1st to 4th October 2009 - Sandown Leisurefest.
After helping Phil from Trailblazers RV at last year's Leisurefest, I again jumped at the opportunity to drive our rig around Sandown.
I delivered our fiver to the pit area on Wednesday afternoon, locked it up and went home. As I was leaving I met John and Julie Eggenhuizen, the owners of Tow-ed (a training company which offers nationally recognised towing training right across Australia), from our brief hellos, they were under the impression that we would be driving at Sandown on Thursday.
I arrived at Sandown about 8am on Thursday and was told by security that the Test Drive section was not happening as Jim Murcutt Advanced Driving had booked the track. Naturally, I didn't believe them and walked over to the Admin Office and enquired. Sure enough, no driving today, so after telling Phil, I had a brief look around the show, but I only wanted some tourism brochures of SA aand WA. We don't need anything else for our fiver, we have everything that we want.
Arrived Friday morning about 8am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, showed my exhibitor's pass to the security guard and I was allowed to drive into the back of the pit area. Hitched up the fiver and did a couple of 'test' laps. As I said last year when does 'Joe Public' get to drive around the Sandown racetrack, probably never.
This year there was a communication misunderstanding and as such, there were 2 5th Wheeler (Dick from Trulux was here again and ours, 1 Jayco motorhome, 3 caravans and 2 boats.
The caravans and tugs were supplied by various Caravan manufacturers, tugs supplied by Jeep, Holden, Ford, Nissan and Toyota.
The format of the my 3 days was:
8:00am - Arrive at track and hitch up my rig, as I drove our tug home each night.
10:30am - Drivers briefing - max speed on track was 90kph, in pit area 40kph with hazard lights on etc.
11:00 to 4:00pm - Drive laps of the track, taking various customers with me.
4:30pm - walk over to the Trailblazers Rv stand and inform Phil about my day, tell him what a great salesman I am.
5:15pm - Leave Sandown for home.
I had an absolute ball and drove approx 150 laps of the track in the 3 days.
There was only one little hiccup, Sunday morning while I was doing my normal 'pre race' checkup, I noticed that my rear left caravan tyre had a puncture, it was the slowest tyre change that those pits had ever experienced. I changed the tyre and then pumped it up to 50psi it had dropped to 35psi.
I have towed our fiver for over 31,000kms and after 300kms around Sandown, I get a shard of metal through my tyre. Go figure.
Thanks to John from Tow-Ed for all my photos of our rig in action.
Sequence shots coming into the esses at Dandenong Rd.
John was standing at the end of the esses.
So I aimed at him.
He stood his ground.
Then he zoomed back.
And away I go.