Okay, I had to post this pic of my visit to Phillip Island just after winning my last race there. Note my high tech fire retardant race wear and not a spec of oil on my shirt. Okay, so I was go-kart racing our youngest daughter but I was at Phillip Island. This is a great track for our final. High speed with lots of opportunity to draft so strategy may play a very important role here. If you have not raced here before you are in for a real treat.
The track has some moderate undulations and some other very light elevation changes which will play a factor with your car control. The straight here goes on forever and as you crest the gentle rise near the start finish line you have a terrific view of the Ocean you are racing towards. Doohan is a very fast high speed corner and it is important to get this just right. It is quite likely you will overtake and be overtaken coming in to Doohan. Therefore you may wish to practice some approaches off the normal race line here.
Turn 2, the Southern Loop is a difficult carousal to get right. If you get off line here, drifting to wide you may find yourself in one of the large gravel traps bounding the outside of this bend. This final weeks tip will focus on the series of corners coming out of Turn 8 and ending at Turn 11.
After exiting Turn 6, Turns 7 and 8 are not difficult. Your goal here is to minimize travel distance, make the track as short as possible. Coming into Turn 9 is much more difficult. You are entering this corner in 6th gear with a elevation change of somewhere around 42 ft or 13m. When you crest the top of this hill the car will become very light as you come out of this left hand bend. Throttle maintenance is critical now in order to keep the Mazda planted. Come off the throttle to much and you risk loosing the rear end having you spin out wide or sometimes moving to the inside of the field. This is a dangerous place to attempt to overtake a slower car. Practice these series of corners as they are very critical for a good lap time. Just after cresting the hill you must get on the brakes as you move quickly down the gears to set up what is arguably the most critical corner on the this track, Turn 10. Enter from the left getting down into the corner for a good exit. A good exit here will not utilize a normal exit, that is running out wide. If you go wide on exit you compromise the entry into Turn 11 which is fast on the heels of 10. It is vital to get into Turn 11 as fast as possible in order to maximize, what is in effect, the beginning of your high speed run into Gardiner Straight. In my mind the beginnings of that run begin coming out of Turn 11.
Big tip of the week here is this. Do not use the whole track exiting 10 if you can help it. If you do, you will find yourself coming off throttle or blipping the throttle in order to make Turn 11. You will have compromised your maximum exit speed, scrubbing off speed with tire friction by taking the turn to tight. You can often get away with this on other corners but not here. Why? because this really is in effect the last corner before a very long straight so any scrubbed speed is compounded over the time and distance you have to travel.