|Home > Speed Trials > 2003|
The turn up for this years meeting was smaller than we have been used to in the last 3 or 4 years. It was a bit disappointing with the extra work that was to be done with the new camp, which I think will benefit everyone, and will be a milestone in the clubs progress like the purchase of the original camp was. In years to come, I predict that we will wonder how we got along at the old camp, similar to the way we look back to the pre dawn starts at the station to try and get the good air in the morning.
Those that did come had an enjoyable meeting, I know that I did, even though we had a lot of engine trouble, as usual. The track performed well, and I think that the track setup and operation is performed efficiently and smoothly. We didn't get to start until Monday lunchtime, but this a feature of the amount of effort it takes to mark and wire the track, and the number of people who make themselves available to do it.
Once again the meeting was hard on engines. John Lynch was unable to approach his speed of 297 Mph from last year. A head gasket let go causing a small fire, then when this was fixed, a spark plug was melted. At this point, I think they decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and called it a meeting. The repairs to the motor last year was extensive, with 8 pistons and rods, welded crank and welded block. No doubt John's pockets were much the lighter for it. Bob Ellis in his chopped Falcon coupe dropped a rod, which increased the ventilation of his crankcase. Nick Brown, who along with a few others would like to be the first production vehicle to 200 Mph, lost oil pressure on his big block 308, now 383 CI, and spun a bearing. 184 Mph was a creditable effort for the car's first meeting. Mark Dunn and Greg Hamilton had the Holden station wagon back again this year. Unfortunately, while chasing a water leak, they discovered a crack in the block through a welch plug hole. This put them on the trailer as well. We had a new car from Perth this year, which was built as a drag car, running a creditable 175 mph, before it too had engine troubles. We blew an engine two days before we were to leave, which left us poorly prepared in the engine department. I bought a $550 long motor from the wreckers and bolted it in, but I missed a few things in the rush. We eventually fixed the engines inability to rev, but it took pistons tapping valves for us to work out that the timing belt pulleys were loose on the cams. Once this was fixed we could get revs, but no boost. This was because it was a turbo that had let go, which put turbine pieces into the motor, and caused it to expire. We ran 145Mph without the turbo, better than last year, but slower than hoped. But as we say, there's always next year.
Enough of the problems, let's look at the positives. Leigh Russell from Queensland ran his little 3 cyl Suzuki again, running 129 Mph with a turbo engine. Leigh would have to be one of our keenest members. He drives the car from Qld with all his stuff, including the race motor, bolted in where the passenger seat should be. A good thing to, as he killed a perfectly good motor on a run. His first from memory. A new car for this year, an FJ Holden, ran 107 Mph with the old sideplate Grey motor. Any one who can run one of these engines, which have a fairly crude oiling system, and are not known for their high revving, deserves to feel very proud. They didn't lose their motor, and neither did the Moe boys. They ran their XA coupe again, which ran strong and straight. Over 190 Mph in a barge like this is strong indeed. The mind boggles at what it could do in a lakester or streamliner. Ron Whowell from Brisbane ran 192.25 on a Kawasaki, raising the bar for bikes yet again. He is keen to run 200MPH next year (aren't we all). The Suzuki boys will have to come back and try a bit harder next year. Maybe next year will be the one when we get our first member in the 200 MPH club in a production class. Rod Hadfield ran his Commodore to 259 Mph, without the mechanical and window problems that threw a spanner in his works last year, although he did take the scenic route on one of his runs.
Ok, now down to the official stuff. Next year the scrutineers will be paying more attention to firewalls. Cars must have a gas and watertight seal. This requirement is there for a very good reason, and if a car is brought to scrutineering with a firewall that is not properly sealed, it will be sent back to the pits for another try. There will be a rule book update with the next newsletter. The changes are minimal, and will not cause any grief with entrants. One change from this meeting will be that if a vehicle leaves the marked track area on a run, the driver will be obliged to immediately shut down, and abort the run. Any car that leaves the track will also be considered to be exhibiting poor handling. The clause about no laid back windscreens on top chops has been removed to provide alignment with the SCTA rule book.
As usual, we had a bit of a wind up party at the Big 4 caravan park in Port Augusta on the way back. An extremely pleasant wind down for those that choose to hang around after the meeting closes, and help pack up. I would like to thank Club Animal for throwing a few beers on. Unusual for Club Animal to have any left over. Must be getting quieter with the years.
Results of Speed Trials 2003, March 10th - 14th 2003 - Peter Noy, Chief Timer
61 entrants, 246 runs.
Records shown are either Open or a Record prior to this meeting.
Photos by Andrew (Drewfus) Parish, and John Burley #332
Select image to enlarge
Got any photos? Send 'em to me