May 7, 2018
Sydney Motorsport Park is not an easy track to learn, and it’s especially difficult if you’re in an unfamiliar car.
But these factors didn’t seem to be a problem for Brayden Slater, who climbed aboard our Mazda NC MX5 for the MX5 Cup races at the Sydney Motorsport Park MRA round on the weekend.
Brayden is based in northern New South Wales and predominantly races his Hyundai Excel in the Series X3 QLD category, at Queensland Raceway, Lakeside and Morgan Park. Brayden has also previously hired our Toyota 86 for a track day at Wakefield Park.
He might only be 18 years old, but Brayden demonstrated maturity beyond his years, with his sensible attitude and approach to the task of learning a new car and a new track.
The Sydney Motorsport Park circuit is one that demands smoothness and finesse through the constant-radius corners, and pure commitment through the high-speed sections at Turn 1 and Corporate Hill.
Before the weekend, we gave Brayden the goal of recording a 1:58 lap-time, but he did significantly better than that, punching out a 1:56 in the weekend’s final race. He also handed himself very well in the dices he had with other cars (no doubt the Excel racing experience helped there)… albeit with a minor off-track excursion while testing the limits at Turn 2!
So while we might be best-known for our Pulsar racing activities, we would recommend the MX5 Cup and also the Mazda RX8 Cup for competitors looking to step up to something a bit more powerful, and also to learn the handling characteristics of a rear-wheel-drive car – and we can put together “arrive-and-drive” packages for competitors who want to race in these categories.
Also, an honourable mention to Tim Colombrita, who contested the Super TT races in his Pulsar to learn the SMP circuit, and Greg Dufficy, who finished third in the non-championship Pulsar race meeting at Wakefield Park.