Mark Skaife has driven the first laps of the Sydney Olympic Park street track – the home of this weekend’s Sydney Telstra 500.
Skaife, who was part of the track design team, steered the Team BOC Commodore VE around the 3.4km track for two laps.
He told Speedcafe that it will be a track that drivers will have to use their smarts.
“In terms of the flow, it really is going to be a thinking circuit,” he said.
“You’ll have to really apply your brain to utilising every bit of road.
“The circuit itself will be very tough. It will be hard on brakes, it will be hard on drivers, especially after 250km around here. It’s a circuit that you’ll have to sacrifice one corner to get another one right. They tend to flow together quite dramatically. One corner flows into the next, so you’ve almost got make a decision as to which one you attack.
“It will be a very interesting race track. Guys who are committed are the ones who will get the big gains.”
Skaife pointed out the chicane at the top of the circuit as one of the parts of the track that surprised him.
“The chicane at the top of the track – the XXXX chicane – it’s slightly tighter than you think,” he said.
“But at the same time, we did that for a purpose in terms of making it an overtaking position and restricting the speed on the exit.
“I hope that everyone enjoys the weekend. It’s been a massive project.”
Skaife was also part of the design team of the new Townsville street track, where he also drove the first laps earlier this year.