Well, our Annual Speed Week has come and gone for another year and I often wonder if one should take up heroin, poker machines or some other addiction that takes all your money and time but without the frustration's. We buy the best and it still breaks, we fit a Tremec and break it, fit a Doug Nash and break it, fit a Jerico and break it! What next, a Lenco has been suggested, has anyone got one they want tested? Oh well, lets see what the manufacturers at Jerico say!!
That big white Dyno sure tested the machinery this year, but you wouldn't miss it for quids. Wasn't it the best yet with all those 200 mph runs for the bike boys, they sure have guts and the ones that were so close. Congratulations boys and what about our one legged Harley rider Phil Cvirn and the 150mph run, that's a bloody good effort for both rider and bike!
I wonder if the smiles has left the faces of the Broughan brothers and Bob Ellis, although I'll bet it was reduced a little when Bob's bus blew up in Dubbo and it was a tow job back to Queensland.
Congratulations to everyone who ran and improved on last year's speeds and commiserations to the blow-ups.
Ray Charlton had quite a few bumps in the sump of his Chev as did Wayne Pickles and the broken pieces I saw from the engine of Nick Bown's VL would have bought a lot of good time at the Casino.
As John Lynch said the DLRA stands for Drinking, Laughing, Racing Association and I am sure everyone had a great time.
What about our hosts Joy and Len, did they do a good job or what! Great food, great prices, great hospitality and co-operation.
Thanks to the teams that bought air blowers, but we still had a couple of people who didn't really try and left tell tale signs in the pit area, lets not get too complacent, we can be refused permission at any time and then it's back to the drags for sure.
Congratulations also go to our Newsletter Editor/Webmaster Greg Wapling for being awarded the ASRF trophy at the recent Castlemaine Rod Run for his services to the sport.
The DLRA has received excellent coverage in the latest edition of Bonneville Racing News with front cover exposure headlined "Aussie Salt Meet" and pictures of Dennis Boundy's Grey powered FJ and Chris Fraser's Leyland powered bike. Further into the magazine there is a full page feature with pictures of Steven Stamp's and Ray Charlton's Roadsters and the Rod Shop Commodore with a story sent in by us, another page showing John Lynch's, Bob Ellis's, Leigh Fielder's and the Broughan's cars along with the bikes of Gary Peterson, Gary Baker and Greg Walters. Another full page features all the results from Peter Noy and a picture of Mike Davidson's Roadster and yet another full page featuring pictures of Phil Medlun's Roadster and the story of his exploits driving the car to Lake Gairdner and his week at the salt written by his mate Frank Groth. This story also features in the May Edition of "Cruzin" magazine along with the car being the centre page spread.
This year was a meeting that started slowly, but ended fast. The track was closed to bikes on Monday afternoon due to a gusting crosswind of up to 35 Mph, and a strong tail wind on Tuesday allowed the track to be open, but prevented any record runs being made. My aim is to keep the track open as much as possible, if I think it is safe, which is why I ran cars only on Monday afternoon.
Unfortunately several cars and bikes expired on Tuesday, or the next run after, so missed out on making recorded runs. My commiseration's to them, and I hope they are back next year. The salt was the driest that I have seen in 11 years. The club truck travelling on the virgin salt to layout and drag the track had hardly picked up enough from the surface of the lake over the week to use on fish and chips. The surface of the track was excellent, with no deterioration over the week. I would like to thank the Bowman team for a fantastic track marking effort, as well as team Saville for the track layout and alignment.
28 records were set, and 6 new members of the 200 MPH club inducted. It has taken a while, but it was inevitable that the Suzuki Hayabusa's would be running over 200. Thursday afternoon was when it all happened. No wind, but the air must have been good, or else all the minor drama's had been sorted out by then. Greg Schlein, John Broughan, Paul Broughan, Gary Petersen and Gary Baker set records over 200 on Thursday afternoon, while Bob Ellis waited until Friday morning. Congratulations to all. Setting a record over 200 is not an easy task, shown by the fact that up to this meeting at Lake Gairdner, only 8 members had made it into the DLRA 200 MPH club.
Over 300 runs were made this year, and I need to thank a lot of people for this. It takes a lot of effort to organize and set up a meeting of this size, and it is the pretty much the same people each year to whom we are indebted.
Rod and Carol Hadfield and Rob Carroll for organizing all the things that need to happen before we leave home. Mike Davidson for the public liability insurance. Peter Noy and Eric for the timing, Cled and his merry bunch of starters. The CFS volunteers who give us peace of mind in case of an accident, that fortunately have not been needed, and hopefully never will.
Rob Carroll again for the running of the meeting, and John Dawson and Gary Baker for scrutineering.
This years meeting was hard on engines again, as it has been over the past few years, now that through either luck or management, we can prepare a track that has no soft or sloppy sections.
My team finally got our act together this year, although we had a few minor problems, both self inflicted. On Wednesday, we were running 196 mph, but could not get the engine to rev over 7000 rpm. Because of the power, we couldn't crank it up in the lower gears due to wheel spin, so I thought we had run out of grunt. Turned out that the rev limiter in the computer was set. Turned that off, then the clutch started slipping. Turned out the master cylinder had expired. Fixed that by driving without a clutch, just meant that we had to change early. The car has always handled well, but has never had the horsepower to make much of it. This year we found enough horsepower. I am not sure exactly how much, as the car was running 4 pounds higher boost at the lake than when dynoed at home, but I estimate around 450 HP at the wheels. A magnificent effort for a $440 engine and a $700 TO4 turbo. The engine has slightly larger fuel injectors from a 3 litre, and an aftermarket computer, but is otherwise untouched from what was bought at the wreckers in January. We were running 20 pounds of boost, at 7700 RPM for the long course, and the engine is as sweet as you could ever hope for. No blowby, no misfires. Two things I noticed that I wasn't really expecting was the acceleration of the car in 3rd and top. I was being pushed back in the seat, and the car was doing 200 by about a mile and a quarter. It was a huge buzz at those speeds, but I was expecting a long wind out. The other thing was the wind resistance. The first time I put my foot on the clutch after running the timing section, I thought I had released the chute, the car slowed so suddenly. It was like putting your foot on the brakes.
If you want speed on a budget, a Toyota 1JZ-GTE could be the answer, especially if you have a liking for a 6 cylinder, and you can cope with a computer controlled turbo engine. If you do look at this, ditch the factory turbo's straight away. The ceramic wheels will give you plenty of grief. This year gives us a few firsts, and as this is my last chance for a captive audience, this is what they are:
First home built car over 200.
First 6 over 200. Probably the fastest 6 in the country.
First car to lose a tire over 200 and not lose control.
At the moment we have no idea what to do for next year now. Should we re class the car with a
smaller engine and start again, meet the safety for over 200, and crank it up as much as we can afford
After 6 years involved with the technical side of the club, the last 4 as chief steward, I think it is time to move on and allow some fresh ideas. I commend John Dawson, who put his hand up at the annual meeting, and was elected the new chief steward for the 2005 meeting, and wish him all the best. John has been to the lake many times as both spectator/helper and competitor, and he will make a fantastic chief steward.
The job of chief steward has many parts, but the most rewarding part for me was talking to people over the phone or in person about the construction of a new car, and then having the pleasure of seeing them compete. This has never failed to give me a smile.
I hope the members have enjoyed the meetings as much as I have, and I look forward to next year.
Retiring Chief Steward
200 MPH club life member (At last)
THE BIG WHITE DYNO
Lake Gairdner 2004
Available on VHS or DVD — running time 80 minutes.