The morning after the World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC), I headed over to Melbourne for part 2 of my adventure down under. I missed out on the great views of the eight-hour drive from Sydney to Melbourne (like this picture below) which my travelling group took…
… because I chose to take a domestic flight so I could get into Melbourne earlier and spend the day clearing some deadlines. I had quite a lovely Sunday in the cosy State Library of Victoria, the state’s largest public reference library and one of Melbourne’s pre-eminent cultural institutions.
It’s been a long time since I last went to a public library – the last was probably back in school when studying for exams! Hence, I’ve forgotten how conducive it is to do work in the library and I was pleased with the productivity. I think I might start visiting libraries more often!
Co-hosting me on this trip are the kind people from Cosmic Performance and Martini Racing Australia, so my automotive down under adventure didn’t have to end at WTAC as both Cosmic and Martini are based in Melbourne and had more things to show me!
In Melbourne, I had the luxury of having two cool cars as my ride: One was the Infiniti G37S, which is not common over there and is quite a head turner… I love the number plate!
… and also this Cosmic Performance Subaru WRX STI, tuned by the boss Henry Lim, a fellow Singaporean!
The travelling group that Cosmic Performance hosted consisted of Singaporeans, hence we were having Chinese food there at least once everyday. There was one Chinese restaurant that served Creme Brulee in a typical Chinese plate – I thought it seemed more like a giant pudding-like egg tart!
My last full day in Melbourne was a really packed one! First it was a lunch interview with the guys from Martini Racing Australia, so I could sit down proper to chat with them. I first met them at WTAC but there were so many things going on at any one time that we arranged to do it post-WTAC.
This is Dan Cuschieri, the son of the boss Tony Cuschieri, who shared about the origins of the brand, the challenges faced and what lies ahead. Martini Racing Australia is slowly expanding into Asia and you might have seen their logos on some cars at Formula Drift Asia events for example.
At WTAC, the famous Team Orange drifter team was on Martini Racing products as well.
I then had the privilege of meeting Barrie Crocker next, an icon of Australian rallying and father of Australian rally driver Cody Crocker. Visiting 73-year-old Barrie at his workshop Barrie Crocker Motors, I was impressed at how active he still is in tuning cars, racing cars and engaging in sports such as snow boarding and skiing!! (Full interview of him in a separate post)
The final night in Melbourne was spent at an indoor go-karting track called Auscarts Racing.
This is only the second time I’m karting at an indoor track (the first time was with Motor Tracks, the Thailand DVD magazine which featured me) but this track wasn’t slippery like the one I tried before and it was quite technical, having to turn and turn and turn. I went for about 35 minutes – at the beginning I got colder as I karted faster, but towards the end the body warms up. I don’t know how it happened but both sides of my face had these black streaks!
After karting, I finally had the chance to see Melbourne city centre but it was just a simple drive-through.
I’ll have to come back to Australia and see more of it one day!
I had to fly home because I’m coming out to Ordos this weekend to cover Rounds 5 and 6 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup!
Meanwhile, I just wanted to congratulate the winners of the Cosmic Performance WTAC prize draw winners. Previously I posted about the Cosmic Performance WTAC lucky draw special with one Kamak turbocharger and one set of Cosmic Performance coilovers as prizes (see post here). Open to anyone in the world, all you had to do was buy the lucky draw tickets at AUD 10 each and pray that your ticket gets picked! The tickets were sold online and also at WTAC.
They had the lovely Lauren from their neighbouring booth Hardtunedstore to do the honours of picking the winners…
Congratulations to Chris for winning the turbocharger…
… and Mark for winning the set of coilovers!