A lap of Sandown International Raceway

A lap of Sandown Raceway starts at the top of the long straight, next to the pits. As I pass the empty grandstand, I am hitting a top speed of 170 km/h as I change up into fifth gear.

One hundred metres from the end of the straight, it is hard on the brakes, and the nose of the car pitches forward as you change down to third gear to slow the car down for turn one. As I pass the corner's apex, I start to accelerate and drift to the right of the track, looking for the line to turn two.

There is a slight rise in the road just before turn two, my braking marker, then a shift down to 2nd gear. The short sharp right-left combination for the turn two and three is tricky. Bouncing off the kerbs can unsettle the car, so you need to be careful. Out of turn three, you are quickly on the brakes again for turn four.

Turn four has walls on the outside, so you need to be careful not to drift wide and hit the wall. Getting good acceleration out of turn four is essential for your speed up the back straight.

Your foot is now flat to the floor as you climb the slight hill of the back straight. As you come up over the hill and under the "Shell V-Power" sign, you see markers to the next corner, 150 metres, 100 metres, then a slight tap on the brake to settle the car at the 50-metre mark.

I drop a gear to fourth as I approach the fast sweeping left-hander at turn six. Turn six is the corner where you can make up some time. I will also get braver and quicker into this corner as the day goes on. It is a satisfying feeling to take this corner as fast as possible without running off the track. 

As you approach the slight kink at turn seven, you take a straight line up over the kerb, at maximum speed towards the Dandenong Road corner, turns eight and nine. Turn nine is the slowest part of the track and another corner that is hard on the brakes. It helps to have confidence in your brakes, so you don't ram into the car in front of you.

Coming out of Dandenong Road corner, it is flat through turn ten. Then at the 100-meter mark, it is a quick shift up to fourth gear, and then at the 50-meter mark, it is back to second gear for another right-left combination for turns eleven and twelve before you come back onto the main straight. 

As you pick up speed down the straight, you have completed the 3.1 kilometres lap of Sandon Raceway.

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