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Ken Lowe's Racers diary (last half of 2000)
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12 Sept 2000
At the beginning of the year I got behind on the diary because I put so much time into creating the web site. I have not made an update to the diary since June right after the Winternationals. Life got pretty busy. My daughter Samantha was born and I am amazed as to how much maintenance a seven pound kid requires. I always thought a Top Fuel car was high maintenance hell they are nothing compared to Samantha. I have been told that the maintenance level does drop off later. It's funny though, I love every minute of it!!!

I have the gas conversion done on the truck now. Wow! This is good stuff. It has cut my fuel bills in half!!!
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We have put a new awning on the trailer. While we had the cover off we re-bushed all the hinges and pins. Originally we had a red awning cover and always regretted it so when we replaced it we did so with a white one.

As you know we got rained out in June at the Winternationals. Since then it has not rained more than 6mm (quarter inch) and then only once or twice. This is not enough to get anything wet. Unfortunately the long range forecasts last Sunday said not to expect anything significant until December.

My landscaping project is coming to a close. Well, from the pond to the front gate anyway. I still have the large hole to fill in the northeast corner. I'm waiting for some good rich top soil to cover the fill I put in to level the lot up. I have two different contractors that each have over 3000 cubic meters of top soil that they will be wanting to get rid of as soon as the details of their developments come to a close. I've found a bulldozer operator that specialized in golf courses and he will do the final cut for me. Then I put down seed and the rain. Four!!!!

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View from the west door of the house. That is Bob Wilson's container next to the shop and my Dooley and Chaparral next to it.

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View off the west end of the veranda looking north. The pond is just over the bank on the left side of the photo.

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If you were standing in the middle of the photo above and looking at the shed this is the view from there.

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I have collected a pile of top soil but it is not enough for the complete project and I think I will get a lot more anyway so I'll leave this pile in place until I'm close to finished with the dirt project. This is the view of  the yard just east of the house looking towards the front gate. You can see the driveway going up to the front gate just on the right side of the photo.  

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View from the yard just east of the house looking west toward Mt Tambourine. The house is just to the left of the photo. Now I need just a little top soil, some grass seed and some rain. No one ever said anything small.

I know it is not racing stuff but this is what you do when your not racing.

Now back to race stuff ........

I've been collecting run data at the races for a long time. In the last year or so I have been tracking the weather data and compiling it through several sets of math formulas. This was to see which formulas would give me predictable results in race car performance.  I have settled on Patrick Hale's math program as I feel it is the closest and the best. The cost is only $55.00 US and is as good as the "other" $600.00 program  or the $1800 machine that will give you the same information. You need a computer to run the program on but you need one of them at the race track anyway don't you.

In August Drag Race School graduate Ross Dowley leased the car for a test and tune and a race. He performed very well at the test and tune and was looking forward to the race. On race day he was doing a good job of driving though his reaction times were not real good. We worked on the reaction times a bit. In the first round he cut his best light of the day at .500 (on a .400 tree) and the car ran .02 off the dial in. The car in the other lane was a manual shifted VW that was off its dial in by .12 but his light was a unbelievable .401. Later we calculated that if Ross had cut a .465 light or the bug cut a .435 light Ross would have won.  Although Ross lost he is so pumped up about racing I spoke to him a week later and he is still excited. It is the enjoyment like this that people get from racing that makes the Drag Race School so much fun to do.

Saturday 16 Sept 2000 Quick update.
    Busy week this week. Lots of customer stuff and just a little on our cars. I got some new weather stuff (hardware and software) and had a little fiddle with that. I want to chase the tune up on the DRS car a bit now that we are between seasons.
    We sold the hair salon this week. It's a good business but needs more attention than we can give it so its gone. 
    There is a test and tune tonight and a customer from Woolongong drove up so I could assist him on his tune up. The next T&T is on 30 Sept just before the Winter rain date of 6 October.  Melissa has a DRS car leased for the T&T and then the finish of the Winter rain race. She's a good consistent driver and this gives me a chance to chase the tune up a bit more.
    We are starting to assemble another DRS car. This one will have two engine choices. Another normally aspirated injected alcohol engine or the supercharged engine for the Graduate classes. The chassis is set up for either a hand brake and a clutch or a foot brake and an automatic trans. This one has front brake hardware installed as well but for now will not have the brakes installed.

Saturday night I assisted a fuel system customer at the track. It is a 2800 pound non tubbed street car with a 390" Ford Cleveland small block and a Powerglide trans on 10" tires, leaf springs in the rear, full interior, roll up windows - the lot. It ran a 9.104 @ 145.96 mph carrying the front wheels over a foot in the air for nearly 60 feet. It danced its way to a 5.85 ET at the 660 foot timers running 118 mph at the 1/8. It became the quickest non tubbed car in Australia and the second quickest street car (the other one is tubbed with tires nearly twice the size as on this projectile).  There is a lot of opinion around that says a tubbed car is not "street" since it cannot be legally registered in Australia.  It's been a lot of time since I had fun with a "street" car.!!!  We were chasing the tune up but on the final pass (we were looking for an "8") the crank trigger wire came disconnected shutting the engine off and ending the chase for the "8". Maybe at the Performance Car Shoot out in October.

Sunday 17 Sept 2000 A little web site update, answer the email and take a trip out to Redland Bay. Where did the day go?

Sunday 24 Sept 2000 Today was a Samantha day, I didn't even get to the shop today.

Monday 25 Sept 2000 Finished another jet boat fuel system and flowed a few pumps. Packed a few parts orders. Answered a lot of phone calls. 

Tuesday 26 Sept 2000 I've been flat out since last weekend (the one before last weekend). I took the Rodeck block to the machine shop for a little touch with the line hone. As we were checking it for reassembly one of the tunnels needed a little kiss to bring it in. While I was in Brisbane I purchased a B&J Fat Boy, a Supermag 4 and a PSI revlimiter. The mag was for a 426 so it turned the wrong way so I sent it to John Payne's for reversing to the Chev rotation. Now we have enough to put together another car. Now all I need it time. I'm catching up on fuel systems here for the first time in months as I'm doing the last one on the shelf. What a relief that is!! I hate to be behind the 8 ball, but it is the nature of the service business. If no more fuel systems come in today I can get started assembling the cylinder heads for the third DRS engine. I can pick up the Rodeck tomorrow and all has to be done there is clean and assemble the short block. 

Thursday 28 Sept 2000 I picked up the Rodeck block today. They did a great job on it. While I was there I stopped in for a visit with Bob Brackham. More fuel systems came in today. I just finished my last one yesterday- no rest for the wicked my mom used to say. I started at 6:00 am this morning and it's now 9:34 pm as soon as I close here I have one fax to send then I'm off to the house. I wanted to try to get the Rodeck short block together this weekend but Saturday Melissa has the car leased for a test session to get ready for the Winternationals rain date the following weekend. If I get a chance on Sunday I'm going to attempt to assemble at least the short block. We were flat out in the shop today and the trucks were running to give us more flat land. Yesterday I purchased 125 meters of 450mm drain pipe now we have to install it. I'm running the water off the hill (when we get rain!!) down into the dam for the irrigation system. Then I will cover the pipe to make more flat land. Flat land is good land. If I can drive my Dooley over it, it is good land. I was flooded once in 1972 and never forgot it. I never want to be flooded again. I took my altimeter and checked the altitude of the property here. Here we are 150 feet above Southport and 125 feet above the highway in front of Warner Brothers Movie World just over the hill. I don't think I'll be flooded here. Most flat land is flat because it has been a flood plain over the last few thousand years and just because it has not flooded in current memory doesn't mean that it won't flood, it will. Am I paranoid? I don't know but I do know I won't be flooded. Therefore we're just taking our hill and making a flat spot for us. Send the fax Ken and lets go to the house. Tomorrow is another day .....

Sunday 1 Oct 2000 Samantha's day today, I spent all day with her. No race car work done today. Didn't even check the email.
Monday 2 Oct 2000 Flat out today!! I got a lot of loose ends tied up.
Tuesday 3 Oct 2000 Last weekend we took DRS car #1 to the track and Melissa did a bit of practice for her drive at the Winternationals. She did very well and made 4 passes in training for next weekend. I've been spending a little time in the trailer doing a bit of tidy up and fixing some things. We have a new awning and I just finished mounting the new lights on the awning rail.
As many of you know we are putting some fill in our property so we can have flat land, which is race car trailer friendly land. I have a photo of the excavator preparing for the drain pipe we are putting in to direct the storm water to the pond so I can use it for irrigation.
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I had the concrete pipe delivered last week and we'll put it in after the Winternationals.

Thursday 5 Oct 2000 Winternationals 2000 version 2 (rain date)
Trailer is loaded with car, tools and supplies (and all the customer stuff I have to deliver) the truck is hooked up all we have to do is stop at the servo and get the LP for the truck and ice for the esky (cooler). They are doing scruteneering (tech) this evening so we can get straight into racing in the morning. That's a good idea. Melissa (the driver) has organized that Dragster Australia will cover her for this event in the DRS car. Now that's a great promotions girl for ya. I'll get some photos from the event to post here. Due to the schedule I may not be able to get them posted until the event is over but I'll try. You can check back every 24 hours or so to have a look. How relaxed is this! I'm posting updates to the web site just before we leave for a race!! I'm going to follow Dave up with the car and we'll leave the truck and trailer there.
We unloaded the car and got the car scruteneered and were all ready for tomorrow. Our first pass (only pass) is at either the 10:30am session or the 1:30 pm session. We will probably take the am session since it is only a test session as we are already done with qualifying. We don't race tomorrow so after the session were done for the day.
I was taking to Michael Harvey and he got right up me about not mentioning that he took his new car to the starting line (click here for photos). They did a little hop at Adelaide the other day and took the car home for inspection just to make sure everything was OK. He's keen as anything to get back in and make his full hop.
After we got the car scrutneered Daniel McBurney came by and had two broke chassis rails in his car so he and his crew pulled the engine out and my guy Davo welded it up. Dave and I got home at 8:30 pm and don't leave in the morning until 7:45.
Grant and Sandra Harvey drove up from Adelaide for this race and were assisting a friend by putting his car in their trailer and towing it up to the Winternationals for him. The trailer is narrower than the motor home so at night you can't see it back there except for the occasional glow of the running lights on the back edge of the trailer. Grant was driving and had a look back and could not see the glow so he slowed down and did a little swerve so he could see the trailer. Can't see it. So he stops and walks back to trailer!!! The hitch had broken clean off the motor home.  So they turn around and start driving back and stop for fuel. They speak to a truck driver who had stopped for fuel as well and asked him if he had seen a trailer. He replied,"You mean that one that tried to knock down a 3' wide gum tree?" The drove back almost half an hour to find the trailer.  The trailer had hit the gum tree dead center at full noise. Gum trees are very tough. The trailer hitch imbedded in the tree followed my most of the trailer hitch. The car came lose in the trailer and came out the front of the trailer. Grant said most everything looked a bit second hand.
This prompted me to think about adding a section to the web site about travel stories. I've got a few and know most other people do as well. If you have some travel stories send them to me and I'll start a section on that.
Friday 6 Oct 2000 How casual this is. I wake up without the alarm, Tracey feeds me breakfast and I get to hold Samantha for 15 minutes then have a shower, get dressed, clean the pool filter, clean the cat litter, organize some snacks for today pack an order to mail out, pull some parts to take to the track for customers and still have 15 minutes to go before we leave for the race track. Beautiful day today, not a cloud in the sky, warm balmy temperatures only the hint of a breeze. Bob Shaw is taking his car up today and we'll use it as a tow car as Tracey needs the wagon today.
Well its 12:13 am now and I am dead tired- big day. We got two passes to give us our dial in for tomorrow. We have been refining the tune up a little bit and in the first session the car ran its best mph at 158.45 miles per hour. This is even with us slowing the 60' down to 1.40's to make the car deadly consistent!! Melissa cut two very consistent lights but we have to take a little out of the box for her daylight run tomorrow. Our first round is in the 9:00am session and I suspect we will go about 10:00am as we have 3 eliminators in front of us.
Mark ran another 5.65 for top qualifying in TAD which gives him 10 bonus points towards the championship and that puts Phillips only 10 points in the lead. In the next round Phillips ran a 5.75 with his new PSI equipped TAD but the chutes failed to open and he went very deep into the tire wall and bent up the nose. It will be a bit of work but he will be there for first round tomorrow. The car will not be pretty! Because we have 7 cars Mark gets a bye in the first round. This will be a very close championship tomorrow. The rest of the cars are in the 5.8's. Stephen Reed ran a 5.92 in his TAFC the only one in the field. 
Andrew Searle ran 6.30 for the quickest TD of the day with a very close bunching of the next four cars all in the 6.30's.  Robin Judd, Les Winters, Victor Bray, Dave Koop all made good passes so it's going to be close racing tomorrow.
The top leakers were all true to form.
Today I have been inundated with comments of people who read this diary I had no idea that many people looked at this part of the site. If you are reading this site please click here and send me an email note so I can see who is actually having a look, I'd really appreciate it. I guess I'll have to do a better job of reporting now!
ANDRA gave Gary Bannerman got a $55 fine for going racing with a car that had an expired log book!!!
Close now and go to bed tomorrow comes early.
Saturday 7 Oct 2000 It is late and I should call this Sunday as that is what time it is. Now it is 1:55am Sunday morning. I am so tired after such a long day for such an old guy I can hardly keep my eyes open but wanted to give you some info. Some of you may already know as Oberg has let go with a press report that many of you already get.
It was a great day of racing the weather was warm days with balmy nights and a clear sky for the entire race. I know I should be a better reporter but I am a better watcher than a writer of info.  I get too excited to write it down and then later have difficulty remembering the details.
Our team did not do well as we lost in the first round. We were lined up to race a car that runs a similar time to ours but there was a shuffle in the staging lanes at the last minute and we wound up racing Warren Dun in Gary Bannermans car. This was Melissa's (our driver) wpe4C.jpg (15200 bytes)  second race in the car in competition and had never raced against a car that had 35 miles per hour more top end speed than our car and because of the kaffufel in the staging lanes I did not get a chance to brief her on the situation. Melissa and Warren both left with about the same reaction time but when Melissa go to near the finish line she thought she was all alone and was afraid she was going to break out so she peddled the car and an instant later this blur of a 600 cubic inch Ford Hemi went past-whoops!! Later looking at the incrementals we determined the car would have run .002 off its dial in. Melissa felt bad but it was not her fault as she just needed more experience which she will get. We win together or we race together but we do it together.
Graeme Frawley won the track championship in his Ken Lowe Race Cars dragster. This is his fourth championship. He also got the Best Engineered Award for the car as well... I wonder why??wpe4D.jpg (8965 bytes) He looks happy doesn't he? He went on to runner up the event as well cutting perfect .40 lights all day until the final where he was a little late and got caught. Whoops.

The racing was the best I have seen in a long time for a lot of reasons. The new Willowbank race format was very well packaged and entertaining the best I have seen anywhere. Dennis and John and the Willowbank crew are to be commended. The Top Fuel cars put on a great show and did not oil the track once!!! Good close racing with Jim Reed defeating DiFillipo in the final.
Top Alcohol was a absolutely terrific show with the Australian Championship going to the last race with both Klapper (Gary Phillips) and Brewy (Mark Brew) running a 5.75 and a 5.74 in winning their previous rounds. It was going to be a slug fest for the championships as Brewy had moved within 10 points of the current leader Klapper by this low et qualifying shot. Klapper is not known for his starting line but he did well just barely getting out on Brewy but at the 330' Brewy was charging hard and had a 4 foot lead but Klapper pulled back for the win with a 5.78 to a 5.78 and the margin of victory was on the starting line. Klapper ran 245 mph but Brewy was down with 233 mph for that pass - unreal racing - edge of the chair stuff.

The Australian TD Championship was decided in the semi's when Judd and Bray squared off. As soon as the hammer dropped Victor Bray had Judd as it appeared Judd had problem as soon as the car started to move. By the half way point Judd clicked it off. Bray raced Brett Stephens in the final of TD. Just a few minutes prior to this race Brett had lost the race in Top Fuel bike when he had been a favorite to win. You could see Brett was charged up as he moved aggressively into stage quickly bring up the revs. Victor was rolling in with a smooth confidence of someone who had just won his sixth consecutive championship. Both cars had run in the high 6.30's and 6.40's all afternoon and this was never going to be an easy race. Victor must have rolled in a little deep as the red bulb lit as soon as he hit the throttle. Whoops!

I cannot tell you how great the race and the day was. The new race format and the scheduling of the event and the level of racing was all superb. The show was superb and if you missed it it was your loss.
If I think of anything new to add tomorrow (today Sunday) I'll post it to the site - I'm knackered so I'm off to bed now.
Sunday 8 Oct 2000 Rest today and spend the day with Samantha.
Monday 9 Oct 2000 Phone ringing off the hook today no time to write
Tuesday 10 October 2000 Again flat out today. After closing the shop at 7:00pm I worked last night on some of my stuff. I rechecked the DRS fuel pump and did some math on the air stuff. I knocked off at 11:30 and headed for bed. Today is fiberglass and Warner Brothers brake blades, we are 200% up on staff today and we are flat getting a ton of work done. Must run now I only sat down to do the Memphis update by Burgin (see here).
Thursday 12 Oct 2000 Big day in the workshop today. Dave was on the Warner Brothers brake blades again and Mick was on fiberglass duty and I was doing fuel systems again and the telephone and shipping orders. I have a Division Council meeting tonight. I did about 30 minutes on the car getting it ready for the next race.
There was nothing on the DC agenda so the meeting became a discussion group on the direction drag racing in Australia is going or needs to go. We kicked a few sacred cows and had an open and interesting discussion. At the DC level we do not set policy only make recommendations to the NEC (National Executive Council) who make all the decisions for drag racing in Australia. Currently my biggest concern the the reduction of Comp racers in Australia. We only had 12 cars for a 16 car field at the Winternationals! I have heard talk of dropping the eliminator and using the money towards other eliminators. If I have to explain why Comp is important to the long term growth of Championship Drag Racing then that needs to be addressed in a different forum. Currently Comp is a V8 only eliminator and the old V8 guys are moving to other V8 eliminators (Fuel, Alcohol and Top Comp) and as such no one is filling the spots they leave behind. I think this is because most new, young racers do not want to race V8's. I have to ask "Why is Comp aV8 only eliminator in Australia?" By the way we are the only country in the world that has a V8 only Competition Eliminator.
I made a proposal two years ago to add the non-V8's to the eliminator. It was rejected in writing because because it was "too hard".  I'm going to make the proposal again. I hope it is taken more seriously this time. All center steer racers (altereds and dragsters and funny cars) should get behind this or the Eliminator will die. If no one is willing to do something about it then maybe it should die. Are you willing to let that happen? Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned, what are you doing? If you think some new classes needs to be added take three minutes and click here and let me know what you think.
It was a good Division Council meeting.
I want to explain something. Championship Drag Racing is my life. I don't golf, fish, go boating or anything by drag race. My wife says my interests aren't wide enough but I like to think I'm focused. Therefore the overall health of drag racing is important to me. If I see one part of it that needs a little doctoring then I must do everything I can to help fix it. Is drag racing important to you, if so then help fix some of the problems.

Friday 13 Oct 2000 I got to bed last night at 1:30am and up at the shop at 6:00am. Groan. The DC nights all take it out of me but it's worth it (I hope). We have the Indy demonstration tonight and a little work to finish on the car. It will be a late night again tonight I'm glad I'm young and can take all this!!!!   
Time now is 10:46 pm and I have left the crew Dave, Mike and Bob in Surfers Paradise at the Indy party. When I last saw them they had a sack of Jim Beam and Cokes in cans and looking for pretty girls. ... Well Dave and Mike anyway. They don't have to look to hard as there were plenty there. Dave went to the hair salon and had black squares colored into his bleached hair (like a checkered flag). Gary Bannerman asked him if he got the license plate number of the 4 wheel drive that ran over his head. Dave told Gary leave me alone or I'll kick you in you good leg. Gary lost a leg in a race car crash about 10 years ago. He still owns a car but Warren Dunn drives it for him. See here   Gary and Warren are the guys who beat us last week at the Winternationals. Tonight we borrowed one of their tow cars and they borrowed tools to fix their starter (again).
It was over cast this afternoon so that kept the temperature down but the sea breeze was beautiful coming in off the water (Coral Sea). It started to sprinkle as I was leaving the race track. For those of you reading this from the US find the Indy race from Surfers Paradise in your TV station (our Sunday - your Saturday night) and have a look at our town and the race. It's probably tape delayed like they did the Olympics. That was dumb wasn't it?
I did two skids in the car. The first one I put the jet in the program called for and the car ran a bit off color, on the second pass I went the other way on the jet and it came good. Now I have to figure out why. Drag racing - always a challenge. I have a new converter coming from the Converter Shop. I approached Jeff at the Winternationals and told him what the problems were and  he came up with a new converter idea. As soon as we get it we are off to the track for a bunch of tests.
I think I'm off to bed now and tomorrow is a new day... hope Dave doesn't get too carried away tonight as we have a big day tomorrow. Mick is powering on the new 23T mold. In between  time when he is waiting for a layer to go off he is laying the mold for a new scoop as well. Still haven't started assembling the heads for the next DRS engine or assembling the Rodeck block- but we have gotten a lot of customer work done. At least someone is happy. Now all we have to do is finish the back log of other customer work - and we'll make more people happy.
Saturday 14 Oct 2000  I read the Gold Coast Bulletin this morning with the report from the drag racing last night. Trevor Paddenburg gave the report that families were cowering in fear at the drags.... the report goes on giving drag racing a very bad name. The very last paragraph of the article says "The popularity of this event is amazing and there are just a huge bunch of people out there loving it". I wonder why he closed with that rather than opened with that? 98% of the article was very disparaging to drag racing. In Australia Championship Drag Racing just took a very big step backwards. I have scanned in as much of the newspaper article as possible (it was bigger than my scanner) (see it here). I wonder why when we get a big coverage it is always negative. If you want to email the newspaper the address is , just click on the highlighted section and your email page should come up already addressed. Write in your reply and click it off to them.
Sunday 15 Oct 2000 10:33 am I'm writing this on Sunday as Saturday was "blow away" we had a very low pressure area move in and with it the wind. The electricity was off until a few minutes ago. We pulled the Chaparral up next to the shop and started the generator so we had some 120v and the air compressor. We got quite a bit done on the 23 mold and while it was going off we worked on the new "Big Mouth" scoop and the new "Pro Stock" scoop molds. Anthony went nuts on the shop clean up, this guy is like the Energizer Bunny he just doesn't stop. I started him on some math handbooks, so this week he has home work from us. You have to start with the basics. He has a test next Friday so we'll see how much homework he has done. Beautiful day here now, Indy is on today but T and I are going to a christening in Brisbane. Just before I came over to check on Mick doing some 'glass work this morning I had Samantha all morning. Now that does "Make my day".

Wednesday 9 Oct 2000 Normal shop day-flat out! Louie from Woolongong arrived for us to get ready for the Performance Car Shootout this weekend. I took the hydraulic motor off the Chaparral and took it to Southport Hydraulics for repair. After 22 years of faithful service it decided to take a break. The Chap is becoming all new again one section at a time. If you recall we had all the suspension out and rebushed everything adding grease nipples where there were none. Then rebuilt the awing arms and put a new covering on the awning. I know it needs a paint job and that will happen after I get the roof on the new building out behind the work shop.

Thursday 10 Oct 2000 Finally finished the Warner Brothers Lethal Weapon brake blades. Delivered them this afternoon. That's a very big job out of the way. I spend a few hours going over the FI on Louie's car today.

Friday 20 Oct 2000 Chased loose ends today. Seems like you have to follow up on everybody. Unfortunately some of my customers feel the same way. I know it is justified they feel that way. I get very frustrated on us not getting product out the door as fast as the customers want. I usually work at least 12 hours a day every day and the rest of the guys in the shop log in between 45 and 55 hours a week. We have a few problems. One we are a small company and there is only one person who can do all the jobs and the rest of the guys are all good at certain things and are learning additional jobs each week but it is a slow process bringing everyone on line. I knew we were behind 4 months ago I just did not realize we were this far behind. That's the bad news. The good news is that (excited voice) were catching up!! I have a few old orders and one or two very old orders that we have to fill but that's all. With production stuff we can get ahead and put stock on the shelf  but doing fuel systems is a service business and as such we can't get ahead of it only try to keep up. I have two more school cars here that are done and awaiting assembly - wish I could get time to work on our stuff.

Saturday 21 Oct 2000 Mick finished the new 23 mold and installed the steel braces. Dave worked on the Warner Brothers new stunt Hot Rod and I worked for Louie Ilioski from Woolongong at the Performance Car Shoot out. I did his fuel system for him and we did a couple of test and tunes to get ready for this race.
We came off the trailer with mufflers on this 2900 pound street car with 10" slick and just methanol (no nitrous) and ran a 9.28 146.50 mph which would stand as low qualifying ET in the Modified Street class (no tubs). That was our baseline run and though the air was a little worse than our test sessions the car was lean at the top of each gear. I stepped up the main jet for the next session and ran 9.35 at 144 mph and it was worse. I added a shim to the high speed and we ran 9.38 at 142. This thing is driving me nuts?#%&*. I was about ready to pronounce the pump dead when we discovered the drive belt was very loose, it was a cog belt but it was apparently jumping teeth at high pressure (high rpm). Qualifying was over and we were the number one qualifier based on our best pass but us and the number two qualifier were getting closer and closer. He had run a 9.40 when we ran the 9.38. This is heads up first to the finish line wins racing!!! This could be one hell of a drag race. I was sure the belt was the problem so I put our standard tune up in the car that I knew would get down the track. It was safe by nearly 800 feet so I felt we had a bit up our sleeve if we needed it later. First round we ran a 9.25 at 144 mph and Louie nailed a .452 light on the tree to the competitors .727 light and his 9.55 elapsed time. Nailed that round. We had a bye in the second  so I chased the tune up and Louie gently nudged the car between the centerline and the lane boundary marker. This thing is like a wild cat on steroids, strong and unpredictable. We nailed a 9.18 at 146 mph. We were still safe on the tune up by at least 500 feet. Louie wanted to step it up for the final as he wanted a "0" though the mufflers. I didn't want to because the air was dropping and I needed a smaller jet change than we had available and I did not want to step over the tune up and get on the wrong side. We decided to leave it alone as the air was coming in slowly and I thought we would still be about 300 feet rich on the fuel system. Louie did a 1/8 mile burn out (he likes doing that) but as he was backing up he got got out of the groove and covered the tires with shit. As he rolled forward to stage you could see the debris on the tires. A lousy 60' a .705 reaction and only a 9.28 was the result but it won the race. We won the Modified Street section of the Performance Car Shoot out.
In the Pro Street section (no nitrous, no turbos but tubs allowed) all the hitters broke and could not front for their round and Angela Dow won it with a low 10 second run. Louie was dark on himself for not entering that class. By the way Angela is Melissa Thompsons sister, now that's a drag racing family.

Ashley Everding dropped off his fuel injection to me at the race track. Looks like his new car will be to the track soon. It was a good day at the race track and I was home by midnight.

Sunday 22 Oct 2000 Why do I wake up at 5:30am on a Sunday??? Unpack the car from last night. Write the race report from yesterday. I think I'll load this stuff to the web site then log on to the New York Times and see what is going on in the world then walk up to the front gate and get the newspaper and see what is happening locally, then have some breakfast. Today at 10:00am I have a customer stopping by to pick up some parts (by appointment only on Sundays) and then around noon we have friends from the Sunshine Coast coming down for a visit. Some where in there I might be able to squeeze in some time for the race car.
We have been getting a little rain now and you can see the grass starting to look a lot healthier. My "landscaping project" still needs some top soil. I got a call Saturday morning and a developer is bringing me 300 truck loads of normal fill dirt on Monday. Remember level and flat is good. The only thing better than level and flat, is level and flat and on top of a hill(no flooding).

Friday 27 Oct 2000 Where did the week go? We have been starting at 6 or 6:30 am and finishing between 10 and 11 pm all week. We have a hell of a lot done this week. The Warner Brothers stunt Hot Rod should be done by the end of the month. I got lots of fuel system work done this week. We finished the 23 mold by popping it off the plug and giving it a serious polish. We have the first body laid up and tomorrow we add the seam joints. We'll probably pop the first one out on Monday. My fiberglass guy's wife had a little boy this week or we would be further ahead than we are.  It is 9:39 pm and Dave has left and Mick is putting the last coat of mat on and as soon as that's done I'm off to bed. Tomorrow comes early.

Friday 3 Nov 2000 Delivered the Warner Brother stunt Hot Rod this week. Finished the body for Wayne Coleman ready for me to deliver. Final decision to race at Warwick tomorrow is a go. Load up the trailer and tidy up the car.

Saturday 4 Nov 2000 Mike, Bob, Dave and myself leave at 9:00am for Warwick. It's a warm sunny day, just at the perfect temperature. As I sit in the truck going along the road it's a feeling of pure joy. A beautiful day, the truck is humming along and we have a race car in the trailer on the way to a race.It's two hour drive up through Cunningham Gap to Warwick. The road through the gap is a steep bit of road and it's the first time the Dooley and Chap have been through here. We get to the top with only a little bit of struggle. We keep the truck in a lower gear to keep the revs up and the trans cool. We get to the track about 12:15 pm and find a flat spot to unload. I grab the bike and have a ride down the track and the return road to see what it's like. Not bad. All new from the water box to the finish line, smooth but not any rubber or traction compound on the track. The shutdown area is rougher asphalt and the return road is tar and gravel. The pits are a little uneven for a dragster but if you are paying attention where you drive you can get around ok. I pulled  the air and it corrected to 4750. I had not expected air this bad but since we are doing data analysis on how the air reads and how the car acts and which software gives the best data this is a very good deal. If you are looking to see how the car works in different air and which software gives the best info then making a big change is good as it will show if your software is accurate. Very interesting stuff. We made four passes during the afternoon trying a few things on the fuel system and came away happy with what we had found. The trans was a little low on fluid and it rocked back out of stage when I went on the tbrake. This caused me to loose the data from one pass as the car was not staged when the tree was activated. It was looking cloudy and lots of thunderclouds were rolling in. I was driving the car back so we were not using the truck to tow with so we went ahead and hooked it to the trailer. At 7:30 we felt a few drops of rain and lots of lightning. The guys suggested we push the car into the trailer just in case. It never let up, just kept getting heavier. So we jacked the car up and tied it down, then put the awing away. When the rain came down I think we were the second race trailer out the gate. The track has no track drier.  We got back on the road and going up towards the "Gap" we ran into the worst storm I have ever driven in. Between the driving rain and the hail you could not see the end of the hood of the truck. We pulled over and waited for the storm to lift some. By 9:30 we were passing Willowbank on the way home - they were rained out as well. We stopped at the BP to top off the gas. $121.04 for a 4 1/2 hour trip up through the mountains. We're pretty happy with that!! That is about $60.00 US dollars for the trip. Love that gas!!

Sunday 5 Nov 2000 Take care of Samantha today while Tracey runs some errands. Park the truck and trailer and drop the trailer off the truck. Hooked up the leveler and drug it behind the four wheel drive to tidy up the surface where we filled next to the shop.

Monday 6 Nov 2000 I awake at 2:15am when the dog barks. I try to get back to sleep but to no avail. I get up and get a good start on the day.

Tuesday 7 Nov 2000 I have had so much interest in our Fiat bodies lately I have decided to add a Fiat section to the web site. Click here. It is photos of old and new Fiat bodied race cars and even a page on original Fiats. If any one has photos of Altered or old Comp cars (dragsters with Fiat bodies on them) please send them to me via email. I'll post them to the site.

Thursday 9 Nov 2000 Made some new brackets for the new roller coaster at Warner Brothers.

Friday 10 Nov 2000 Today was a blur. Nothing big today just a lot of it. Mick was glassing, Dave was helping Anthony get set up to make the trusses for the roof in the new fiberglass shed. "Ants" is a new guy just about to finish school who started here doing "work experience" in his final year in high school. He started knowing very little and is now doing basic welding and a little mill work. I give him projects that are simple and give him  some supervision to see how well he goes. He never ceases to amaze me. He gets better every day. Some of his welds are a little 'nuked' but its mild steel and well over engineered   roof trusses and tire racks, welding trestles and the like. I'm on the phone ordering material for work and trying to finish a fuel system to go out the door this afternoon.

Saturday 11 Nov 2000 Dave put a new roll cage on a car. Dave and I went went to Murwurrimbar today to get some grass seed and a broadcaster. We are seeding the ground outside the shop on the new dirt. As soon as it rains some we should have grass then. 'Ants' is finishing welding the roof trusses.
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Sunday 12 Nov 2000 Spent the day with Tracey and Samantha

Monday 13 Nov 2000 Auto electrician came by today and changed the Dooley to Oz wiring for the turn signals. Rained most of the day today. Spent most of the day on the phone and doing a fuel system. Set up the CNC to make some parts.

Tuesday 14 Nov 2000 Road trip to Dalby today. Up at 4:00am to finish a fuel system and pack it up and drop it off at the post office. Answer a ton of phone calls and hook up the truck to the trailer. I finally get to leave at 10:00am I stop at Ripley and drop some fiberglass off at Greg Clayton's and then on to Dalby. I get to Dalby and visit Tony Buckley and we take the new body around to Col Shores place. Tony has organized for me to pick up some hardware in Toowoomba on my way back. I leave Dalby around 3:45 and get to Toowoomba around 5:00pm. I pick up the hardware and load it on the trailer and leave for the trip back to the Gold Coast. I stop and refuel before I get home at 9:00pm. Bob is here doing a bit of tin on the car. Check the email and the messages. Answer the email that I can answer quickly. When I got to the house Samantha had just gone to sleep so I missed seeing her today. Tracey gives me some food and we sit and have a chat about the day. What a day.

Wednesday 15 Nov 2000 Back in the shop. Contractor drops off a quote for installing the drain pipe for the paddock. Mick is hot on the glass today. One of each kind of scoop, one of each type of seat and one of each type of nose and a 23 T body. Dave has off to take care of some personal business. When I'm not on the phone I'm on the CNC today. Eighteen phone calls and its not even 11:00am yet! Two more fuel systems arrive today.
Bob called from Canada today, I burnt up about 30 minutes talking to him getting the update on his schedule and when he will arrive here. 
I got the auger for the mini loader going so we can dig the holes for the roof posts for the 'glass shed'. It will be good to get the glass work out of the main shop.
Big day today Tracey said she did not want to cook so we are having pizza tonight.

Thursday 16 Nov 2000 Lots of rain this week. The grass we planted last Saturday should really like it. David is having lots of drama getting his Ford Dooley finished. The guy doing the body work is promising to work on it and then going fishing.
Friday 17 Nov 2000 We cleared the space for the glass shed and laid out the positions for the posts for the roof. We took the auger to drill the holes and found mostly rock. A simple job became a big one but we persevered and how we have 6 holes drilled and one corner post concerted in place before the rain hit too had to work.
Saturday 18 Nov 2000 The grass we planted last weekend is coming up. Our dirt pad has a tint of green this morning. More rain today. We were going to take the car for a T&T but between the rain and work that's not going to happen today. Mike and I rechecked the square on the building and set the second posts again before it started raining. Two down and four to go.
Sunday 19 Nov 2000 Update the web site today. Spend part of the day with Samantha and this afternoon I'm going to work on the plug for our newest scoop. We call it the SOH because it looks like the Sydney Opera House. The green on the pad is darker today.
Tuesday and Wednesday 21 and 22 Nov 2000 Shop work and between rain showers we erected the steel for the fiberglass shed.
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Now we have to find some tin.
Thursday 23 Non 2000 We pulled the cyl heads off the DRS car to have a look. Everything looks very good so it's going back together tomorrow. We had Thanksgiving dinner tonight. Lots of great food and a lot of reflection on how great life is.  Our biggest thanks is that we have Samantha and life is pretty damn good.
Friday 24 Nov 2000 Updated the web with photos of Glenn Anderson's new car, a rotary powered altered. Click here I have to get two quotes done and get the DRS car back together today as we are racing tomorrow.
Saturday 25 Nov 2000 Race day. The cylinder heads are still off the car due to the volume of work and calls from Friday. I get up at 5:00am to put the engine back together. Bob and Dave arrive at 6:45 to help me finish and load the car. Carl Witt arrives at 6:30 to catch a ride up with us. We finally get away at 8:45 and have to stop for fuel for the truck. Were on the road at 9:11 am. We get to the track and unload and get the car to scruteneering and back to the trailer to warm it up. After warming the car we go to the start line. Our plan today is to make one pass with the old tune up and then change converter to the new one Jeff Dell made for us. We make the first pass and the car produces times that we would expect. We confirm our base line. We came to this tune up to achieve consistincy, we achieved it to a high degree where we could predict the performance very close but we wanted to get the consistency  tighter. We came up with this idea and Jeff made a converter for us. We pulled the trans and put the new converter in. Once the got the trans out we discovered the billet hytuff input was twisted (I guess it makes a bit of torque)
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We decided to run it anyway since we did not have a spare with us. We reassemble the car and started the engine to test everything. Woops!!no go Check line pressure in trans - everything is good. Guess what I didn't check the splines. Jeff had upgraded us to a Turbo 400 input hub in the converter. Dash around and see if anyone has one. No. Brett from Race Trailer called Tony Harrington in Ipswitch and he had one. I dash back to the trailer and Bob and Brett take off to get the shaft and Dave and I pull the car back apart. About an hour later they return with the new shaft and we assemble the car in a flash. Earlier I did a stall test with the original converter (tight one) and it flashed to 3400 rpm. The new one flashes to 5400 rpm. I change the start line chip in the MSD and were off the the races. As this point qualifying is over and we are into first round. We go to the start line having no idea what the car will do. Obviously we think it will run better but how much? I plan on having to pedal the car at the finish if it feel better than the other converter.  I draw my friend Warren Sichter for first round. One of us in a KLRC car will get to the next round. Warren is sorting out his new delay box he got while he was in the US last week..
This thing leaves the start line like a bullet moving about 6-8 feet and picking the front wheels up about 6" and carrying them for about 8 feet. Hey!! this is fun. Just like the old days. I'm concentrating on how the car feel and paying attention to the car when I realize I have not looked at the score boards to see what is going on. Too late now. I get to the finish line and I'm the only one there and the car is hauling ass. I pedal the car hard and never see Warren. Guess what the car moved so hard on the start line my delay box setting was not enough and I caught a red bulb at .347. I never saw it because I was paying so much attention to the car. After I released the delay box button on the top bulb I was watching the tach to see what the car was going to do. Warren was three days late at .745, later he told me he was watching the tree and when the second bulb came on he realized that he was supposed to leave off the top. I was very happy with the cars performance. With Jeff's new converter (click here) the car picked up just over half a second.!!!!! We had three other racers ask about why the car picked up so much and I reckon Jeff will get some more business Monday. We've got a few more tricks for the street meet next weekend.
Sunday 26 Nov 2000 Once I get moving in the morning I go and pick up my Mitsubishi Sigma that I got this weekend. I needed a knock about car to drive for work and this fits the bill. I looked like the guy was living in it so I spend a few hours cleaning it out and changing the oil. Then I pull the truck and trailer into the race car shop and unload so I can do some work on the car for next weekend. Tidy up a little around the shop and organize for tomorrow.
Sunday 17 Dec 2000 Almost the end of the year and the start of a new diary. I must apologize for not keeping this updated more the last few weeks but I have had a ton of work to do and a lot of changes to do to the race car. I did not go to the race track last weekend because of all the changes I am making to the car. Filling the hole next to the shop has kept me busy as well.
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This thing has more levers than you can shake a stick at and no steering wheel!!!!
Big week this week, T&T this weekend. That will be the last report until after Christmas. We have a race on Dec 29-30 so there will be a report from then as well.

30 Dec 2000 Saturday Race results from Dec 30 We got rained out on Friday but got the scruteneering done. The whole race was done on Saturday. We got two qualifying rounds in and ran a 8.54 and a 8.51 so we were pretty happy. The difference between the two runs was the quality of the track as the pinion sensor pointed out on the FXL computer read out . The new tune up created a new delay box setting and we were still searching for this. I cut a .411 and a .434 in qualifying and thought the box was good enough. In first round of racing I was a little pumped up and cut a .377 to end my night. Looks like I need to add more to the box. 

We had two KLRC cars in the final of Modified.
30/12/2000 11:21 pm 21Deg,88%H,1015mB,1312RA,(TT)25Deg
#Gp3 RcNo 419 ---- MODIFIED (L) Left Win M:0.055
NUM¦CLASS¦ HCAP¦ REACT¦ 60¦ 330¦ 660¦ MPH¦ 1000¦ ET¦ MPH¦
2751¦A/MA ¦ 9.58¦ 0.400¦ 1.364¦ 3.878¦ 6.045¦112.95¦ 7.962¦ 9.645¦128.13¦
2806¦A/MD ¦ 8.61¦ 0.403¦ 1.237¦ 3.532¦ 5.473¦126.83¦ 7.162¦ 8.617¦153.53¦

Phillips won TAD and RU TD to Searle.  Jim Read ran 301 and won the event in TF. There was no Comp at this race.

See the 2001 diary here

Go to first half of 2000 click here 
Go to previous diaries click here
Go to first half of 2001 click here
Go to last half of 2001 click here
Go to first half of 2002 click here





Ken Says..... click here






The 31 Chapter 200 page Fuel Injection book is here for  more info on what has been called "the best fuel injection book on this planet". Now only $99.95AUD If you only learn one thing it is worth it
The FI book has been this price for ten years now, my publishing costs continue to rise and soon I will have to raise the price.
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