ALL kitted up in a racing suit and waiting for V8 Supercars driver Alex Rullo who had invited me to do a hot lap at Barbagallo Raceway yesterday I was surprised at how relaxed I felt.
Even when his father Peter Rullo, who is a Targa West rally driver, said that during the hot lap we could be doing up to 250km/h I wasn’t really bothered.
Alex, 15, started go-karting at Wundowie when he was about nine-years-old.
He then made his V8 debut at the Wanneroo 300 endurance race at the Wanneroo circuit in November 2014.
Last year he was named the rookie of the year in the V8 Touring Car series after wins at the Queensland Raceway.
When I went out to get in the car it was a bit of a scramble to get in and I had a brief thought that maybe that was to do with safety components.
Once I was buckled in Alex asked me if I was nervous and I said no but don’t try and make me nervous.
I think he may have chuckled or maybe he put his foot on the accelerator (in the way that teenage boys try to unsettle their mothers who want to wrap them in cotton wool – I know these things as I have three sons).
Then the crewman who had buckled me in said “Whatever you do don’t touch him if it’s too much give him the thumbs down and he’ll back off’’.
This made me realise that probably some people do panic during a hot lap (and I was determined not to be one of them).
We moved up behind some of the other cars waiting to take to the track, which V8 Supercars 2015 champion Mark Winterbottom recently described as one of the toughest.
The it was our turn and suddenly we were going very fast.
It seemed as though the corners appeared very quickly and even though Alex was changing gears and maybe even braking to slow the car we still went through them at great speed.
Going through the corners was when I appreciated being buckled in so tightly and was also glad I had only had a light lunch.
Before I knew it the hot lap was over and we heading back in but what a blast it was.
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said this year’s V8 Supercars Perth SuperSprint event was the first fixture in a three-year deal Tourism WA had signed with V8 Supercars and the WA Sporting Car Club, locking in the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway until 2018.
Mr Barnett said in addition to the thrills and skills on the V8 track, spectators could enjoy expert manoeuvring in the drifting grand prix, RAAF fly-overs, a kids’ zone and historic touring cars.
“The State Government recognised in 2010 that there was an urgent need to improve facilities at Barbagallo and committed $15 million to these redevelopments,” he said.
“The V8 Supercars confirms Perth’s excellent reputation for hosting major sporting events.’’