Friday morning, and the first of three race days. We took it quite easy until quite late however - there wasn't anything I minded missing on at the races that day until the practice sessions, so after breakfast we took the time to relax a bit, and wrote on our postcards. To get to the track we just had to show our tickets at the station to get to the platforms, then take a train as far as Lidcombe and change there. Once there we had a bit of a wander - down the merchandise alley at first, since it wasn't nearly as busy that first day as it would be on the weekend. Ambled around most of the track, trying to work out good vantage points. Unfortunately, being quite a flat area, anywhere you stood near the track you could hardly see over the safety barriers. But then it wasn't much better for people in the grandstands; except for the corporate facilities, the grandstands were all uncovered, and the heat we'd expected had returned. Though for us GA people, anywhere we could see a good bit of the track was nowhere in the line of sight of a big screen, so we couldn't know what was happening elsewhere. Apparantly both those issues are something they plan to address for next year though - covering the stands and adding more screens - so if we go back in a few years time it might be better.
We managed at least to find some decent vantage points though - for both main races we made a spot for ourselves behind one of the grandstands opposite the big stadium, in the shade, with a good view of a big screen, and just having to stand up and turn around for an alright view of one of the fast straights. So all in all, I think we got our money's worth, especially with the big free concert on the Saturday night! The Ex-Olympic Stadium was enormous by our New Zealand standards, and even then was fair bulging with race attendees eager for what was easily as spectacular an event as the race weekend itself. Grinspoon, The Living End, and finally rock gods Cold Chisel rocked that stage for hours; an awesome display of Aussie music over the past few decades. And without the screening of photographic devices that plagues other concerts, I was even able to take some shots and short films of it.