Rally Driving

For her birthday, I bought Shelley an Extreme Driving half day rally drive, located near Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. She had a great time sliding around in the dirt in the WRX, while I had a great time taking photos with my new 100-400mm camera lens - I ended up taking about 1200 photos over 4 hours. The 100-400 was just THE perfect lens for taking photos of the action.

The afternoon started with a class on oversteer and understeer, and how rear/front/all wheel drive impacted on the handling of the car. It was then off to the dirt bowl for a couple of hours of "sideways action". Shelley was the only girl driving, with about 7 guys. None of the guys wanted to go first (chicken!) so Shelley was first up in the WRX STi - which just happened to be the same year as our own Impreza (but we don't have the WRX..) so she was quite at home driving it.

They put some water down on the track to stop the dust, which made for boring photos but allowed 2 cars on the track at once. The AWD is just made for driving in the dirt - and Shelley was so good she made it look boring! The guy in the RWD Toyota Sprinter was sideways most of the time, looked much more exciting.

Eventually the water dried up, and they went to put some more down - but the water pump on the truck broke so no more water, which meant only one car at a time, and lots more dust - making for much more dramatic photos!

At the end of the day, the instructor took each of the drivers on a hot lap around the track (not the dust bowl they were driving on all day), I managed to get a few good photos before the front right tyre on the EVO started falling apart. Since Shelley had already had her hot lap (again, she had to go first because all the guys were chicken), we left.

Overall, it was a good day. Shelley wants to go back for a full day - you get to do your own hot laps around the track in the second half of the full day.