Statistically, Easter is the most dangerous period on our roads after the Christmas holidays.
While Christmas sees a much larger total volume of traffic on the roads across the country every year, it’s over a longer period of time … Easter is just four days for most people, and a huge number of them hit the roads during that time.
I guess Easter comes a couple of months after most people go back to work or school, so they’re looking for a bit of a break before winter sets in.
The weather is another contributor to the road toll at Easter time, because in the southern states the roads are often wet for the first time in months, and drivers aren’t used to that.
We from the northern states, of course, are very used to wet roads by Easter and are looking forward to the opposite … a bit of dry bitumen!
No matter what the weather or traffic conditions, it’s a wise idea to check your tyres before hitting the road. Check that the inflation pressures are correct, check there’s sufficient tread depth, and check the tread and sidewalls for damage.
And don’t forget the spare, if your car still has one!
Same goes for caravan, boat or trailer tyres … except that it’s even more important because they’ve often been sitting around deteriorating since last being used during the Christmas holidays.
Since we last caught up, the racing season has finally got underway and, two events in, it’s shaping up pretty well.
Incredibly, I made my 251st Touring Car/V8 Supercar event start during the Clipsal 500 weekend in Adelaide, an all-time record!
I can honestly say I don’t know where that time has gone … seems like only yesterday I was making the first one!
Anyway, the Clipsal 500 weekend was a case of ironing out the teething troubles in my new team-within-a-team, TeamVortex, working with a new crew assembled from the Triple Eight team and fine-tuning a new #888 Holden Commodore racecar.
Days of hot and humid conditions in the build-up led to a massive monsoon just before and during Clipsal’s big Sunday race, leading to the most chaotic race I can remember!
Despite the constantly changing conditions, we had a great car at Clipsal on the Sunday and we got to the front pretty quickly and then comfortably maintained our pace there or thereabouts.
We had great pitstops and a good strategy too … in the end the only thing that beat us was luck. With the race shortened because of the rain and a stoppage, our fuel plan didn’t pan out and we were forced to stop late in the race to meet the regulations – we didn’t actually need fuel!
Two weeks later we reassembled in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix and, would you believe it, after a really hot and humid first day, we had two days of rain. It was like Adelaide all over again!
Fortunately the weather cleared for Grand Prix Sunday and, all in all, it turned out to be a pretty strong weekend for us.
To be second overall for the weekend and score the first podium for TeamVortex, a real milestone for us, and even better, the team really gelled on and off the track.
Across the four sprint races -- which are non-championship so we don’t score any points, feature rolling starts and restarts, and a progressive grid so you move up or down according to your finish in the previous race -- I had some great on-track battles with my teammates too.
It showed how strong the Triple Eight trio will be this year. Can’t wait!
Finally … have a safe Easter everyone.