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From Surfers Paradise to Adelaide


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#1 island

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Posted 26 April 2000 - 20:19

Hi!
Both tracks plus the circuits at Oran Park
and Sandown were the mainstays of Australian
F5000. Which track did convey the specatacle
of the 5000s best? And what about the 1974
Oran Park circuit extension? Good or bad for
F5000?
Why did it take so long for the 5000s to
crack the 60s mark at Sandown? I mean McRae
did a 61.3 in 1973 and there were sub-6os
laps in later years but you had to wait
until 1981 when Alfie did his 58.7 record.
Any suggestions?

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#2 Alfisti

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Posted 26 April 2000 - 20:52

I am not sure if it has been better or worse for the F5000's but i think the changes made to Oran Park were an improvement. In saying that... the track is still a joke as is every track in this country except for Bathurst and Philip Island... the rest are pathetic really.

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#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 April 2000 - 04:06

Sandown wasn't bad before it was emaciated... even AIR had its points. The real pity is that we never saw a full-blown F5000 race at Lakeside. Hoo-boy! That would get the hairs standing on end!
But Alfisti is right about Oran (Moron) Park... the short circuit is too little, the long circuit too tight.
Actually, Wanneroo wasn't all that bad for the F5000s, but I guess you weren't there that day, Alfisti? And Surfers was before your time, too?
Warwick Farm was great for anything, from Vees (ZIppyD, Keir?) to F5000, even touring cars. Bumping across the Western crossing, spearing through Homestead, racing down Hume Straight, hard on the picks for Creek, precision through the esses, steady on then balls out for my bit - Northern Crossing to the braking area for the Causeway... take care there, but you need exit speed at the back of the pits, hard brakes for Polo, fire out of there for a good run at Leger, down Pit straight and it's all on again... the place of the masters.
Does that save you another topic, island?
The question about Sandown times... interesting and something I have always wondered about. Except that Sandown was a power circuit in a big way, and power didn't improve that much... perhaps cornering speed went up as much as drag increased with wings? I'd like to know what a McCormack or Bartlett or Alfie answer would be to that one..

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

[This message has been edited by Ray Bell (edited 04-26-2000).]

#4 island

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Posted 28 April 2000 - 20:52

Ray,
what happened to KB,Mac and Alfie? What are
they doing now?
Were the F5000`s top speeds at Sandown (towards Repco corner?) higher than at Surfers Paradise, Oran Park or AIR?
Did you ever attend a F5000 race at AIR? It
had a difficult reverse camber corner and a
banked section, I have read. Are AIR and Surfers still active circuits? Was there
anything remarkable at Surfers? That very
wide straight?



#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 April 2000 - 04:39

Okay, one by one now... Yes I went to AIR, saw the second best race of my life there in F5000.. the reverse camber where they came back onto the little oval was a bore, just tedium really, but it brought about a major braking effort.
Surfers had that great sweeper under the bridge at the end of the drag strip, and it was a nice open circuit with good visibility, but too flat.
Hard to say about comparative top speeds, but probably all very close... if you mean the long Oran Park.. strangely, the back straight at Sandown was faster than the front, even though the approach is from the stop corner at Repco.. both are uphill.
KB lives not too far from me here in SE Qld, Alfie still races some Maserati or something in GTP, talked to him 18 months ago, had a few chats with Mac about the story on the M23, he's into supplying mining equipment in Tasmania, lives in Devonport.

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#6 island

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Posted 29 April 2000 - 22:33

Ray,
in which year did you attend that "second
best" F5000 race of your life at AIR?
And which was the best one?

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 April 2000 - 04:11

The best was undoubtedly the 1965 AGP at Longford... Phil Hill made the day... check the AGP in former times thread for that.
The Adelaide International Raceway event was the International race of 1978 where there were major dices that went race long. The most indelible memory now is of Vern Schuppan holding down the cockpit section of the body of his MR8 each time he came onto the straight while dicing with Breidenbach etc. Bartlett was a spoiler in the Brabham, Brown won.

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#8 Falcadore

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Posted 30 April 2000 - 15:57

It's been around 18 months since Alfie Costanzo raced the Maserati Ghibli Cup. The car was sold to Perry Spridis in late 1998, and Alfie hadn't raced it since the change in ownership. I guess he's full time retired now.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 April 2000 - 16:59

And he'll stay that way until someone offers him another drive... I don't even try to keep up with that GTP category, it's all useless, like most of the contrived racing of today.

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Life and love are mixed with pain...

#10 island

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Posted 30 April 2000 - 20:01

Ray,
your MRA story on McCormack`s M23 begins
with the 1973 AGP at Sandown. Did you see
that race and the McRae/McCormack duel in
the final laps? McRae blasting around the
outside at Shell corner two laps from the
finish, I have read.

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2000 - 15:54

Oh, belatedly I answer this question... because I brought the thread up following my visit with Alfie..
Of course, I did see that race between McCormack and McRae, the rear of the Elfin sagging dangerously, a very gutsy effort for McCormack to press on in the environment that was Sandown those days.
As far as the Sandown lap times go, Alf tells me that the M26, with which he finally broke that 60s barrier that had been there since the Matich days, was slower down the straights but much more stable in the corners, and capable of being driven round Shell, for instance, with the power on rather than having to stab it in a few times.
The car was substantially modified by Ganley and had side pods like later F1 cars.