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2001 Racers Diary
Last update is on next diary

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

6 Feb 2001
Better start now than later. I have not had 10 minutes to spare since the last of December. Racing every weekend. Working at the shop or taking care of the family. Not 10 minutes to spare. Today I got Burgins Pomona report and had to load it on the web so I thought I'd better get started on the diary.
    I have been rewriting the FI book. It is now double the size and double the information and I'm not done yet this week should wrap it up. We have been busy in the shop. Customers have been Ashley nitro FC where he tagged the wall in Perth. We put a SLC on Bob Powers car and chased his tune up a little. I have done over 14 fuel systems since the beginning of the year. We just finished a batch of 8.2" mag drives, Chevy engine turners, and are completing a big batch of steering wheel quick disconnects. We just sent nearly 200 pounds of aluminum parts to the annodizers and got them back this week. Does this sound like a race car company in a country where three of our 5 biggest race tracks are closed?? I am the eternal optimist aren't I?
Graeme at FXL is putting a new computer together for us and the car. Good stuff more info to confuse me with.
One Saturday I wanted to race and everybody was doing something else. I had no help on the car. Now I built this car and advertise that you can race it by yourself but have never done it because there is always someone who wants to help. That weekend I loaded the car and went racing completely by myself. It was a very liberating experience. I really enjoyed myself. It is very empowering to know that you can do it all by yourself if you want to.I have to close now as I have a ton of work to do and I'll try to keep the diary more up to date.

Sorry I have not kept this up to date I have not been slack just busy. Canada Bob's car will be going soon and that will take some pressure off. I'm working off a back log of work here at the shop. Dave and I have been getting out a ton of work.

If you want to have a look at "Canada" Bob Wilson's stuff you can get a sneak peak here

3 March 2001 Saturday As I check everything to see if leave the shop I had a thought that I had not looked at the log book to see the expiry date. Guess what!! It expired three days ago!! Stress!! Now I will have to locate a ANDRA steward when I get to the track. We get to the track and make our way to the pit spot and unload the car. I start the car and drive to the scruteneering area while the rest of the guys set up the trailer and awning. I found an official and gave him the scoop on the log book and they pass the car and let me go on to race but I must send it in on Monday (which I do). I drive the car back to the trailer and get ready for first round of qualifying. On our first qualifying pass the car is lazy and when I get back to the trailer I notice the trans temp is reading no temperature. I jump out of the car and feel the trans case and it is quite hot so I feel the trans cooler line and it is not hot???? Bob Shaw removes the cooler line and I crank the engine over and very black oil trickles out??  Jack it up and get the trans and converter out. The trans is full of metal and the converter is rooted. First impression is that the stator shaft had turned in the front pump and blocked off the cooler lines. This caused a massive build up of pressure and the converter to balloon and disassemble it self internally. Later we learn the cooler line was blocked but with converter debris. The stator had not turned.
We grab a new trans and converter out of the trailer and put it in the car. It is the one with the polished case and we have had trouble with this one before so my confidence is not high but it had to be tried someday any way. Today is as good as any. Initial start up the line pressure was a little low at idle (80 psi) but the trans brake held so we went to the start line and the car ran it's best number ever (8.43 @ 158.9) It was backed up with a 8.47 but it was a red light. This did not bother me as it was just qualifying. The next run was slower and a worse red light and it felt like the car slipped the tires on the start line. The data recorder did not work because the throttle switch was misadjusted and did not start the recorder. The next run was slower and a worse light (bigger red, or should I say brighter?) and the car felt like it spun the tires worse. The guys on the crew (Bob Shaw, Dave Coles and Bob Wilson) all said it did not spin the tires and the computer confirmed that. So what the hell is going on?? I jacked up the car again and started it up with a line pressure gauge and now the pressure is a whopping 30 psi. When you engage the transbrake it at idle nothing happens but when you bring the revs up the wheels rotate backwards. Since we stage at idle and have CO2 on the car the engine does not rev up until I release the transbrake then a fraction of a second later the transbrake releases and the car launches. What was happening was that the car was moving backward a couple of inches when the engine would rev up then the transbrake would release allowing the car to move forward and it felt just like the car spun the tires at the start line!!! It was 20 minutes before the race when we figured this out so we were done for the day and we packed up to go home. I took the converter down to Jeff Dell's trailer and he will get it all fixed up for me. I called Warren Sichter about the trans and he will stop by on Monday to pick it up and we will have a look at the one in the car. We stop at the Mobil and get a burger on the way home. Just as we turn on the Logan Highway we hear a pop like running over a plastic soft drink bottle but nothing else. After the first toll gate we stop and have a look but see no problem. On Monday I have a good look around the truck to find a dead inner dual tire.
Today was not a good day for us but some of rest of the KRLC family have had a good day. Dave Mullins won the Top Eliminator here at Willowbank tonight and Rodney Moore won in Perth on the other side of the continent. I haven't checked the points yet but I think this makes KLRC cars 1,3 and 4 at Willowbank!! Hoo Ah!!

4 March 2001 Sunday Samantha and I wake at 5:30 am and I get her up and we play together until she gets hungry about 7:00 am I fix her a bottle and feed her and change her nappy then it is 7:30 and I load her in her pram and we go for a walk. We go up to the front gate and get the Sunday paper and then out back around the shed for a quiet stroll. When we get back to the house Tracey is up and Sam and I read the Sunday paper. It is pretty slow this morning so Sam goes back to bed for a nap and I have my shower. We have a barbecue to go to this afternoon at a neighbors. We leave about 1:00 pm and get home about 5:30 which finishes off the day just nicely. Tomorrow is a work day so I hit the sheets early. 

5 March 2001 Monday  Sam awakes at her normal time of 5:30 and I give her her bottle and change the nappy but the trucks are running this morning early so I have to bolt and take care of business. I have to unload the car and get it ready for Warren to have a look at the transmission. He stops by and we do a start up and check the line pressure and he concludes the front pump is dead. We start a assembly run of steering wheel quick releases hubs today. The machine work has been done for a while and we just got them back from the annodizer last week. We will have nearly a hundred units in stock as we have already sold nearly a dozen.
Steering wheel quick release hubs being assembled.jpg (22677 bytes)

6 March 2001 Tuesday
I had a look around the dually to find the rear left inside dual tire flat. The truck has 16.5" wheels on it (normal USA) but that size is not available here in Oz. Get on the phone to solve the problem. Plan A would be to use the wheels off the other Chev truck which are 16" but have bad tires on it (mostly old). Get some new 16" tires for those rims but those rims are tube type only. In my search for new 16" rims I find six new 9.50 x 16.5" Bridgestone tires. (New plan B) These tires are not like new but are actually are new (they still have the "tits"). I have to drive to Capabala to get them. I have to put the old 16" wheels and tires off the other Chevy truck to do the running around. They are a bit boogey looking but they roll. After I take the truck on the road I can't believe how smooth they are!! For ugly wheels they ride pretty good.
Bob Wilson's car is assembled and ready to start but we are awaiting a computer cable to arrive so we can download the computer after we start the engine. The decision was made to not start it until we could see some data. So much for the old days where you would start it up just to hear it run.
Bob Wilson 6 March 2001.jpg (25882 bytes)

Clutch linkage, brake lever and master cylinder are mounted in Adam Burgess Rotary car and the throttle pedal is done as well. Ashley Everding has dropped off his dragster for some hardware update. He wants one of our shifters and we have to put in a foot brake as well. He says his engine is almost done and the Powerglide is done as well so he is getting close to going racing.

7 March 2001 Wednesday Today in the shop we start a production run of small block Chevy blower crank hubs. We are out of stock so we decide to make 50 of them. I have the wheel (16.5's) loaded in the back of the truck to take them to get the tires taken off the rims. I contact the powder coaters and they will sand blast them and give them a new fresh durable coating. After I get the tires off the rims I drop the rims off at the powder coaters and hope it doesn't take too long. I take the two front tires off the truck and put them on the extra empty rims for spares for the Chappy. Now we have good tires on the Chappy plus three good spares and we will have all new tires on the truck and a brand new spare.
Warren should have the trans back tomorrow and the converter should be back tomorrow. If we can get all the parts back I'll take it out to the T&T on Saturday, if not I'll stay here and work.
I have been thinking about making a new section to the web site. I want to call it "Family, Friends, and Fans" I want to put in a picture of everyone involved in the car and racing and a small bio. Tell me what you think about this by clicking here.  

8 March 2001 Thursday Finished fuel pump testing and shipped a bunch of pumps back to the customers. Converter came back from Jeff and Warren dropped off the fresh Powerglide. Now we are ready to put the car back together. Big storm this afternoon. The electrify kept blinking off so I called Steve Betts (South East Queensland Division Director) to let him know I would miss the Division Council meeting tonight. I felt uncomfortable leaving Samantha in a house with no power and no way to heat her bottle. It is complicated by the fact since we are on tank water out here in the country when we have no electricity, the water pump does not work. 

9 March 2001 Friday We are almost ready to start Bob W's car. More on that later. You will see the first pictures and info here

10 March 2001 Saturday  Dave, Bob Wilson and I spent the day cleaning the store room (and my office) at the shop. Some parts of it we had to use a shovel.
11 March 2001 Sunday - I spent the day with Sam -
12 March 2001 Monday - We started Bob W's car today. Click here for photo's.  
Inital start up!!!.jpg (17689 bytes)
It hit first time and oil pressure was good and the idle temps were OK, manifold temp was perfect. Air bottle was low so the trans did not hit hard on the change.  When we brought it up to stage rpm it was smooth and clean. A few more starts to confirm everything is OK and we will be ready for some on track testing. It is about 1:00 o'clock now and we will have another start soon and the some lunch.

The second start up gave us some more info and more questions. Bob purchased the fuel system from Davenport and I was skeptical about the stage and idle environment with a 12 nozzle system. I'm pretty impressed so far as the engine is smoother at stage than I expected. We don't have EGT's (Exhaust Gas Temperatures) yet as Bob is having trouble with the Racepack data logger, but it is not hosing fuel so I will have to wait to pass final judgement on the stage environment. We have the manifold fitted for a 20 nozzle deal if we need it. The fuel system is a three step fuel system similar to the one I had on my TAD car in '86 but it is a bit more refined.
Bearing check and rocker check is all good. We are having a bit of trouble with the shifting of the new generation Lenco and we are thinking a call the Lenco in the morning will solve the problem. Bob has to go away for a few days later this week so we are scheduling some private testing at the race track late next week. We will take it to the 330 a few times mostly to give the driver a tune up. If Bob and the car look good then we may do the test and tune on the 24 and we will have the track fully prepared at the Drag Race School session on the 30th. Bob flies out home a few days later and then we have to get ready for the Winternationals in June
Dippy Dog wearing all her safety gear.jpg (7649 bytes)
Dippy ready for the TAD car to start.

13 March 2001 Tuesday Hectic day today! Organizing the Drag Race School session coming up. Scheduling the track rental for Bob's car. Working on the DRS car for the Street Meet this weekend. Just finished a batch run of 50 small block Chevy crank hubs. We are getting very well stocked for parts on the shelf. Welded up wheel for third spare for Chappy. More web page updates to do so I had better run.

14 March 2001 Wednesday   We made a two piece coupler for the DRS car so we can remove the trans with out removing the diff or moving the engine forward. Bob left for the Nationals this morning.

15 March 2001 Thursday  I had to use the bulldozer to pull out a 10 ton (load) truck which was loaded to the brim. It almost went over the embankment but we saved it. Worked on Bob's TAD - it is getting very close. More and more items are falling off the check list.

16 March 2001 Friday   Load up the crew cab and get some diesel (for the bulldozer) and fill the LP tank for this weekend. Run to BOC and get some gas (argon, acetylene and oxygen).
Do a start up on Bob's TAD and a couple of stage tests. We continue to check the car out to make sure it is ready for testing.
Pick up the rims and take them to get the truck tires mounted on them.
Darren and I give up on the Racepack and I get a diesel truck pyrometer and check the exhaust temperatures one at time. We come away pretty happy with the temps. They are truly good enough for some 330 hops next week. I was in the car while Darren was moving the probes from cylinder to cylinder. Crude but effective when the data logger does not work.
I finished several fuel pumps for testing and a fuel system. Rushed all them to the air freight depot before they closed.

17 March 2001 Saturday Our plan was to start the DRS car check it out and load the car and have plenty of time to finish cleaning the shop parts room. We started the car with the new driveshaft (now we do not have to move the engine or remove the diff to remove the trans). It is a two piece unit and had a small leak our through the center. Remove the trans to fix that leak. Install the trans and do a "stage test" on the start up stand in the shop. On the first start up we found the pressure a little low (100psi at idle) so while we had the trans out we raised the system pressure in the trans. Now we have 235 psi. I raise the engine rpm to stage rpm and the trans lets the wheels rotate forward (reverse is slipping). We drop the pan to find reverse clutch material in the pan. Out comes the trans again. Complete disassembly, clean everything. Warren Sichter and I stay and clean everything up and Dave and Mike go to Ashmore to pick up some new disks plus some extras. While we have it apart I decide to cut the reverse piston and add another disk and steel to the clutch pack (6 now) and we drop the system pressure 1/2 turn. Reassembly and reinstall and the pressure is down to 220 psi and we have a pan leak so while the pan was off we back it out another 1/4 turn and now we have 200 psi line pressure at 3000 rpm - now I am happy. The problem is that it is 3:30pm (gates opened at 2:00pm) and we are an hour away from the track. We get the car loaded and pull out the driveway at 4:10 pm stop and grab a drink from the corner store and head for Willowbank. While on the Logan Highway just past the second toll both we blow a front tire on the truck. I still had the old tires and wheels off the other Chevy truck(single cab) on the Crew Cab  while I was getting the new tires fitted for the Crew Cab truck. The are back at the shop because I did not have time to put them on. Change the tire and we are back on the road. Rob Thompson stopped to see if we needed help.  We get to the track at 5:30 unload and drive the car by sign in and proceed to staging. I get a pass 8.90. I am puzzled because this converter was supposed to be the same as the 8.43 converter we ran last race meeting. The air is 2200 foot corrected so I figure we are a little rich and drop .005 on the main. This gives us a 8.95 - whoops back in goes the .105 main jet. I dial in a 8.85 and cut a .430 light (to his .580 light) and the car feels pretty good (too good) I just get around him and give the brake pedal a firm tap. I have 40 miles per hour on him at the finish and go by him like a shot. On this pass on the brake the car runs a 8.65?!@$%- where did this come from.? Down load the computer and the starting line looks like the old deal while the two prior runs the stall was off by 500 rpm?? Funny thing is the pinion graph looked smoother on the first two runs. The last run the pinion graph was showing slipping the tires a lot. This means more testing to figure out what is going on.  Burger on the way home. Dave drives so I drop off for a bit. We never did get to clean up the parts room.

18 March 2001 Sunday - Up early and take the car to Parklands to promote the School. No rest for the wicked is there?

19 March 2001 Monday - Clean up all the details that I did not get done over the weekend. Fire up the lawn mower and cut some grass.
About 40 phone calls this morning. I slay the dragons as swiftly as possible because I know more are coming.

22 March 2001 Thursday Early this morning we took Bob Wilson's TAD car to Willowbank for testing. We loaded his car on the open trailer of ours and towed it with my Commodore wagon. We took the Dooley and Chap for the support vehicle (tools, air compressor, awning

and the like) This was mostly to test Bob in the car. Bob passed the test with flying colors but the car blew a intake manifold gasket in two places on the first hop. This was not our design and now we have to remake the intake manifold to solve the problem. We got back to the shop and unloaded the car and stripped it down. Dave and I took the DRS car out of the Chappy and pulled the trans out to install the "School" converter. Big day again tomorrow. DRS car back together and rework Bob's manifold. We are going back to Willowbank on Saturday for more testing.  
wpe60.jpg (6502 bytes)
Bob Shaw came by tonight to work on the second DRS car. All we have to do to finish the body is to fit the new windscreen to the cowl. I have the spare DRS engine and Powerglide for that car or a Supercharged Rodeck with a Crower clutch and a B&J. Both will fit the car and we just have to decide to either make a second "Modified" car or a Top Comp car out of it.

23 March 2001 Friday - Made the adapter plates for Bob's manifold to convert it to oring seals.
O-ring adapter plates.jpg (8164 bytes)
Now we have to attach them to the manifold. Install the manifold and blower and load the car. I want to slow the DRS car down to a low 9 second car for the school so we change the converter in the school car in prep for the school next week. If I get a chance I will test on Saturday.
Manifold with oring adapter plates installed.jpg (14620 bytes)
Adapter plates installed on manifold.

24 March 2001 Saturday Early start to finish the manifold rework, assemble the engine and load the car. We get to Willowbank about 2:30 pm. Unload and warm the TAD car. 
First pass - Bob went WOT in the burn out, peddled the car and broke the blower belt. PSI's have heavy rotors and don't like to accelerate and decelerate quickly.
Second pass - Plan is to launch the car and take it to the gear change stay on it for a moment then shut off. Bob did the burn out and rolled just past the start line stopped the car and launched it from there. No data. Bob made a move towards the center line just as he shut off.
Third pass - Bob killed the engine trying to get the car in reverse after the burnout.
Fourth pass - Burn out done and car backed up I showed Bob where the start line is and he was rolling towards the prestage beams when he started revving the engine up he rolled through and on to the stage beams then left. We got a 60' of 1.04 but that's about all the data. Car again moved towards the centerline just after the gear change.
We purchase shop rags from the local charity and sometime you will get complete articles of clothing in the rag bag. Today in the rag bag we found this little girls dress. We made Bob put it on since he was driving like a girl.
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Bob all dressed up for the occasion.

Between the third and fourth passes of the TAD car the engine had to cool so I took the DRS car to the start line and did a hop. The car was chipped for 3600 rpm launch and a 5000 gear change into high with the "tight" converter. The car ran a 8.79 which is still too fast for the school. I'll have to put the mufflers in and richen the car up as well.

Tonight is over. (We thought) We are all hot and sweaty and hungry. Now we load everything up and stop at the servo to get a hamburger. We get on the Logan between the toll booths and blow a tire on the trailer - a new one!!! Jack up the trailer and install a new tire. We finally get home at 11:30 pm and the butt head neighbors are partying at top song and yelling abuse over the fence. They have awakened Samantha several times and when asked to keep it down they yell abuse over the fence. 99.9% of the Aussies are a great bunch of people who would do anything to assist their fellow man. These people are the .01% making up the butt head factor. Their party roars on until 4:30am - maybe I can get some sleep on Sunday.

25 March 2001 Sunday - Rest!!! Spend the day with Sam at home. I get some sleep in the aircon during the middle of the day. After last night I sure need it.
Dave and Bob stop by about 5:00 to pick up some video batteries out of the trailer.

26 March 2001 Monday - Unload and get ready for the school this week.

27 March 2001 Tuesday - Final prep for school session. Load trailer and get all the work books and student handbooks together.

28 March 2001 Wednesday - First day of the school - the class goes very smoothly and we get the stand runs done.

DRS Class of March 2001
Class of March 2001.jpg (26868 bytes)
From left to right - Matthew Gilmour, Al Reed, Troy Pearson, Cameron Taggart, Jo-Anne Tomczyk, Kathryn Bannister, Sandra Harvey. Missing from the photo is Renee Everett. She attended the Wednesday session but is a university student and had classes all day today. She will join us on Friday to do all her passes. She is a multi championship winning driver in Junior Dragster and is moving up to race in Modified in one of the DRS cars.
This was a superb class and everyone did very well.

29 March 2001 Thursday - Everyone got to drive the car today. We made 18 passes and some of the students got to the 660' today. 
Bob Wilson and Darren Fahy are back at the shop getting the TAD car ready. It will be loaded tonight for the trip to Willowbank tomorrow for testing at the DRS session. Possibly on Saturday at the Street Meet as well. We will have to change the DRS car back to race form on Saturday before we race.
I'm doing a fuel system for Brent Ramsey in Colorado for his AA/A. I have promised him I will get it done early next week. If you call on Monday and Tuesday and get a answering machine you know why.
I've got to get the updates on the FI book done as well!!!
When we were driving home tonight from Willowbank David Coles had an idea of how we can prepare the DRS car for the Tin Top Titles on 14 April. I won't tell you what we are going to do so you will just have to see it at the track or check back here after that race. Its a hoot!!!

30 March 2001 Friday - The third day at the Drag Race School.Yesterday we worked our way through everyone in the class logging 18 laps in the car. Today some drivers have to make their full passes and some still have to finish the incrementals. Everyone does very well. Some of the drivers have some fears to overcome and by the end of the day we have a complete class of successes. Sandra Harvey impressed us all the most. Struggling at first she almost decided to not to follow through but after some coercion on Ken's part and encouragement from the rest of the class she accomplished all her goals.
Sandra Harvey at the wheel.jpg (17148 bytes)
Sandra has been around Championship Drag Racing all her adult life and her and her husband Grant have been racing together for nearly 40 years. Now their son Michael races a BB/A (click here). She always wanted to "give it a go" and now she says she understands so much more why the "boys" want to drag race so much.
Bob Wilson was there testing his new TAD car and made two passes before the rain hit.

31 March 2001 Saturday - We had a couple of passes to finish at the school on Friday but rain cut some of it short. We put the car in the scruteneering shed at Willowbank for the night so we could work on it the car. I wanted to change converters and maintenance the car after all the passes it had made over the last few days. Renee Everett and Katie Harker stop by with the entry forms for the race in Mackay on the 21 April.
Saturday morning at the scruteneering sheed.jpg (8478 bytes)
Backed up the entrance of the scruteneering shed.
Saturday morning inside the scruteneering sheed.jpg (29998 bytes)
Bob Wilson's TAD car and Ken's DRS car in the scruteneering shed next to the jet track dryer. We were all ready to go by 11:00 am Saturday but the rain would start and shower every hour or so and once the track was dried twice and the Street Meet was to begin track management made the call to cancel the race for the day. So we pack up and leave for home... at least the car has been maintained and is ready to race again. Bob has to pull his down for maintenance tomorrow as he leaves for Canada on Monday. He will be back for the Winternationals.

1 April 2001 Sunday - When you have a 8 month old girl you don't get to sleep in. I don't mind as I get to get her out of bed every morning change the diaper and give her a bottle. By that time Tracey is up and she finishes the solid food as I have my shower and get dressed. It is Sunday so I spend some time playing with Samantha before the pressures of work get to me and I have to bolt to the shed. I have been gone for four days and the elves did not get any work done while I was gone. I answer emails, take messages of the answering machine and organize the work for next week. We have a few rain shower every hour or so and I wanted to get some yard work done today. Sam's christening is on 8 April and we will have a small party here afterwards so I have to get the yard tidy. Monday I have to get stuck into the fuel systems I have here to complete for customers. I think I will have Dave make the hex shafts for the quick release steering hubs we have in stock now.

2 April 2001 Monday - Swamped at work
3 April 2001 Tuesday - Swamped at work
4 April 2001 Wednesday - Swamped at work
5 April 2001 Thursday - Swamped at work - as soon as I can get caught up I will update this page
13 April 2001 Friday - Car is ready for the race tomorrow so we just get customer work done.

14 April 2001 Saturday - Renee Everett drives the car at the "Tin Tip's". First pass on the new converter we installed after the last school session. This converter went quick for us earlier but a front bushing got hot and failed. We put the school converter in to do the school and then changed it back to this converter after we got it back. First pass the car ran a 8.48, I was a little disappointed as the car should have run quicker than that. I was expecting a high 8.30 as the air was around 700 foot corrected. Next qualifying session the car smoked the tires - now where did that come from? We drop the tire pressure as everything else should be ok. For first round we change lanes and smoke the tires again. Not right on the start line but about 50 foot out!!! What is causing this as other people are getting down the track?? 

15 April 2001 Sunday - Spend the day with the family on Easter Sunday

16 April 2001 Monday - Everyone else in Australia is off on the Easter Holiday but us racers are hard at work. We unload the car pull the trans and converter
Trans out - ready for a new converter.jpg (15801 bytes)
17 April 2001 Thursday - On Goeff's door step at 8:00am when he arrives for work. We go in and cut the converter apart. There was not one thing inside the converter that was useable. I took a photo just to show you how bad it can be. The stator broke and created havoc inside the converter housing. When the car was smoking the tires it must have been the chunks all jamming together and locking up the converter because how this thing transferred power is beyond me.
Wow!! Is this killed or what??.jpg (30396 bytes)
Goeff rips into a new converter for us. He has it ready by 3:00 pm and I drive back to Brisbane to pick it up. After I get back to the shop we drop the new converter and trans is the car. Another big day!
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Trans all fresh and a new converter ready to install.
18 April 2001 Wednesday - Check out the car and load up for the test session at Willowbank. We get there at 6:00pm and make a pass in the left lane. At 6:32 pm with no track prep, we slip and slide (but no tire smoke) to a 8.64/157.40. We are back in the lanes for the next pass at 6:45 pm and get out to the 50' mark before she spins the tires and I pedal it in hopes of a recovery but there is none. We swap lanes and at 7:35 pm we click off a 8.59/157.40 pass. We are happy with the car and the tune up and the converter. Pack up and head for the house.  

19 April 2001 Thursday - Get the car ready for the race. Fix a couple of oil leaks. We make a full belly pan for the car to go under the engine and trans to eliminate all but the worst leaks getting to the race track. If a T/F or a TAD car is dripping oil it is OK but if a Modified car drops one drop of liquid they will through you out. Now our tray will catch it. We service the truck and trailer changing oil and filters and checking everything for the trip.

20 April 2001 Friday Up at 4:15am leave at 5:08am for Mackay. Dave and I each drive a tankfull (4 hours) each. First stop is Maryborough for a tank full of LP and breakfast. Dave drives until Rockhampton where we refuel again. (4 hours). About 200 k's out of Mackay we lose a tire on the right front of the trailer. Change tires and back on the road. No telephone reception out here as there is nothing between Rocky and Mackay and it is nearly 400 k's. This is the populated eastern strip of the coast of Australia. We get to Mackay at 6:08 pm exactly 13 hours from the work shop. We meet Renee Everett (the driver) at the start of town and she takes us to her house where we can drop off the bags and freshen up. Then we head out to the track for a test session. First pass netted big tire smoke off the line. We were assured the track was not prepped fully and tomorrow would be better. We load the car for the night and Renee and Katie Harker, Dave and I all hop in the car and head back to the house. Renee fixes spaghetti for a late dinner. Tomorrow is race day and rest is now necessary.  
21 April 2001 Saturday Sleep until 6:45 am as the car is already at the track and the race doesn't start until 11:00am. Our race team of Renee, Katie, Dave and myself all pile in the car for the trip to the track and Renee gives us the scenic tour of Mackay on the way. Nice town. The last time I was here was when Mark and I brought the TAD car up here. We did not get to see a lot of the town then but it was very hot then. This trip the weather is very nice. Very comfortable for a tropical city.  We get to the track and unload the car and have a look at the start line. I'm dubious about how good it will be, but we did get down a unprepared track at Willowbank last Wednesday with it so we have to give it a go. For first round of qualifying we take it to the start line and are rewarded with another tire smoking session. As Katie and I leave the start line to get Renee, Dave goes back to the trailer to implement plan B. Plan B is we put the "school" converter in the car (1000 rpm less on the start line) and richen the main .010. Second qual pass is a good pass at 8.63/158.22 We got down the track!! Now we can do something. The next qualifying pass nets a 8.57/157.83. As we are the second quickest car there we get lane choice (important here) and we race an altered. We dial in a 8.50 and run a 8.58 he dials in a 10.00 and runs a 10.10 but the difference is on the start line. He cuts a .485 light but Renee cuts the a .688 her worst light ever in the car. If she had a .505 or better and we would have won. I was just the pressure from being the first race in the car. Her dad is there and later in the night she organizes a match race against him. She decides to give him lane choice and we smoke the tires. We did not win but we did have a good time. Pack up and we drive back to the house by 1:00am.
22 April 2001 Sunday Dave and I travel back from Mackay. Leave at 7:00am and arrive home at 8:00pm. Uneventful trip (thank goodness). I'm in bed at 10:30pm
23 April 2001 Monday - Back to work - Lot's to catch up on.

3 May 2001 Thursday - DC meeting

5 May 2001 Saturday - T&T today - we don't go because we have so much work to do to get ready for the Winternationals coming up.

11 May 2001 Friday - Rushing around working on customer stuff and getting car 58 closer to the race track. Have to get car 50 (DRS1) ready tonight for the race tomorrow - why wait until the very last minute?

19 May 2001 Saturday - We have a one day school for a customer but while we are on the way to the track he calls and cancels. We turn around and go back to the shop to get some work done. 

20 May 2001 Sunday - All day on the new DRS car (car #2)

12 May 2001 Saturday - ProAm Open at Willowbank. We are ready to race but no one has a car rented and we feel the time is better spent getting the new car ready for the Winternats.

13 May 2001 Sunday - All day on the new car.

26 May 2001 Saturday - We do a one day school with Jodanna Pullen and do the street meet that night. Jodanna's first pass in the school car and the "box" is tuned off. Track is slippery and a .590 light doesn't help. That's the end of our night. Jodanna did well though and we are looking forward to her driving at the Winternationals

27 May 2001 Sunday - SPDRA club car show with the DRS car.

30 May 2001 Wednesday - Bob W arrives from Canada for the Wnats.

2 June 2001 Saturday - Wnats test and tune with new car and Bob's TAD The new DRS car goes well runs a 8.90 150.0 on its first pass. No drips or leaks and everything works according to plan. Put it in the trailer and help Bob on his TAD. Bob got there late and by the time he is ready the test session is over. Sunday he will make a few passes.

3 June 2001 Sunday - On Bob's first pass the rocker stands pull out of the cyl head and cause a bit of damage. The rest of the day is spent fixing everything in hopes of making another pass but the clock runs out. Back to the shop. Tear the engine down to the block to find a damaged rod and pin. Turns out one cylinder hydrauliced. Out come the spares. Division Director says license is OK for Winternationals so the car is prepped for the Wnats. Set up is on Thursday.

The Winternationals have come and gone and the diary is way behind. I'll have to try to get it up to date but since we are to the middle of the year I will have to start another page. Click here for the last half of 2001 and the Winternationals coverage and a small update of the last month.
Click here for next diary.

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


Ken Says..... click here






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