Empress Falls Hike/Cruise 2015

A much needed catchup was needed with couple of ye ole’ friends of Team Kawaii and co. With much preparation (got invited) Kim & Terry organised a cruise to the Blue Mountains for a bushwalking trip at the Empress Falls trail.

Arriving at the Conservation Hut we realised there wasn’t enough parking for our convoy so end up scouting the area to find somewhere to park, we ended up taking over a street. Poor house owners probably sick of randoms constantly parking in their street.

Spring in Japan Australia

Too much JDM is this photo. Cherry Blossom like flowers and Jap cars. JDM fanboys froth at the thought of this.

Funnily enough I brought my DSLR to take photos of the trip but decided not too because I was too much of itchbay to carry it through the trail, thought it would be hard to carry the gear only to regret it as we were traversing the terrain. So I decided to take photos with my potato Sony Z2 phone instead.

Terry – “So ugh, where are we?” Hint: The red arrow

Fun Facts. I can’t remember I single one, FACT!

Starting Point

Empress Falls is one of walking trails accessible from the Conservation Hut, it’s a 1.1km hike including a return trip with steep elevation changes and according to the sign at the Hut it says it should take about 1 hour to complete and the difficulty is HARD, I’ll be the judge of that.

Off we go!

Not far from the beginning of the trial, it splits into a fork with one continuing the trail and the other one leads to a dead end which is the lookout point. We stop at the lookout point to soak in that atmosphere and view followed by oohs and ahhs.

Regret not bringing that camera



David Attenborough – “Here we have some tourists doing tourist things “

Bit of a drop

No event these days would be complete without taking a group photo right? No worries luckily we had David with his camera with the gear needed to take that group photo! Even with a shonky camera remote.

Group Photo #1 (Photo Credit: David La)



Moving along…

Whatchu dodging Kim?

Kim – “Heard you were talking shit”

Generic Facebook photo #1

Generic Facebook Photo #2

As we went down the environment slowly began to change from the top it was typical dry looking Australian flora we’re so used to seeing but instead in huge amounts as we got closer to the bottom and the waterfall it slowly became a rainforest which was really refreshing as the waterfall was spraying a fine mist which was nice to breath and feel.

Another fork to another trail. Looked really fun


As we arrived at the main waterfall we watched some abseilers abseil down from the waterfall. One day I’ll finally man up and splurge on these kind of activities. We soon pushed on abit further to find a nice picnic area when…..

Abseiling like a boss

Generic Coverphoto #23781236578

More boss abseiling!

Terry falls into the pools like a complete scrub…

Have fun walking the rest of the trip

We’re explorers now!

The place that claimed Terry

Picnic Stop

Generic Facebook Photo #12798361289

That’s a nice rock

Generic Inspiring Facebook Photo #23278136

Generic Cover Ph Argh you get the point

After a nice break at the stop we on to the end of Empress Falls to find we were too hungry to continue other trails so soldiered on back to the observation point to decide on lunch. We opted to eat locally at Blue Mist Cafe & Catering at Wentworth Falls because Google and TripAdvisor says 4/5 stars. I love myself a good fish meal and ordered grilled Barramundi and potatoes and I agree on the 4/5 rating, it lost the 1 star in the value department because it was expensive. Poor person here!

Food calls on the other side of this trail



Grilled Barramundi and Potatoes

After a good lunch session we decided to head back to take a break/go to photos of our cars before a mad Korean BBQ sesh for dinner. On the way back there was huge queue of cars due to bushfires with the fire department slowing down the traffic for safety reasons. My car decided to show the dreaded red blinking temperature icon, I was hoping it was just because I was hanging behind a Evo and the really hot ambient temperatures pulled out Torque app on the phone to monitor the temperature but it kept climbing. I decided to keep on pushing when I saw the traffic was beginning to flow smoothly again hoping the speed of the air will help cool things down, NOPE! 

I decided it was enough and pulled over the next servo and wait things to cool down to investigate the overheating. Pulled out my jumper to sacrifice it to prevent scalding and burns to open the radiator to vent hot and pressurized air except it didn’t nor did I feel any heat or steam coming out from radiator opening. Worried that perhaps the water pump died or something that prevented water from circulating in the cooling system, I tried starting the car again but it refused at that point I thought I had killed my car.

Don’t die on me!

Checking the temperatures again it was at face-melting 140°C (284°F for you Americans) I waited abit to see if temperatures would drop, it barely dropped. I decided to fill the radiator to see if any water pour come pouring out then I remembered about the overflow tank, nothing in it so I kept filling till water started pouring into it. I somehow lost water!

Hoping that SJM didn’t die on me I waited patiently before starting the car again and voila. HE’S ALIVE AGAIN!~ Time for the slow limp back home to make sure I didn’t bake the motor.

Whew at least it’s not black and cruddy

A great day that was almost completely ruined but hey at least the day didn’t end badly and I now need to investigate on the case of the missing water.



A Wheely Long Tale

Remember those wheels I got from the Care Package couple of months ago. Well here they are on John Moe the Echo! (For like 4 months now). Anyways this is the story of getting the wheels onto John, as you guys can remember the wheels were in a “slightly used/used once” GumTree condition and needed some love.

Strapped up and ready to go!

The wheels needed to be taken to grinded down to ensure the surface was nice and even prior to the powdercoating of the wheels. So I headed down the MagMan Workshop for Wheels down at Punchbowl to have the wheels inspected for any other wheel damage.

MagMan Workshop for Wheels Entrance.

Turns out one of wheels has been bent from some sort of impact when he rolled it on the floor and attached the wheel to the wheel balancer you could clearly see the mad wobbles. Time to fork out some money to get it repaired :(. $50-$100 later the wheel came out like this.

Straight and ready to be powdercoated!

Next step was to take them to get powdercoated. So $280 dollars later and 1 week later they got loaded to go back home to finish the most important detail. DECALS!!

It’s so clean, so white, so pretty!

OZ Racing Crono Evo. adds +100 cool points, unlocks ability to wear better rubber & transform car into rally car

After adding the decals with the help of my friend Vincent it was off to Tempe Tyres to grab some rubber, I was eyeing some cheap Kumho KU31’s!

About halfway to the destination the day was going to turn from awesome to worst in a matter seconds. While on the Canterbury Road at the I got held up on the right hand lane because there was car in front wanting to turn right who was 1 car infront.

Being fed up with the driver not turning when there were plenty gaps I look back behind me with no cars in my lane and a good 10 second gap behind me in the left lane of double laned road. Flicked the indicator and waited 2 seconds before I merged out and then as I merged out the car infront who was behind the car who wanted to turn decides to merge out, cutting me off then stops in the middle of the road forcing me brake to a complete halt with my car 3/4 from a complete merge.

We were practically parallel to each other and my friend and I gave the driver infront the confused hand gesture while yelling,”What are you DOING?! MOVE!”. Then about 2-3 seconds later we get shunted from behind. Our heads jerk forward and our car moves about 1 metre just missing the car infront that cut us off. We’ve just been rear ended! 😦


Not believing in what just happened. The car infront speeds off while I’m still in shock and trying to figure out what just happened I looked in the rear mirror and see the traffic begin to bank up I quickly flicked the hazards on and move to the nearest left turn street while hearing the tyre getting rubbed and cut up by the bent chassis and plastics.

Checking the other occupants of the car to check if they were fine I then remembered, the wheels! I hope they didn’t get damaged from it. Popped the trunk.

Wheels OK, car not ok.

The other driver’s car was a Rav4, it naturally escaped with little to no damage. After exchanging details with the other driver. I called my parents and waited for them to help mend the car to drive back home. Jacked the car and my dad got the scissor jack of his car and did the most sketchiest and dangerous fix I’ve ever seen. He essentially put the jack between the tyre and bent chassis and load onto the tyre that you could see it swell as he unwinded. I was squinting and cringing ready for the tyre to explode.

Chassis bent out to drive home.

Ready to crawl home.

My friend and I thought this was a clearcut and easy case, boy were we wrong. Talking on the phone later with the other driver and his insurance company it was clear that the story that he had supplied made me look like I was at fault. Saying I merged into him giving him no time to brake. The dude had the time and clear vision with no other car in between me or him to brake even in the event I did merge out incorrectly. I was stopped for a good 2 -3 seconds.

After heated discussions of my parents (just my dad) with the driver and insurance companies over a period of time. We only had 3rd party and my dad didn’t list me as the driver for the car the excess was $2.3K! The other driver then decides that we should pay for our own damages, sensing that something dodgy was happening I wanted to press on but my mum, the voice of reasoning says it’s just not worth it with an excess that much and car with no value. Sorry Sir John Moe! 😦

She agrees with the other driver and explains to the driver and me to take this as an expensive lesson and gives a warning to the other driver that he’s lucky that he didn’t cross with the wrong person or specifically her and we part ways. At times like this I wish I had a dash cam or had taken time to stop to take the photo where the impact had happened.

2 weeks later and an expensive lesson later ($900) plus $400 later this is what we got up to.

Ermahgerd! Ermahgerd! Ermahgerd!

Fitting and weight balancing the tyres

Looking more like a rally car!

Preparing for wheel alignment

Getting those green numbers! (The screen incase you can’t see)

A test to carry track tyres later on

Probably wondering what tyres I’m running on now. Well they’re Hankook Ventus V2 (H437) and I’m running 195/50/R15 size costing $80 per corner and with a wear rating of 400, a sporty tyre that hopefully lasts long while giving me decent grip. After buying these tyres, Hankook decides to do $100 cashback. Whelp! Could’ve saved $100 or got the next step up, Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 (H457) for the same price or abit less.

Initial impressions about the same noise as the previous tyres however they were shot and I was running 3 different compounds when I received the car, pretty sketchy if you ask me. I also did notice my fuel economy took abit of hit as the car no longer rolls as freely anymore.

Hankook Ventus V2 (H437)

Grip levels, amazing. Well I’ve only driven on eco tyres so if this is just a taste of what sporty tyres can achieve I can’t wait to try semi slicks :P.

There is a bend that I take to go to and from work which is in a 60km/h zone that has a recommended speed of 35km/h sign that I could take a constant 60km/h before on the old tyres however when it got wet, let’s just say I went full dorifto the entire bend. Never in my life was I so hysterical and so high from the from the adrenaline & excitement of wanting to do it again but I like living, so once is enough. But now with these tyres I can constantly stay 60km/h in the wet!

Until next time, time to save up new track wheels so I can taste that sweet, sweet levels of grip of semi’s. Remember to be careful out there guys. You can never be too careful! I really need to invest in a dash cam.

Mighty Car Mods Nationals 2015

It’s been awhile since this has happened . Sorry for not posting this sooner been super ceebs but hey! At least I still posted this rather than not show this. So recounting this whole event is going to be a bit cloudy so bear with me. The event as the title says it all was the Mighty Car Mods Nationals 2015 held on the 18th of April 2015 (had to dig this up from Facebook) down at that Sydney Dragway. Couple of friends and I decided to go…. 3 hours later we were too busy eating breakfast and thought the line would die down. Oh boy we were wrong.


Lining up..


More lining up…

For those who didn’t turn up or simply don’t leave in Sydney, the event was simple. It was ‘standard car meet’ with drag racing and drifting exhibition. Pretty standard car meet, right?! 😛

Main Booth

Peeps checking out the drift exhibition and cars

And more peeps watching the drags

Since we came late the main event of the drag, Marty Vs. Moog was already over 😦 oh well! Guess I’ll do what normal people do at car meets and shows, look at cars.

Porsche 911 (997) Patrol/Exhibition Car

Nice to see the police involved in the car scene and not defecting people 😛  They even allowed you to sit inside it was super cool, forgot to take interior photos. Sorry peeps!

At this car meet we get to see cars all kinds of vehicles from your standard JDM, Euro & Aussie.

Mini Cooper & Toyota Supra MkIV

Couple of Opel Holden Astras

FPV FG Falon F6 310

To strange, cool, rare and exotic vehicles such this solar car brought out by University of Western Sydney their solar-powered challenge car….

UWS’s Solar Car – SolAce

Or this incredibly cool and vintage 1st gen Camaro SS (left hand drive too! Australia is right hand drive if you’re not from here)….

Chevy Camaro SS

or this menacing drag Holden Torana

Holden Torana. Beast of a drag car driven by … A LADY!

Another drag car this time from the Australian Air Force!

And assortments of drift cars!

Drift paddock. S-chassis everywhere! Except that lonely Skyline.

Rotary Brudders

Drift Paddock and end of course

After having a quick browse we decided to watch some of the drag racing. From little cars such as the…

The mini Mini Cooper – ‘Mini powah!’

Poor Mini never stood a chance.

Mini vs Golf GTi

to nuggets like this Starlet with..

Toyota Starlet Glanza

Rocking out with Nyan cat wheel decal while surprisingly farting rainbows in the face of cars such as MR2’s, E30’s and I think one point almost or beat a WRX.

Nyan Cat wheel decal.

To Aussie cruisers/powerhouses…

Holden VS Commodore

To JDM icons

Drag Toyota Supra

Mech Stiggy’s RWD GC8

To purpose built race cars and drag cars

It’s a funny car!

The radical electric, Radical SR8

He pretended to stall/be in wrong gear only to give us a show. This just demonstrates how much instant torque those electric cars have. That Proton got chopped. Hard.

After getting our drag fix we decided to actually look at cars parked and get ourselves lunch back at our cars.

Our lunch spot/cars

Before when we parked our cars I was the only who put the ‘Cars’ eyes windscreen up and when we came back to eat I stumbled upon this WRX (parked across us) who the owner parked before us has too decided to put their one up too.

Wasssssup mang.


While eating we spotted couple of ‘hoons’ drifting their trikes. I want to join and have one too 😛

Nissan Silvia S15 Drift car


Toyota Yaris

Toyota AW11 MR-2

How did this get approved? XD

Nissan K11 Micra

Nissan R32 Skyline GTR

Widen Nissan S15 Silvia

Mistubishi Z30 Colt Ralliart

After looking through some cars. We decided to watch some of the drifting exhibition. People could pay to have an experience in the drift cars. Judging from the photos and their reaction when they hopped out I could safely say they had a MAAD time.

These guys couldn’t see the action from the sidelines as it was packed, I spotted them getting a friend to drive and park close by then use his car as the stands/seats. People will do anything to see something. 😛

Wot’s dat ova dere?!

While the drifting exhibition was about to take a break, Marty and Moog were at the main stands giving free merch!

Free stuff!

Then I soon spotted peeps running from the other side of the park to have a go at the freebies. People will do anything to see something. People will do anything to get free stuff. They came like seagulls from Finding Nemo.

Mine mine mine mine.

While the handouts were happening I was still at the sideline and spotted this lucky kid who’s probably affiliated with the drift community/family riding his scooter on the course.

Safety Scooter checking the course

When he arrived back at the start of the course friend’s/family decided to hop on and go for a ride while placing him on the bar like a car badge at his own peril. Who cares, they’re all having mindless fun!

The more the merrier!

Marty and Moog soon straight after giving merchandise got onto their golf carts and started driving around to check out the cars and give awards as they’ve been busy all day. People swarmed and chased after that golf cart.

Haltech Tuned golf kart coming in fast!

Hello there ;P

While following their cart to check the cars aswell caught this guy posing with the Skylines.

Draw me like one of your French girls

As the duo return to the main stands we followed back to check out Moog’s S2000 going up on auction and Marty’s Super Gramps to also find the wise Turbo Yoda doing a meet and greet session with alot of the kids/youngster and him giving advice to them as they all seem to ask him about his journey becoming a mechanic.

Turbo Yoda hanging out

‘Super Gramps’ Subaru Liberty GT ‘4th Gen’

Heart of Super Gramps

Moog’s S2000 Project Car

The day was wrapping up people were starting to leave, we continued to check as many cars as we could.

Mazda 121 Bubble race car

Nissan Stagea with R34 Front

Mazda ‘Familia’ 323 GTX

The event was a blast, I had fun and I’m pretty sure everyone else did aswell. Check out the gallery link below to see more cars, more drags and more drifting action. Feel free to use the photos if you like.


Sorry Vinny buddy ya got chopped!    Photo credit: Keith

Rest of the imgur album: Mighty Car Mods Nationals 2015

Care Package from Japan!

Sydney is currently in a middle of shitstorm, so naturally you would sleep in even more when there’s rain but when the doorbell rang I got super excited like a dog then quickly came running for the door to be greeted by these ‘care packages’. Getting wet was worth it.

Shitstorm!?!  Time to sleep more.

WHAT COULD IT BE? Spoiler Alert: It’s on the box.

Package #1

Package #2

Some stuff.

These ‘care packages’ were bought from an importer in Japan Jesse Streeter. If only these parts I bought were here otherwise I probably would saved about $500 dollars in total on shipping 😦 but it was still cheaper than trying to source it myself or buying from their retail store i.e. Spoon for the rigid collar.

Opening the packages like a mad man or kid on Christmas day the 1st package contents are: (Prices are rough estimate)

  • Tanabe Sustec Front Strut Tower Bar for NCP10 (NST33) – $90
  • Tanabe Sustec Front Underbrace for NCP10 (UBT4) – $115
  • Spoon Rigid Collar for Toyota Echo NCP10 (50300-P61-000) (Rear) – $50
  • TRD Quick Shift Lever for NCP10 (Part NO. 33530-NP100) – $190

After I took the stuff out I thought I was missing the Rigid Collar for the front so I started tipping the box, nothing came out thought he had forgot to pack or it got lost then I read the receipt. Jesse forgot to order my front collars…. Oh well I’ll just buy them later.

What’s a rigid collar and what does it do? Watch here my friends: http://www.rigidcollar.com/what-is-rigid-collar/

The 2nd package is probably my favourite of them all.

The wheels are ‘OZ Racing Chrono Evo’ sporting the rally white and red lettering. These cost me about $400 while shipping was like $330 😦 Wheel specifications are:

  • PCD 100 x 4
  • Wheel Size: 15 x 6.5″
  • Offset:  +40

Which is almost perfect for the Echo if only it was 7″ wide then it would’ve been perfect. Perfect for the Nugget Nationals that is. (Maximum wheel size permitted is 15 x 7″ ) 😛

Why did I pick these wheels? Because tarmac rally car wannabe, price, looks & rarity I have yet to see these wheels on the road here. My other picks would’ve been Speedline Corse wheels or Buddy Club P1’s if they were cheap.

The previous phone photos made them look so clean and almost new (*they’re 2nd hand*) but upon closer inspection and using the DSLR.

The paint and logos are fading/faded. I’m overall happy with the condition and purchases. Just need to find someone in Sydney now who will now restore/respray them to the original factory finish for cheap (or free!) 😛 If anyone knows, tell me!!

Karts & Kebabs – Round 2 Ultimate Karting Sydney

It’s April 19th and it’s Round 2 of the Karts & Kebabs 2015 Season and it’s held at Ultimate Karting Sydney (UKS) an indoor go karting circuit which was perfect as Sydney was about to get pounded with a week’s worth of rain and it looked like it was going to rain on race day.

Our 450m long & 6m wide track is the largest & widest indoor track in Australia. We don’t believe in polishing our floors to slow you down, our specifically finished concrete track surface will guarantee you the g-forces of a true racing experience which will have you wanting more & more!Ultimate Karting Sydney

Track layout – Running anti-clockwise

And the karts we will be using:

Sodi GT5 race bred karts using Honda 9hp 270cc engines have been geared so perfectly that you will be witnessing that true racing experience as soon as you hit the track.Ultimate Karting Sydney

Sodi Kart GT5

It’s been awhile since I’ve driven this track (about 6 months ago) and I was hoping I still had memory of the braking points & reference points aswell as the muscle memory of how the track & karts felt.

Considering how this competition was meant to social and for phunsies (funsies). This competition was getting serious with some competitors going out for practice laps before the event. *Cough* *Cough* OZ MPS Racing *Cough* *Cough* (Mercedes of K&K, huge budget).

As a typical uni student I could barely afford to pay for the event (had to beg for money from my parents, it’s sad 😛 but hey work hasn’t been calling and it’s gokarting! ) and I would be categorised as Manor Marussia (Kanjo Kart Krew) Caterham.

The event is would be the first of ‘time-attack style’ event where the best time takes it all! Considering a field of 20 racers it would be way too chaotic in an indoor track considering it was short track. 3 sessions (10 minutes each)

The format for this race was that the drivers were split up into two groups with heavy drivers in Group A and light drivers in Group B and as a typical scrawny and light Asian I would be in, you guessed it! Group B LIKE THE 80’S RALLY CARS. FAST, LIGHT AND CRAZY! Just like me right? Right? AM I RIGHT?!!

Lobby Room with K&K competitors & randoms

Main Straight

View from viewing balcony

The first race up was Group A, my teammate Daniel was out. Couple of us brought cameras including myself, we would take photos of the race and watch their times update on their screen.

Pitlane Queue

I was taking photos with Steven at the start of the Main Straight of track then noticed Steven using his hands to tell his teammate Jonathan Mowad his current position. I decided to do the same for Daniel which resulted in Steven and I bursting into laughter.

Daniel was not happy bring ridiculed (even though I didn’t intend to) for being last (10th) he would then step up his game for the session and end up in 8th.

Blake Noonan eyes scream “Maximum Attack!”

Steve Reed – Can’t read his expression

Hieu Nguyen looking calm and collected

Jonathan Mowad with his ridiculous GoPro setup, also can’t read his expression probably yelling at his kart.

When it was finally is it Group B’s turn, the whole group including myself would all go to toilet in attempt to shave off as many grams as we could. Funny how it this was meant to be a social but boy oh boy things just got serious 😛

Being in the same group as James Aleksandrowicz (defending race winner from last years event and had practice 😛 ) and Steven Le I knew this fight would be tough. I hopped into the kart and drove as hard as I could.The track had changed abit since the last visit some of the slower turns became slower (tighter corners & more polished surfaces) and the faster turn had became faster.

Surprisingly I set a time of 28.957 seconds (0.004s off last year’s top time) in the very first session which became the time for everyone to beat. The results of session 1 of Group B was:


Group B: Session 1

Everyone would be surprised at the time as it was the first 28 second time of the day. Everyone would congratulate except Jonathan Mowad he threaten to break my legs, it looks like we’re season rivals (Ha ha! 🙂 ) considering he would come out 2nd in this event and we were battling it out in the previous round. His time of 28.964 (+0.007) in the final of the three sessions. I’ll admit it, it was intense watching Group A’s session as Hieu and Jonathan would hit the 28’s in the final session. I was also tempted to ‘sandbag’ in my group to prevent people from beating my times but then that wouldn’t be fun for anyone or me because driving slow would be soooooooo boring.

2nd session for me wasn’t great, the kart I was given wasn’t suited to my driving style and I struggled to keep it straight and smooth compared to my previous kart and failed to improve on my previous time. The results of 2nd session:


Group B: Session 2

Everyone was now picking up the pace and my position would seem to be compromised. It seems the veterans James and Guillermo were gonna hit the 28’s on the third and final session aswell as the others in Group A. I had to extend my lead in the final session. As soon Group A was finished Group B was now out and flying out to best their previous lap times.

Alex Escobar racing in a rally Super Special Stage (not really)

Kris Della Casa being chased by Jonathan Mowad

Prash Ranjan having intense fogging from the intense racing

Daniel Nguyen flying down the main straight

Kieran Graham scanning at the time screen as does a flyby

Final session was on and the gokart I was given felt really loose and light, some people would hate it but I loved it as it was really fun and tail happy which is terrible for time attack and spelt half the race wagging the tail of the gokart heating up the tyres and having sideways fun. Realising I was here for time attack not for fun, it was now time to go maximum attack!

I started to drive cleanly and watched my position go up slowly as I passed the screen. On the final leg of the session I felt I made the cleanest lap with no mistakes while carrying all the speed which was then ruined by a yellow flag, no problems I’ll just make sure I set my self up for the most speed into the main straight for the next lap. As I came on the final turn to set myself wide to enter the turn quickly A YELLOW FLAG followed by a RED FLAG someone had spun at turn 1 😦 . The session was over, I had failed to improve my time!

Group B: Final Session

Group B: Final Session

The final results from the day are as follows:


Final Results

The whole field was separated by less than 1 second which is closer than a F1 field! Who knows in the next couple of events we may have a new winner and more interesting race battles but this time I had taken the second round win. The podium finishers were:

Me! (1st)

Jonathan Mowad (2nd)

James Aleksandrowicz (3rd)

With this result I move up from 4th to 2nd in the drivers standings 2 points behind James while Moe GP still sits on 3rd.

Karts & Kebabs Drivers Standings

Karts & Kebabs Team Standings

The next event is on May 31st (also my birthday) at Luddenham Raceway which also Time Attack style, a track where I’ve also been before so hopefully at that race I get handed the win as birthday present. See you guys at the next event as I continue usurping!

My Karts & Kebabs – Round 2 Gallery

Karts & Kebabs 2015 – Round 2 Official Race Review

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Karts & Kebabs – Round 1 Picton Raceway

F1 just came and went it and I was suffering from withdrawals even though it was one of the worst racing events in history. I had to make one of the hardest decision in my life to make on the day where there was either a giant paintball game (Total War) held every quarter of the year or a brand new social racing series which I’ve never done before. Obviously I picked go kart racing 😛 .

Por qué no los dos? (Why not both?) – Little girl from Old El Paso

So F1 season just began and so to a new series was to begin, ‘Karts & Kebabs’ (K&K).

Karts and Kebabs is an amateur, social karting series aimed to find Sydney’s best amateur go kart racer. After our races, we encourage all participants and their friends or family to share a laugh or two over a kebab at the local kebab shop.Karts & Kebabs

Just before I left Japan last year, I was invited along with a friend by the organiser Steven Le at Eastern Creek Karting (ECK)  to join the series after seeing me performing competitive times at ECK. I’ve stumbled across K&K before on a Facebook advertisement or post of some sort and was ready to join myself for the next season but being invited by the organiser himself, how could I possibly say no?! My friend and I signed up under the team name, ‘Moe GP’ (Grand Prix). What does ‘Moe’ mean? We have no idea it’s just a random and stupid name we made from the online games we play. We arrived at Picton Raceway and the weather was looking terrible it had already rained, the track was wet and it looked like it was about to pour again. But hey slick tyres and wet track= slip and slidey fun!

Not looking good or is it?

The 2015 Karts & Kebabs Championship kicked off with Race One at Picton Karting Track (PKT). The 640m long and 8m wide track comfortably accommodated the 18 amateur karters of this year’s championship and for the opening round the race format was a Mini GP. The Mini GP consisted of a 15 minute qualifying session followed by a 15 minute race for position, a changed made by the organisers in hopes of spicing up the championship with more grid racing rather than just time attack rounds and they did so successfully. Originally the full field of 20 drivers were meant to compete but Guillermo and Alex of Kanjo Kart Krew withdrew from the season opener and unfortunately missed out on the first race of the championship. Luckily for the team the new rules and regulations for 2015 meant the DNS results would be disregarded when calculating the final points for the season as only the best 6 out of 8 races will be taken into account for the final tally.

Picton Karting Track

As all the competitors introduced each other before the qualifying session it started to sprinkle. Considering it was my 1st time on this track or using these karts I was secretly hoping nobody could race in these conditions and me (the rookie) would usurp the veterans. 😛

Main Lobby & Competitors

Kart pit area & garage

As qualifying started I was behind Steven Le (organiser and winner of last year’s series) I wanted to follow his line considering he’s raced here before. During the 1st lap the rain started picking up I got closer and closer to Steven but the tyres were still cold and with a wet track I tried to outbrake him on the beginning of the second lap at the 1st turn (hairpin) to get closer instead of maintaining a gap (I should’ve kept a gap it was qualifying not racing but hey I can’t help it 😛 ) and embarrassingly spun out. D’oh! 😦 As the session went on the rain started picking up until towards about the last 2 mins of the session, I started passing people and getting held up by traffic till the end of the session.

The results were:

Qualifying Results

I had qualified 4th while my teammate/friend qualified 14th. The field was very close to one another especially the top 6, we might have huge battles during the race!

Here’s the video of the race as you can see I pull the famous ‘Mark Webber‘ (losing places in the start) in the start for not paying attention to the light and spend almost half the race regaining those places back but by the time I pass them the top 3 have already built up a huge lead and with so little time before the race finished also I think I started losing pace then came under attack by Jonathon Mowad later but managed to hold him off till the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP4HAyCzPgE

Race Results:

Race Results

Karts & Kebabs Points Table

Congratulations to the podium finishers; James Aleksandrowicz (1st), Steven Le (2nd), Steve Reed (3rd). The next event is April 19th  at Ultimate Karting Sydney (UKS) Time Attack style, a track I’ve been before so hopefully at that race and the upcoming events I get to be on the podium. >:) See you guys at the next event!

AusGP F1 2015

It’s finally here! The inaugural season of F1 held Down Under (Australia) in Victora, Melbourne at Albert Park. Obviously the best thing to do is to fly down there and attend the event! However I was being held up by uni and could only go at Friday night which means only 2 days instead of 4. 😦

My friends and I arrived at the airport only to be told our flight was delayed by 1 hour, a bird decide to take a closer look at the engine during a flight from Canberra to Sydney which caused the plane to do an emergency landing to check for damage.

Some beer to past time. Airport beer is expensive ($10) 😦

Pictured left to right: Me + 2 goons (Jason and Daniel)

We fly at 11pm, arrive Melbourne at midnight and take a taxi to our suite at Kew not too far from the event but still not cool especially when I gotta wake up early the next morning. (Slept at like 2am)

Home sweet home (temporarily)

Kew at 5am

Did I mention why I’m heading down to the Formula 1? Because I’m a track marshal!

However due to the fact I came to event halfway I’m missing my credentials for me to have access to the track and the only reason why my friends were with me was to leach off me (2 free guest passes) 😛 I couldn’t contact the person that would give my credentials (because they gave me the wrong number) so I ended up waiting there for about 1 & 1/2 hours at 6am until I met up with CAMS event organiser to get me sorted and in contact with the person I needed. (I could’ve slept!!!!!!!!!! 😡 )

Credentials Office Waiting……

Volunteer’s Parking Area (Gate 10)

At the beginning of each event day marshals would muster up for a briefing before headed off to our respective roles. I was assigned at Sector 8 which is pretty much the beginning of Turn 8 (relatively high speed corner) cool to watch cars whiz past for awhile but gets really boring it’s a corner where no action happens (race maneuvers/incidents) and when you’re stuck there for the whole day with no ‘Super Screen’ to watch the rest of the action on track .


From this point on I can’t take photos as I’m not allowed (means I’m not doing my job 😛 ) I’m only allowed to take photos when the track was quiet, during parades or the end. Photos speak more than words amirite? (I’m just too lazy to type more 😛 )

Albert Park Lake

Entry into Turn 9

Turn 8 Panorama

Turn 8 Exit

Turn 8 Entry

Track Prep

Team 8 preparing (goofing around 😛 ) for Driver’s Parade

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Safety Car & E63 AMG Race Control Car

These cars sound mean when they go flat out which I’m pleasantly surprised with the twin turbo AMG GT.

Daniel Ricciardo (Home boy!)

Lewis Hamilton (My boy!)

Nico Rosberg

Daniil Kvyat

Felipe Massa

Swagastian Sebastian Vettel (Australia dislikes him because he wronged Webber, I don’t really mind him)

Kimi Räikkönen the Iceman clearly not giving a shit

Kevin Magnussen

Jenson Button

Nico Hülkenberg

Sergio Pérez

Carlos Sainz Jr.

“Beats being at school” – Max Verstappen (I’m so jealous)

Monsieur Crashy 2012 Romain Grosjean

Crashtor (still) Pastor Maldonado

Roberto Merhi

Will Stevens

Marcus Ericsson

Felipe Nasr

As mentioned before it was boring race and boring turn we only got updates via one of the team’s iPad using the F1 app and race communications as it was hard to listen to the announcements because ‘A. It was far from our post’ and ‘B. 2015 cars are abit louder than last year’ and the high attrition rate, ONLY 11 CARS FINISHED that was meant to happen in 2014 not 2015!!!! The day was still enjoyable from the support events and the team manage to make my day enjoyable.

My apologies for my fat thumb getting the way abit I quickly took the shot and rushed it because I missed out Magnussen’s car and just saw Kimi’s car come from the distance

#1 Kimi’s car on truck

#2 Kimi’s car on truck

Team Sector 8 – Thanks for being awesome!

Sadly the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’. The GP was over which meant my time with my team was also over. I would like to thank ‘Team Sector 8’ for making me feel welcome & everything they done along with the rest of the track marshals & volunteers and I wish to work with them again next year!