Last weekend, Melbourne car club ‘EXE Crew’ held a full weekend of track day fun!
Running over two days at Winton Raceway, day one was an invite only day with some of Victoria’s best time attack cars and drivers heading out to better some personal bests!
Day two was an open day for EXE Crew regulars and friends, the field of cars was varied to say the least!
We managed to get up early enough to catch most of the day two action.
The track was dry and the weather was warm, so conditions were absolutely perfect!
Where else can you see a Honda S2000, a Levin Corolla and a Ford Escort run together flat out?
Honda’s seemed to be a popular choice over the weekend with around ten Civic’s, four S2000′s, four Integra’s and even a Honda Beat!!
20V goodness, this AE86 was a treat for the ears.
There were plenty of Euro’s, with several VW Golf’s, a couple of BMW’s, Porche’s and this very tough little Mini Cooper S.
The cars started to peel out onto the track after the morning drivers briefing.
Tyrepower’s Nissan 370Z is not just a daily driver, it’s also a track monster with a custom twin turbo set up,
running a 1.44.92.
The battle was on between the 370Z and Tung’s 350Z, with an incredibly close time of 1:44.68.
Vu’s S15 changing gears, with a bit of smoke and even a bit of flame!
After attending so many drift days at the Winton track, it was crazy to see the speeds cars were doing down the straight, easily 180kph+ down here!
One of the most unlikely cars to expect at a track day like this… a V8 Porsche!
As the times got quicker, the brakes got hotter and pretty soon a few cars were losing traction going into the hairpin.
This WRX was fighting with it’s tyres all day, screeching through the corners and finally losing the battle at the end of the straight section.
Luckily Nam was quick to act and he saved the car from going too far off the track.
However, Ben was not as lucky in his white S2000…
Coming in far too hot into the hairpin, Ben came off the track and ended up way out in the field at one point!
One of the most exciting cars to watch was this little red Nissan Micra, the little car that could!
Check out the rear tyre lifting off the ground!
It was driven by Thomas and driven hard!
Thanh was finding the ropes in his rather factory looking S15, but there was more than meets the eye here.
Hiding behind the wheels was a massive set of Brembo calipers up front, along with a host of other goodies.
Team Agentz representative, Henry, in his spotless white Evo! He managed a 1:38.0010
This is staggeringly quick for a comfortable four door car that can be daily driven to and from work!
Manu and his Monte Carlo Blue S2000 was consistently quick all day, his poor roof put up with the battering all day without incident!
Looking at the track you could be forgiven for thinking this was the latest driving simulation from Japan.
With so many cars from different manufactures, factory standard models mixing it up with all-out track monsters, this would be a sight some have only seen on a Playstation before.
EXE Crew are strictly a not for profit club, all track days are run on a shoe string budget with members volunteering their time to serve as race officials and safety crews.
Back in the pits there was always a sizable crowd huddled around the state of the art CRT monitor, displaying results in real time!
Despite not being an actual race day, drivers raced against the clock and the other cars as they scrambled for every inch of the tarmac.
Overtaking was a common occurrence, most drivers were very courteous and pulled to the side to allow others to pass.
This was easily the best bunch of guys and girls I’ve witnessed on a track together, everyone was having a blast and everybody got along both on and off the track.
The EXE Crew are actually a very social group, they get together for a monthly carwash meet and even a regular dinner meet back in Melbourne.
Looking at the list of cars entering, I was extremely excited to see Phoung’s beautiful hardtop S2000 on the list.
This is a car I had caught a glimpse of on the internet and couldn’t believe a car of this quality was here in Melbourne, let alone belting around our local track!
Sunday’s fastest car by far… Jimmy’s EG Civic! It hammered around Winton all day long, achieving a massive 1:30.1280!!!
An impressive lap time and an ear piercingly loud exhaust!
There were a few interesting cars battling it out against the clock, like Nick’s supercharged VY Commodore. Getting his time down to an impressive 1:45.0280!
Ying’s driving style is aggressive while being fast at the same time!
Aside from power and the obvious suspension upgrades, most cars had some impressive brakes to help deal with the extra heat and demanding nature of pushing a car to it’s limits.
Vu’s brand new S15 was sporting a heap of track ready goodies such as Project Mu calipers and discs, helping this cream coloured beauty stop when it needs to.
Factory fitted Brembos on this 350Z.
Ben hitting warp speed!!
Clint in his drift spec 180SX chasing down Duy in his JDM Integra DC2.
Clint nearly beat Duy’s time by a full second! Not bad considering his 180SX is set up for drifting and in dire need of a wheel alignment!
This Evo X sounded exactly like a jet when it hit boost, a slow roar followed by a light grey mist from the exhaust and then it was gone!
I often felt like I was on the wrong side of the lens, watching the EXE Crew have fun out there was the first time I wasn’t happy just being behind the camera.
Nearing the end of the day we decided to head back in and do a few sweeps of the pits before leaving.
Kam left his 350Z to cool down in the shade after a blistering 1:38.5290 lap!
Mr Phil Mak’s new car, I am a fan!! Although it doesn’t have the same amount of character as his white S13 did.
I am very keen to see what happens with this S14 in the future though!
Vu’s cars’ always seems to become internet sensations and this cream S15 will be no exception I’m sure.
Only the best for this car! Every time you modify a new car you learn something from your previous attempts. Going from Vu’s last car, this S15 will be pulling out all the stops! On his very first track day with the car Vu managed 1:39.2750!
The interior won’t be winning any beauty competitions, this is a no show car!
Form > Function!
Seeing this little red Civic on the track as a red blur screaming past you, it was hard to appreciate the amount of aero modifications and fine tuning that have been done to make this little grocery getter extremely competitive.
This is pure track racing.
Phoung’s S2k was way too clean after a day thumping around the track, I think I might spray my next car grey.
Titanium Go Tuning Exhaust poking out from behind the rear diffuser.
While checking out some of the cars I found this perfect white FD RX-7 sitting on a set of my favorite wheels, Work SP 1′s in black with a polished lip!
I was told it was for sale but I’m afraid I couldn’t afford this beauty…
All in all it was a fantastic day and we have the highest amount of respect for the boys and girls from the EXE-Crew, they ran one of the smoothest running track days we have ever attended.
Add this to the fact the days cost drivers practically nothing compared to other organizations, this is a real drivers club.
We are looking forward to attending the next EXE Crew day from behind the wheel and not the lens!
Don’t forget to check out the club’s facebook page, www.facebook.com/EXECrew
Full results :
Thanks for reading,
Photos : Grant & Gwyn.