One of the most breath-taking facilities in the world

This fall’s trip to Australia has so far been one of the most enjoyable trips in my five year tenure as the Laser Scan Project Manager for iRacing.com. After getting over the six hour flight from Boston to San Francisco, followed by another fourteen hours to Melbourne and a two hour drive to Phillip Island, I ended-up at what has to be one of the most breath-taking racing facilities in the world. Phillip Island is just off the southern coast of Australia and connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is bordered by cliffs that drop of into the Bass Straight between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Although our scanning crew arrived at the track ready a full afternoon of work, we were forced to change our plans when the equipment-shipping company failed to meet the agreed-upon arrival time. That left a little extra time to explore the island, including wildlife areas set aside to protect the native wallabies and koalas. Later, we headed out for our first day of digitally reproducing the famed 2.7 circuit and found the same animals we had seen in captivity earlier observing our activities in plentiful numbers. During most of our time we shared the circuit with work crews that were transforming Phillip Island Circuit from a Moto-GP Course into one that would next host the Australian Super V8 Series.

This fall’s trip to Australia has so far been one of the most enjoyable trips in my five year tenure as the Laser Scan Project Manager for iRacing.com.

A local Wallaby admiring our work

We would spend the next six days of perfect 70 degree weather doing approximately sixty set-ups of 300 ft sections of the track until we had a perfect digital reproduction of the track. The uncommonly perfect weather enabled us to finish four days ahead of schedule, allowing me the luxury of flying to Sydney and arranging an early start scanning the Oran Park circuit. This historic track is closing after nearly 50 yrs and the site will be transformed into a housing development to meet the growing needs around the Sydney area.

This time the equipment arrived on time, so less than 24hrs after leaving Melbourne we were ready to start our second Australian circuit . . . but not before we had been given a lesson in the track’s history by its staff and told a story or two about their native son, Marcose Ambrose, who was having his share of success in the American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Track scanning work in action

Again weather was not an issue as summer approached the Southern Hemisphere. With every form of racing in Australia trying to get their one last chance to race on Oran Park before it closed we were not able to scan before 5 PM on any day. Still, that left us enough daylight to capture the thousands of photo images that would later be needed for iRacing’s team of graphic artists to transform the digital point cloud into a life-like clone of the soon-to-be-lost facility. As Oran Park is somewhat smaller than Phillip Island, we completed our work in just four days. Overall, a project which had been scheduled for twenty days had been completed a full week and half early, partly due to the perfect conditions but also due to the ability to work so closely with our international partners.

We were “forced” to spend a few extra days in Sydney because of the high cost of changing our flights home for an immediate departure. That bonus time only reaffirmed my desire to go back to Australia in the future to bring the iRacing community more Thunder from Down Under.

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29 Comments

Awesome !

Jeffrey Rietveld
March 4th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

If you go to Australia, you should also always go to New Zealand. You won’t be dissapointed. Australia plus some.
Also some good tracks that would certainly love to be scanned.

Darren Johnston
March 4th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

You are one lucky man Dave 🙂

Dave Kadlčák
March 4th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

so you’re the one who will come to Brasil to scan Interlagos? 😉

Alexandre Martini
March 4th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

nice picture (island), btw!

Alexandre Martini
March 4th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Awesome! now come back and do Bathurst!!! :D, V8’s without bathurst would be like Nascar without daytona!

Josh Brown
March 4th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Awesome news about scanning Oran Park. It’ll be a shame when it closes but flying over the dog leg in iRacing will be a blast.

David Crowther
March 4th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

You win the award for job of the month!

Kevin Kosiorek
March 4th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Dave, that was well written and very enjoyable to read. Thank you very much for the update.

Jim Albertson
March 4th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Dave, what a fun article to read. I’m really looking forward to both Phillip island and Oren Park. Where are you off to next… hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more… 😉

Lincoln
March 4th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Looking forward to see you @ Zolder. 🙂

Steve Claeys
March 5th, 2010 at 3:00 am

Great read ..thanks! Looking forward to meeting you when you come scan Iowa Speedway. 😉

Dave W
March 5th, 2010 at 3:56 am

+1 for Bathurst – Couldn’t agree more with Josh, it without doubt Australia’s best racetrack. And for good measure a Holden Commodore to fight the Falcon would fire up us yocals :LOL:

Arran O’Leary
March 5th, 2010 at 3:59 am

yes please do Bathurst and a Commodore…alot of us aussies couldnt even be bothered to p!ss on a falcon if it was on fire!

Aaron Heap
March 6th, 2010 at 12:19 am

A commodore doesn’t need to be on fire for the rest of us to p!ss on it.

Scott Ashton
March 7th, 2010 at 12:04 am

Agree with all here that Bathurst is a must!!! Subsription rates here will go off the scale if Bathurst is built for iracing. Imagine the cutting through to forests elbow, laser made!! C’mon, Build it!!!

Harold
March 7th, 2010 at 4:45 am

Agree, me too. Bathurst is an icon of Australian Motorsport and therefore a must have addition to the iRacing inventory at some stage. You really should’ve used those extra days Dave 🙂 As previously stated, I also believe subscriptions would explode down here in oz if & when you build Bathurst.

Richard Peisley
March 8th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I’ve been privaleged to race at both PI and Oran Park, cannot wait to see your digital version. Thanks for putting some Down Under into iRacing.

Patrick
March 8th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

good work guys lets see that car n track soon eh? 😛

joshua gayman
March 9th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Wouldn’t have a position on the scanning crew for a land surveyor, would you? wink, wink…

Paul Mahon
March 10th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Bathhurst would have a lot of interest world wide not just in the South Pacific. You have to have a Commodore included, it just isn’t the same without Ford and Holden fighting it out. I have not joined you YET but have been getting a lot of pressure to do so from a very good friend of mine who has been with iRacing for a little while now. I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far.

John Edmondson
March 21st, 2010 at 8:33 am

Bathurst and a Commodore to complete it!

Jarred Ash
April 5th, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Although I’ve been hoping to see the Ford Fusion make its way onto the service, I think that it would be awesome for you guys to fulfill my Aussie iRacing buddies’ wishes and make the V8 Supercars the first “Same Class, Different Make” series on iRacing. 😀

Thanks for sharing your experience, Dave. I’d love to see an account of how a track goes from scanning to in the service from beginning to end one of these days, but I’m sure that’s a multiple blog effort, lol!

Julio C. Chacon
April 6th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

David, thumbs up for all the great track work. But we definately need Bathurst as part of I-Racing, not only an Aussie Icon but one of the best tracks worldwide. Also agree with the sediments of needing a commodore to even out the fields of falcons.

John Merritt
April 16th, 2010 at 5:23 am

Awesome write up 😀

thoroughly enjoyed the read 😀

Neville Britton
April 27th, 2010 at 4:32 am

Without Holdens it just wont be the same and im a FORD nut,the battle between “Blue & Red” is what what makes this series the premier touring car catergory in the world.And as for bathurst well its BATHURST! the greatest battleground in all of motorsport.

Scott Lefeber
April 28th, 2010 at 8:52 am

Without Holdens it just wont be the same and im a FORD nut,the battle between “Blue & Red” is what makes this series the premier touring car catergory in the world.And as for bathurst well its BATHURST! the greatest battleground in all of motorsport.

Scott Lefeber
April 28th, 2010 at 8:53 am

Please scan Albert Park….. please….

Eduard Kochanov
June 18th, 2010 at 7:28 am

A wnoerfdul job. Super helpful information.

Missi
August 19th, 2011 at 8:59 am

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