Jump on board with reigning Bathurst 1000 Champion David Reynolds, as he takes you on a guided tour of the nation’s spectator track!
Welcome on board the Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore for a lap of Winton Raceway! It’s our test track and it’s a very technical circuit, with a mixture of different types of corners. The top speeds aren’t as high as some of the tracks we visit, but it’s a track that rewards precision and well-judged car setup.
Turns 1 and 2
I’m approaching Turn 1 on the rev-limiter in fifth gear at about 225km/h. I brake at around the 130m mark and it’s a tricky braking area, because it has a little cambered hump that falls away to the right-hand side and makes the car unstable.
I slow the car down to 115km/h and shift back to third gear, and I’m sacrificing some speed through the left-hander to make sure I have a good run through the right hander – it’s important to get on the throttle early to increase your speed up the hill.
Turns 3 and 4
I shift up to fourth car across the old start-finish line, and reach about 190km/h before braking for the next two right-handers.
Turn 3 is quite heavily cambered and there’s a big kerb on the inside, so it’s important to brake late and carry good mid-corner speed. I stay in third gear for Turn 4, another 90-degree right-hander, which is taken at about 110km/h.
Turns 5 and 6
Turn 5, the “sweeper”, is the most prominent corner on the track and it’s also the fastest. I touch the rev-limiter at 185km/h.
I’m turning left for a long time and I try and take a double-apex line at 140km/h, and then flick the car right for the kink (Turn 6), which has big kerbs on both sides.
Turns 7, 8 and 9
Turn 7 is the first part of the section of track we call the “cleavage” (which you’ll understand if you look at a map from above), and it’s also one of the best overtaking opportunities.
It’s almost 180 degrees and I’m in second gear at 70km/h, and if I’ve had a good run out of the previous corner, I’m probably thinking about carrying a shallower entry line and sending it down the inside of the car in front.
Turns 8 and 9 are both second-gear corners which I take between 75 and 85km/h. Turn 9 is important because it leads onto a straight, but it’s difficult to get the power to the ground and if you get too much wheelspin or understeer, it slows your run to the next corner.
Approaching Turn 10, I’m on the limiter in fourth gear and the engine is out of breath. It looks like a simple corner, but it’s actually more than 90 degrees – it’s more like 110 degrees – which makes it tricky to attack. I brake, shift back to second and slow down to 90km/h. It’s another corner where it’s critical to get a good exit, because it leads onto the second-longest straight on the racetrack.
Turns 11 and 12
I reach 200km/h in fifth heading into Turn 11, where the braking zone is one of the bumpiest areas on the track. Since Winton was resurfaced, we set the car up for a smooth surface so it doesn’t like the bumps much, which means you have to be careful not to let it get unsettled.
I shift back to second, carry about 80km/h through Turn 11 and concentrate on making a good exit from Turn 12 to complete the lap perfectly.