518… and this wider real spoiler from an F430 GT3 should give a lot more downforce. Unfortunately the Save Ferris sticker is gone, though.

DSC_0004It didn’t take long for our next door neighbours, the GB Galvanizing team with a Reiter Engineering Gallardo GT3, to cotton on to the fact that we have a very large stash of lollies. It will be a miracle if we’re able to get through this event without getting diabetes.

DSC_0502Jaw. Dropped. Perfect, right down to the Houdstooth seat trim.

DSC_0008With a couple of spare hours and not a whole lot going on, I decided to take a walk around the paddock…

DSC_0031… in the pouring rain mind you. With a bit of luck the rain should pass before the weekend, but the venue is a bit of a quagmire at the moment.

DSC_0030It should be an interesting weekend in regards to the V8 Supercars. I proudly announced my disinterest in them during my 2012 Clipsal 500 post, but a lot has changed and there’s now a lot to be interested in. There’s some new, high profile sponsors…

DSC_0060… and a couple of new brands we haven’t seen for a long time.

DSC_0063I’ll take a closer look at the new Cars Of The Future in a later post, although from my quick first look I can tell you that under the skin they’re a very different beast than the V8’s we’re used to.

DSC_0057DSC_0052Lots of racecars means lots of tires!

DSC_0083I’m not quite sold on Russle Ingall’s new transporter design. Maybe ‘The Enforcer’ is a new low budget action flick? It looks a bit that way.

DSC_0087There’s nothing quite as satisfying as properly reversing a trailer, but these guys are on another level. Each of the transporters are parked millimeter perfect, and they’re all put there the old fashioned way.

DSC_0089No matter where you go, the circuit is a hive of activity as everyone madly tries to finish their respective jobs before the gates open tomorrow.

DSC_0091On my travels I stumbled across what is probably the most famous car in the world right now. I managed to sneak in quick look at Ken Block’s Fiesta, so look for it in an upcoming post.

The preparation is done, so now it’s just a matter of waiting until the action begins. Bring on tomorrow!

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7 Comments

  1. Viano February 27, 2013 Reply

    great photos, great story. Can't wait for the next instalment.

  2. Robert February 27, 2013 Reply

    Hey Andrew,
    I agree with Viano, great pictures and cant wait for the following posts!
    No doubt it will be a long, but highly enjoyable weekend and the weather looks like it will fine right up also!

  3. Tom Gilbert February 28, 2013 Reply

    Yeah I concur, wonderful pics Andrew as well as the picture in my head of you adjacent the mowhawk clad "artistic" type. Looks like the weather will be fabulous over the next four days. Good luck to you and the team and we await more in-depth, behind the scenes musings and pics.

  4. Andrena D Clisby March 7, 2013 Reply

    Hey!.....my first date was with Russell Ingall, maybe I am destined to be with a racing car driver....... :P

    • Andrew Coles March 7, 2013 Reply

      Hah wow, I'll bet that's some story! So what was he like?? Where did he take you?

      • Andrena D Clisby March 7, 2013 Reply

        I was 15 and he was racing go-karts. He met me through the Atkinson family who worked for my father who was also good mates with Jack Brabham. After meeting my dad, he asked me out for a date at the Lockleys Hotel. I thought he was a little old at the time.......
        A few years ago at Clipsal, I pushed in line to get his autograph as asked if he remembered me.............he did :)

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