Not the most successful season on record. We started the season at the Autotrader Easter Thunderball in high hopes, after a very busy (borderline frantic) off season we all felt justifiably proud of the cars appearance, hundreds (no joke!) of hours spent lightening the body, improving the aero and most impressively of all the gorgeous new paint job laid down by our sponsors at Custom Exotics and pinstriping & polishing by Joe at Fresh Reflections A few upgrades and tweaks over the winter left us without a real baseline and every run at Easter saw the tyres lighting up and the hit, a quick pedal job and running mid-high 7s before the weather swept in and ended the event prematurely.
On to our next appearance at the Summer Nationals, another addition to the car in the form of a swoopy nose hoping to cure the top end wheels up we saw at Easter. The racing Gods however had other plans, the car was on a great run (new PB at every incremental) when at about 3/4 track I saw daylight, lots of daylight. The quick we release pins we had to fit to the body did exactly that, and quick released themselves launching the ’34 Ford body 30ft into the air, spectacular but painful. The impact all but destroyed the body. We made plans to return and I spent the rest of the weekend helping Darryl with a bit of colour commentary.
10 days hectic cutting, grinding and fibreglassing later we arrived at Dragstalgia with a very different look, a satin black ’23 T body a far cry from the show finish of the ’34, but functional, and at least we were out racing not sat at home. Everything came together with great weather and the car running sweet, the result a PB of 7.52 on an early shut off due to a ruptured fuel line, followed by a [email protected] for new best numbers at both ends. Set for a final round appearance against Chaos unfortunately I lost drive staging and had to watch Nick storm away to another impressive 6.3 pass.
The long summer break was too long, so we set out for a bit of testing at Mini In The Park, a couple of aborted launches due to a magneto fault and we set out to get ready for an outing in Super Pro at the Euro Finals.
Massive thank you to Ian Turboville for helping us out with a replacement rotor arm after Parcel Farce once again made a simple job impossibly difficult! First run a soft launch and check out run against John Everett (always a fun guy to race!) [email protected] A few tweaks to the fuel system and more clutch looking to take advantage of the awesome track conditions, driver error with a double clutch off the line but then the car was flying until around 500ft where I felt a weird vibration, quickly lifted and felt the motor die accompanied by a cloud of death smoke. I knew it wasn’t good news, popped the chutes, pulled over and left the brakes well alone in case I was swimming in oil. I hopped out the car, pulled the diaper back and confirmed the worst, a gaping hole in the sump and aluminium everywhere. Those shiny new Bill Miller rods don’t look so good when they’re on the outside…
A quick comment on diapers, basically it saved the car, 90% of the expelled oil was safely held in the diaper when we got back to the pits – without it there would have been 10qts of Lucas’ finest racing oil and chunks of aluminium under the slicks at 150mph and probably a very bent fuel altered stuffed into the concrete wall. Safety gear at its best, every car should have one. It also minimalised clear up time which has to be a bonus especially on such a busy weekend.
Finally a massive thank you to our sponsors; Lucas Oil, Custom Exotics, Auto Finesse and Fresh Reflections, to the crew – never down and always hard working, everyone who’s helped us this year (you know who you are) and our supporters around the world – over 1200 of you on our Facebook page now!
That’s our season done. We stripped the motor totally and are waiting on the diagnosis on the block/crank but we’ve got a few ideas to step things up a bit for next year! We’ll be back out at Easter, bigger, better and faster, its going to be a long winter again.
We’re gutted to miss the season finale at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals supporting the NFAA but I’ll be there (you can’t keep me away) and will give Colin a hand up in the commentary box for the NFAA again.