Monday, February 6, 2017

Hampton Downs International Track

Waitangi Day 2017, and headed down to Hampton Downs to ride a track day on the internation circuit. This is the first time bikes have had the whole circuit to ride.

Feels like the international track doubles the size of the track, as it adds a long straight from turn 1 [Pirelli Corner] down to the bottom rh hairpin [Foster's Hairpin], which had plenty of lines - I found some that didn't work... and once after a spirited overtaking manoeuvre realised that I was still in 4th and bogged down as I made my pass - well I gave it straight back.

Now that you are heading back, there is a left [Key's Carousel] which is an accelerating corner leading to a rh double apex [Swampy Curves], which allows you to scrub all the lettering of the right side of your back tyre. It's weird if you come in too quick on the first apex you going yourself stick in slow motion hugging the inside strip while everyone goes around you. Once you get the double apex thing you are fine, as you get an extra blip straight from one spec to the next.

The next is a bumpy lh uphill corner that joins the national track at the old turn 3, affectionately known as Double Bastard Corner. Two corners that can be taken as one, however the old turn 3 is unseen over the rise, so you have to take your line and just go for it. Then it's business as usual. I found I was faster on turn 1, I think because I had this big straight looming, so carried speed from the front straight. It certainly felt faster and smoother. Not sure when the next international day is, but it is well worth looking out for.