I was going through some old pictures and came across this gem… taken in March 2009 at the All Ford Day in Geelong, Victoria.
This was my introduction to the Australian V8 Supercars. Prior to this day I knew very little about them. On this day I got extremely lucky as both Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards signed my goofy FPV/FPR (Ford Performance Vehicles/Ford Performance Racing) hat that I bought to protect my skull from scorching Ozzie sun. I was reluctant to let them sign it when a buddy of mine suggested it, because… wait for it… I didn’t want to ruin the hat! LOL
Those were amazing days. At the very start of my year down under, when the financial crisis hit in the US and I decided to change my two week tourist visa to a one-year working holiday in Australia. The best thing I ever did in my life. Only way it would have been better if I had gotten involved in motorsports there, but I honestly didn’t know I could. A few days after this picture was taken I walked the F1 set up track at Albert Park, but left Melbourne for Sydney before the race because I got a job there. A few months later I flew to Perth, Western Australia to watch my first V8 Supercars race live, thanks to another Ford buddy of mine that invited me there and shouted the tickets to the race.
Before I left Australia I decided to gift my Melbourne host a V8 Race driving experience around Calder Park. So I bought two of them and got some wheel time as well. It was all fun until I spun it off into the grass and my instructor completely freaked out.
I love Australia!