DLRA SPEED TIMES ISSUE 23 - November 2004
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Cover 2005 Speed Trials Logo
Start Line Report
Extreme Horsepower Show
Toyota Hybrid Hustles into History
Worlds Fastest Indian
Racers in Print
On the cover; Artwork for the 2005 Speed Trails featuring Bob Ellis and his XP Falcon Coupe, the amazing V8 bike from the Silverton
Hotel and Ray Charlton and his 32 Roadster
Next door; John and Debbie Dawson?s 53 Studebaker.
President .......................... Rob Carroll Ph/Fax 03 5472 4370
Secretary ......................... Rod Hadfield See below
Treasurer ......................... Rod Hadfield
Editor / Web Site ............... Greg Wapling
Chief Steward ................... John Dawson
Race Director .................... Kevin Saville / Rob Carroll
Starter ............................. Cled Davies
Assistant Starters .............. Mathew Saunders, Geoffrey Marden, Chris Hanlon
Timer ............................... Peter Noy
Assistant Timer .................. Eric Smith
Scrutineer ......................... Phil Arnold
1st Assistant Scrutineer ...... Lennie Souter
2nd Assistant Scrutineer ..... Steve Charlton
PO Box 349 Castlemaine VIC 3450
Phone: 03 5472 2853 and Fax: 03 54721241
Hello and welcome to another newsletter.
As I wrote about in the last newsletter, we had a working bee at the Mt. Ive camp in early October. I would like to thank Cled Davies and a mate of his, Brian Love, Ray Charlton, Trevor Beck and his son-in-law Dale, Doc and Digger from Port Augusta, Andy Jenkins and the Moe Boys (Brendan, Whitey, Bruce and Brian) for making the effort to attend.
At the working bee we modified one of the old toilet trailers. This will be handy for transporting cones, tech inspection tent and other track equipment, hopefully, without falling off the trailer, as it did last March. Some mesh around it would be good, if anyone has some they don?t need. Approx 2' wide and 30 feet or so, or equivalent.
* All the track equipment has been sorted out and stacked in an orderly manner in the tool container. The doors on this container now have the props to hold the doors open on windy days.
* Some repairs to downpipes into tanks and gutters was also done. A lot of nails in the shearing shed roof were replaced with screws to make the roof sheets more secure.
* We also put a drain in the make ablution block floor to allow the water to drain out instead of having a puddle on the floor all the time.
* We now have 4 portable toilets at the camp, one new unit on a trailer, 2 of the original units on new trailers and the fourth one is an original on its same trailer. We also have another new trailer, which we ordered a new toilet for which will give us a total of 5 for the race meet in March 2005.
* We also have a second cool room at the camp. It needs to be levelled and set up properly, but is on site. At this stage it does not have a refrigeration unit fitted, but we are working on that as well. Thanks to Cled Davies for sourcing the cool room and thanks also to the Moe Boys for dragging it over there from Bendigo.
* Cled has also found a caravan that will be used on the start line. He has had it repainted and then towed it over in September. Read more about it in his Start Line Report.
* If you have not had the chance to view the video or DVD of our 2004 event, check the ad in this issue and get onto Stripey Dog to send one out to you. You will not be disappointed.
* The race meeting dates for 2006-2010 will be published in the next newsletter. These dates may or may not coincide with the Victorian Labour Day holiday, as has been the tradition in years past, but these dates will work in better with Mt. Ive Station.
At the next race meeting (March 2005), some new safety rules will be introduced, and everyone will be expected to comply with them.
Changes to start line procedures are detailed in Cled's Start Line Report, so I won't go into details here.
All push cars will be required to undertake a safety inspection for tyre condition and brake operation. Push cars will also be required to have the following items fitted; UHF radio, fire extinguisher, an oil spill kit, poly tarp, first aid kit and a flashing light on the roof. The club is investigating the cost of flashing lights, we may buy a bulk lot to get the price down. If anyone has a contact to get them cheaper, please let me know. Same could apply to the fire extinguishers and oil spill kits.
Some changes to be made to the entry and exit procedure of the pits. Details of this have not been fully worked out yet, but when they are finalised, the information will be in the newsletter. Speed of ALL vehicles in the pit area will need to be kept to walking pace only, whether they are being driven or towed or pushed (in the case of a race car). If you race car or motorcycle cannot be driven at walking pace, you will need to tow / push it out of the pits.
These changes are being introduced to minimise the risk of a claim on our public liability insurance and to make the meeting safer for competitors and spectators alike.
Please be advised permission will be required before any more caravans or site hut type accommodation is taken to our camp. Mt. Ive owners Len and Joy, don't want the permanent camp expanding any larger.
The next General Meeting (Vic) will be held at Aussie Desert Cooler premises on 30th January 2005 starting at 11:00am
2004 DLRA Speed Trails
THE BIG WHITE DYNO
DLRA Speed Week at Lake Gairdner
-Great gift idea
VHS $30, DVD $40
Price includes postage within Australia
Stripey Dog Productions
PO Box 94 Lilydale Tasmania 7268
(03) 6395 1158 0417 326 440
It's getting closer and once Christmas comes March just seems to be a blink of an eye away, so keep on those projects and try to avoid the last minute rush when things can get overlooked.
Thanks to those who attended the working bee, Rob Carroll intends to go over again at Christmas as does Trevor Beck and a couple of others to tidy up some unfinished work and to install more equipment that Cled Davies has located, he takes some beating, he is a real bower bird finding lots of good things that will make life at the camp a whole lot easier.
The parts have arrived from the U.S. to fix the Mt. Ive. grader which we agreed to do in return for the use of the machines to improve the access road.
It has proved impossible to find another route to the lake so an upgrade is the only alternative, thanks to Digger for the road reconstruction so far.
The T-Shirts and posters depicting next year's event along with stubby holders are now available for purchase.
To all those that haven't paid their auction monies from last year, could you please do so as it is a lot of work sending out accounts all the time.
We have acquired at least four new toilets which will be a godsend making life a lot easier for Andy Jenkins and with one for the start line, one for the timing area and more in the pits it will upgrade our image.
We have had quite a lot of new members join and among them is well known Hot Rodder Alan Fountain who is well into a belly tank, I have seen the pictures and it looks tops with all the good gear in it. Alan has never been to the salt but the bug has bitten him real bad.
President Rob as called another general meeting before next March to discuss ideas he has. Rob has worked hard for the club and I hope he can continue on as President.
Carol and I along with Norm Hardinge and Vicki Howard have booked a motel for next years Bonneville meet, I have written to Bonneville Newsletter to advertise our next meeting. I phoned Gail and Al Phillips when I was in the States recently and it looks as though they will be in Australia for an extended stay next year, did they hear that I was going Stateside next year?
Our cars will be on the way to the U.S. when you read this, we have acquired a 1988 Chev Duallie and a 44 foot 5th wheeler. I have made a frame to fit inside to carry our display material, there is room to live and for whichever car we are taking at the time. I intend to try and cash in on a sponsor to help with costs, I have spoken to Jay Lenno who kindly offered us the use of his workshop.
I met an old time Drag Racer from Australia, Denis Young, who has a business in Orange county California making alloy flat trays for pickups, he has a thriving business going there.
I will also be based in Orange County and I am currently looking for a factory to rent so if there are any members coming to the States contact me and I could have somewhere for them to stay. My U.S. Phone number is: 0011 1 717 919 7685.
Start Line Report
Hello from the Start Line
Firstly a big thank you to my assistant starter Mathew who sweated it out in the blazing sun, and undertook the safety checks, whilst I got to play with the lights and radio. Thanks Matt!
We have purchased a caravan, plus a fair size shade top that will provide a welcome respite from the heat for the start line officials and drivers. The van also has a small fridge to enable competitors to store cold drinks (non-alcoholic of, course)
Trevor (at everyone's.........) is working on a remote control for our starting lights that will allow the lights to be operated further away from the van and be much easier to see.
We are going to trial two start lines next meeting. The first line, some 30 metres back from the caravan will be the place where safety checks are handled. The second line, parallel with the van will be the official start line where the starter relays competition numbers to the timers and on the green signal, competitors depart down the strip. You won't be surprised to hear that it's virtually impossible to give numbers over the radio when your competing with the engines revving in the background.
We expect to erect spectator barriers at the start lines next meeting too, because of the difficulties associated with gaining public risk insurance for spectators it is only sensible to minimise potential danger. To maximise safety all mechanics will also be asked to wear fluoro safety vests provided at the rear start line. Once your vehicle has departed you?re asked to return the vest to the caravan. Make sense doesn't it?
Finally the MILE MARKERS
Each year the Chief Steward stands up and describes the strip to all drivers (including new comers) illustrated by a sketch map the shows a yellow wind up at 3 miles, a green timed 3 miles, and a red slow down section, however in the past, when drivers actually go out on the strip they can only locate the yellow markers. Currently we are investigating having green and red mile markers constructed. When these are set-up, in conjunction with the appropriate side markers, we expect visibility to be improved out of sight and much confusion eliminated.
PS we're also investigating the possibility of having a wind speed indicator at the start line for 2005. It's all happening at Lake Gairdner!!!
Regards to all
Cled and assistants.
DLRA Display at Extreme Horsepower Show Adelaide
Here are some pictures of the Silverton Dry Lake Racer's at the Extreme Horsepower show in Adelaide Oct 30-31. The show was unreal!!
The location for the DLRA stand was not!!!, but we did created a lot of interest & flew da DLRA flag well !!!
Cheers Chris Fraser.
Toyota Hybrid Hustles into History
When it comes to land speed records, the Toyota Prius is hardly an old salt. But when the hybrid hunkered down on the Bonneville Salt Flats last August, it exceeded 130 mph., setting the benchmark for hybrids to come.
Prius' trek to the Utah dry lakes aboard a Toyota Tundra pick-up truck towed trailer, was a joint effort by Jim Leininger, who is a product engineer with Toyota in America, the company's Advanced Technology department, Toyota Motorsports, Product Communications and Car and Driver magazine. The goal was to establish a new hybrid vehicle racing category and establish a speed benchmark/record during Speed Week. It also helped promote Prius in a fun new way, proving once again that the unique little sedan goes as good as any similar 'normal' car.
Executive Chief Engineer Shigeyuki Hori provided the sport/performance Prius prototype he developed for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. "Dr. Hori had the courage to say let's go out there and see how we measure up, and let's do it in public," says Leininger, who has set his own records at Bonneville with his motorcycle and Toyota-powered roadster. "It did better than any of us expected, and we wound up with a really, really strong performance"
Toyota Motorsports Technical Group Manager Chuck Wade and his team modified the car at the Motorsports Technical Center. They revised the suspension system for added stability at high speeds, installed custom fabricated final drive gears, added an ice water cooling system for the electronics, lowered the car to a half inch off the ground and installed 26-inch racing tires. The battery, engine, hybrid drivetrain, emissions system and body were all factory stock.
Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees at the 4,000-foot-high salt flats during the event. Among those braving the conditions was writer Aaron Robinson of Car and Driver, which is scheduled to publish an article about this Hybrid milestone in its December issue.
Robinson drove the car to a top speed of 130.794 mph. Making an 'experimental' run after the car underwent more modifications was Fumiaki Kobayashi, Toyota Motor Company North America group vice president of Technical and Regulatory Affairs. He pushed the Prius to 134.559 mph. "It was very, very exciting," Kobayashi says. "Prius has a very good co-efficient of drag and very refined aerodynamics, so it is very suitable for this trial." "And unlike traditional noisy racecars, our car was whisper silent," added Bill Reinert, Alternate Fuel Vehicle national manager.
Since the event, SCTA has confirmed the racing category for Hybrid vehicles and ratified the record established by the first Hybrid vehicle's visit to Speed Week.
I can't wait for the Hybrid Streamliner!
Submitted by Peter Carpenter
Ross Allen , National Parks Ranger, who was at the working bee, with Gary his brother, DLRA # 402 on Melb Cup Day, at Dandenong Vic.
The World's Fastest Indian
Submitted by Steve Barnett #391
Burt Munro was the quintessential kiwi. Born and raised in Invercargill, New Zealand, he dreamed of being the fastest man on earth.
Roger Donaldson (who's credits include "The Recruit," "Thirteen Days," "Dante?s Peak," "Species," "The Getaway," "White Sands," "Cadillac Man," "Cocktail," "No Way Out," "The Bounty," "Smash Palace"), himself from Australia, is a local boy made good in the world of Hollywood. Anthony Hopkins is one of the world's great actors (who first worked with Donaldson 20 years ago, starring in "The Bounty" opposite Mel Gibson).
In October / December of this year, the paths of these three men cross on the white sands of Bonneville, Utah and the wind swept shores of Oreti beach in Invercargill, New Zealand.
For Donaldson this will be the culmination of a dream he has held for more than 30 years. As a young filmmaker (working on the documentary, "Offerings to the God of Speed"), Donaldson met a local Invercargill man with a remarkable story. But for Donaldson, that was only the beginning. He decided this was a story that needed to be told on the big screen.
That man was Burt Munro, who in 1920 as a 21-year-old stood gazing at a brand-new motorcycle in an Invercargill garage. His eyes roved over the neat little V twin engine, the cast alloy primary case, the leaf sprung front fork. The bike was an Indian Scout; Munro, who wanted nothing less than to be the fastest man on earth, decided that this Indian Scout was going to take him there.
With no resources, no backing, no sponsors and only intermittent jobs to pay for his passion, Munro spent years as a competitive motorcyclist, developing and racing his 1920 Indian Scout to eventually break records in New Zealand, Australia and America. He was still racing at 76. He died in 1978, aged 78.
However, he began his journey, refining the bike, stripping everything off it that didn?t make it go faster -- rebuilding it every time it crashed or blew up, suffering broken limbs, and poverty until he got his bike to "the home of speed" ; the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
His methods, to say the least, were unorthodox. He used an old spoke for a micrometer, cast parts from a tractor axle in old tins, and cast pistons in holes in the sand at the local beach.
Originally the Indian Scout had a top speed of 55 mph. But in 1962 on the sands of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, Munro (now a grandfather in his 60s) made his first trip to "the home of speed", returning several times during the 1960s to shatter speed records and set a new land speed record of 190 miles an hour in 1967 (a record still on the books).
His visits to the salt were not without incident. Munro was quoted as saying:
"At the Salt in 1967 we were going like a bomb. Then she got the wobbles just over half way through the run. To slow her down I sat up. The wind tore my goggles off and the blast forced my eyeballs back into my head -- couldn't see a thing. We were so far off the black line that we missed a steel marker stake by inches. I put her down - a few scratches all round but nothing much else." At the time Burt was 67-years-old and traveling at close to 206 mph.
"The World's Fastest Indian" follows the road to fulfulling a dream, and the magic in the true story of a man who believed, "If it's hard, work harder; if it's impossible, work harder still. Give it whatever it takes, but do it." Playing this eccentric and lovable character is Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins.
"The World?s Fastest Indian" captures Burt with all his power, his determination, his creativity, his charm, his eccentricity -- told through the eyes of a director who knew the man personally, and has never wavered from his own dream of making Burt's story.
This project has been a passion of mine since I completed a documentary about Burt Munro back in 1972 ("Offerings to the God of Speed").
Burt Munro was a most extraordinary New Zealander . . . A "one-off" original.
I first met him late one winter's night in Invercargill in 1971. Burt was excited that some young filmmakers had come all the way down from Auckland to meet this old man and discuss the possibility of a documentary about his exploits. In his enthusiasm he wheeled an old 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle out of the cinder-block shed where he lived and jumped on the kick starter. The engine roared to life; a sound to split your eardrums. Lights started coming on in the neighbors' houses. When Burt finally stopped revving the engine and you could once again hear, the night was filled with the yells of his disapproving neighbors suggesting that 11:00 p.m. was an inappropriate time to start "demonstrating" his unmuffled motorcycle.
I WAS HOOKED . . . and so I set about with my hand-wind BOLEX making my short film about Burt Munro's life . . . shooting him in the South Island and accompanying him to the Bonneville Salt Flats as he attempted to set a land speed record on his ancient bike.
After the documentary was shown to a favourable reception on New Zealand Television, I couldn't get Burt out of my mind. I felt that my film really didn't do this eccentric and talented New Zealander justice, and so after Burt died in 1978, I decided to try and make a feature film based on his exploits.
Over the past 25 years I have written numerous drafts of this script and the film has nearly gone into production three times. However, I have always felt that previous drafts of the script just did not get there and so I decided not to proceed.
Two years ago, after I completed production on "The Recruit," I decided that rather than sign up for another Hollywood movie I would knuckle down and get the Burt script right. I believed this could be an uplifting and inspirational story in the spirit of such films as "The Full Monty," "Billy Elliot" and "Chariots of Fire." I re-wrote the script until I felt I had finally cracked it.
Finally, I had what I believed to be the basis for an entertaining and commercial film with out any compromises. A story that really captured the spirit of Burt Munro.
I have been intrigued by Burt's story for many, many years; Some would say my obsession with this film matches Burt's obsession with his bike.
DRLA in Print
Heres a letter that I've written to Australian Muscle Car which would probably ring true for some members.
Dear Australian Muscle Car
While having my lunch and reading an old issue of your mag I noticed an article about the Raptor Falcon Utes and their creator Bob Roman .
My business partner and I are, let's face it, dreamers of the first order as we are both building cars which we hope to race at Lake Gairdner at the DLRA's "Speed Week". A friend and I are building a bellytank Lakester in my garage and Tex is putting together a twin turbo 360 Charger. Tex is spending a little bit more than us and truth be known he'll probably go a little faster than us although pushing a Charger through the air at over two-hundred miles per hour would be like trying to stick a chest of draws up a frogs bum.
Our car has no suspension, limited braking ability, very restricted visibility and we'll be running on second-hand tyres with a scrounged Buick six and a Holley that I swapped Tex for a couple of hours work , but, hey that's the nature of a tank, home built, rudimentary , hack-designed high-speed transport for the motor-sport fringe dweller .
When I read about the V8 Raptor's purported 450 km/h capability I was reminded of the Simpsons episode where Homer goes in pursuit of General Sherman the giant Catfish whilst on a marriage retreat. Sure there are fast fish in Lake Gairdner but when someone lands one that big with "production car tackle" I'll be the first to buy them a freezing cold Coopers at the Lakeside Canteen .
In case you're wondering if you want to go to Lake Gairdner head to Port Augusta then continue on forty miles to Iron Knob , turn right and take the dirt about a hundred and ten miles to the Lake, simple. Oh yeah , don't take anything that you ain't prepared to take home broken, dreams included .
James Stewart # 374
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