Alan Moffat 1969 Boss 302 Trans Am car. (Image source: cdn05.motorsportretro.com)
Continuing on with my look-back at my lone Australian GP outing, unlike the Clipsal 500 V8 supercars portion, which I had few notes for, here's the majority of what I actually scribbled down myself upon returning from Adelaide all those years ago...
Qantas Australian GP
Round 1 of 19: Melbourne, Australia: 25-27 March, 2011)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
One week after our Boyz Day outing at the Clipsal 500, it was time for the B-I-G' SHOW! Thus, arising early, Paul drove Jake & I to the Adelaide Airport to catch our early morning flight to Melbourne for the Qantas Australian GP..
Noting how 'OZ Airport Security is on a whole different plane – NO ridiculous shoe removals and they even let Paul accompany us to the Departure gate, albeit only allowed on Domestic flights, as Krista wouldn’t be allowed to go with me to my International gate upon my sad departure back home – as I was informed that I’d need to go thru the “Sterile” (Security control – Checkpoint Charlie...) with an approved Airport employee instead; but I digress...
DON’T WORRY! NO Politico rant oncoming; Hooah!
And I haveda say without a doubt that was the SLICKEST race I’ve ever been too... Having had the great fortune of witnessing Formula One in 6-countries now, I can categoraly say that Melbourne was the smoothest in terms of ingress/egress plus roaming around I’ve enjoyed in years – reminding me of Indianapolis, albeit way easier to enter the racing grounds!
Catching our first Tram from the outskirts of town, the Trams set-up was absolutely BRILLIANT! As they were well co-ordinated, dead ending at the point where you simply walked about two blocks around the corner and caught the Grand Prix Tram,
And they came on an average of every 1-2mins; CRIKEY MATES! Depositing us right at the gate, whilst another new feature for me was retrieving our tickets at Will Call, which took all of 5mins max! Not to mention that Albert Park is a totally user-friendly venue for ‘Walkabouts and we even accidently discovered a Handicap viewing platform to watch the race from...
But back to the tickets, as Jake & I had a good laugh over the High Security check, with Jake having given him the copy of the ticket invoice, the man behind the glass said: Tomaso? To which I simply replied Yes and wallah! Our 4-tickets were gladly handed over...
We arrived “Just-in-Time” (around 3PM-ish) to catch the majority of the day’s Porsche Carrera Cup event, which sadly was a very short event – lasting a scant 8-laps I believe, as it seemed like it was over almost as soon as I inserted my earplugs after we’d walked inside the grounds towards the first viewable Straightaway portion of track.
Next, after walking over the Pedestrian crossover bridge enroute to a corner viewing vantage spot – I commented how SICKLY the racecar Ontrack sounded... Telling Jake it sounds like CRAP! To which he informed me it’s a Ford Mustang; OOPS! 'Whale it sounds awful – like its only running on 7-cylinders. To which Jake then informed me it’s a BOSS 302 T/A (Trans Am) car; OOPSIDAISY AGAIN! As I think I heard the PA system say something ‘bout it being an Alan Moffet car?
Yet the "Moffat-mobile" BOSS sounds pretty DAMN SWEET in this in-car video!
VIDEO: Moffat Mustang at Speed!
This car was partaking in the Ultimate Speed Comparison Demonstration, part of the supporting cast of events for the Grand Prix weekend. Jake seemed to think there was also a Mazda RX7 involved, while obviously the somewhat current Formula 1 Landshark simply blitzed all comers in its path – of which of course we were totally unable to discern who it was?
As I’ve since found a few clues upon Zed Internetz. (since returning home...) As reputedly Mick Doohan on a ‘Scooter got blitzed by Pedro de la Rosa aboard an McLaren MP4-23, while there may have also been a V8 Supercar involved? Like I said before, the only car we were certain of was the BOSS 302!
- F5000 Tasman cars
- V8 Supercars
Unfortunately, didn't scribble down anythingy about this; so can only surmise there were Formula 5000 cars there, while I do recall commenting to Jake as we stood on a Straightaway as Dusk approached, waiting, waiting, waiting, and still waiting; Hya! For the V8 supercars to appear, as sadly, they seemed so damn S-L-O-W! After having watched the F1 cars practice from that same nearby corner, where I could actually S-e-E 'EM! As we stayed for a couple of slow, painfully long laps, which Y'all know, a V8 Supercar really isn't that slow! Before we departed the circuit for our Tram back home...
Although the V8 supercars were a bonus to Mwah, having thought I'd only see them once "live" in Adelaide for the Clipsal 500, we actually got to see them racing twice at Albert Park, once in the early evening and then the next morning prior the Grand Prix!
Jake, my "Seeing Eye Guide Guy" and I left our Melbourne Host's house bright 'N early and headed off for the nearby tram that would take us to Albert Park for the B-I-G' RACE!
After getting situated on the very crowded Tram, and feeling eyes upon Mwah, Jake confirmed what I’d noticed briefly... Saying that the man had been glancing at my shirt the whole way – having decided to wear my Indianapolis 500 polo to the track that day... (You’re welcome IMS!) As the man waited ‘til I was trying to exit the first Tram, asking: You’ve been to the Indy 500? Yes – 2009. To which he replied: How was it? To which I retorted: The WRONG driver won! (DAMN 'HULIO) Before quickly adding Helio Castroneves as I was trying to get outta the Tram before the doors closed...
Then on the second jam-packed Tram, I was given a seat next to a very cheerful, older lady and ended up having a very enjoyable Chin-wag' with her ‘bout Webber ‘N Power after she'd found out I was from the States...
As I still recall saying to her very quietly when she asked who's your favourite driver? Sebastian Vettel, who definitely was the ENEMY to this overtly Pro-Mark Webber crowd!
After exiting the second Tram and making our way inside, know we walked around awhile, looking at the various Car Club Corrals Me Thinks? As I do recall spending several My-nutes' drooling over a beautiful blue Audi TT, which is one of my favourite "Sleeper Cars!"
Then we made our way onto the Disability platform, for which there was absolutely ZERO crowd control over, as tend to recall sitting on a stack 'O plastic chairs in order to try seeing over the tops of everybody! As the F1 Landsharks were simply just too damn FAST! As I tend to recall that from this vantage point, where the cars were just a blur 'O kaleidoscope colours! Lap after lap we listened to the cannon-like sound of multiple Downshifts; as I wanna say five, but that seems a bit extreme! As think it was more like either three or possibly four, but nonetheless, multiple millisecond thunderous downshifts lap after FREAKIN' lap!
Oh yeah, forgot to mention the Qantas 747-400 flyover, which was so low to the ground that I could see the whole Bloody Aeroplane, as it was doing a low 'N slow flyby!
Also believe that Sir Blackjack, aka Jack Brabham was the Grand Marshall of the event...
Race Drive of Melbourne
Although Vitaly “VO5” Petrov should be my overall choice, nevertheless I’m giving the nod to Sergio Perez instead... As I simply think he made the biggest impression upon me, albeit I was never able to pick his car out at the racetrack due to their unfathomly blisteringly quick pace!
As in they're half-a-minute quicker than the V8 Supercars; CRIKEYS MATES!
That’s F%%KING QUICK! As Sergio’s a relatively unknown driver to Mwah and I’ve heard how large Peter Sauber’s smile was immediately after the race – especially quipping NOT BAD for a Pay Driver, eh? (Which makes me think of Messer Handlebarz sardonic Quip at a later British GP: "NOT bad for a number 2 driver!")
Recall this was the rookie Mexican's debutant Formula 1 race, and he, along with team-mate "K-Squared," aka Kamui Kobayashi had apparently out-shone the competition with their impressive finishing P7-8; especially Perez who'd only stopped once for tyres and gone the final 34-laps without stopping! Before the pair were later disqualified for illegal wing settings Post-race. As the press had been harping on 'N on 'bout Checka's' wealthy Telmex backer Carlos Slim connection prior to the race...
After a somewhat lazy morning, Jake & I went back into Melbourne, this time for a 'Walkabout Downtown, as Jake & I locked our carry-alls in a storage locker before setting off thru town.
And I remember walking down an alleyway dedicated solely to graffiti, with every stinkin' inch; Err centimeter taken up by fairly tastefully done artwork, before we walked some more 'N more, thru a glass partition building where we had fun trying to figure out where the hidden door button was, whilst Jake informed me that "Mr. Google" (which he calls his mobile...) didn't like being inside this building - NO signal - where we had lunch before returning to retrieve our luggage and proceed to the airport for our flight home. As I still find it quite humourous that there's a half-hour time change between Melbourne and Adelaide!
Then we caught a taxi-ride back to Krista & Paul's house before scurrying off to the nearby elementary, or is that primary? School where Patrick was competing in the school's Activity Day on the outside playfield...