Australian Drag Racing (Motorsport - Drag Racing)
|ANDRA Drag Racingwebsite:http://andra.com.au/|
Latest News & Results
Fire-throwing Jet Dragsters will lead an exciting field of racers for this weekend’s Night of Fire event at the Perth Motorplex.
Jet Dragster drivers Pieter De Wit (Iron Horse) and Ian Wood (Banshee) will provide plenty of blazing runs and ear-bursting burner pops this Saturday January 23 when they line up for the event alongside Doorslammers, Nitro Bikes and more.
“The Night of Fire event has been a real attraction over the years and the kids especially always seem to have a really great time – they are fascinated with the jet cars and afterburner pops and of course also the fireworks at the end of the night,” De Wit said.
“The Jet Cars are quite unique and turn a lot of heads. Aside from being so impressive on the track, the good thing about them too is that they are pretty low maintenance between runs which allows more time for spectators to interact with us in the pits.
“Iron Horse does well over 450 kilometres per hour and that is quite an exhilarating feeling! Even just being on the startline at 70 percent RPM doing burner pops for the crowd gets the heart rate and adrenalin up and pumping.
“This weekend we will be looking to put on a great show with both full-blazing runs down the track and plenty of ear-bursting burner pops, while hopefully running a ‘five second’ pass.”
De Wit’s role in motorsport is not limited to his Jet Dragster driving duties either.
“When we migrated to Australia from South Africa, I thought I was leaving competitive racing behind. I originally made contact with Gary Miocevich asking for direction to stay involved in the sport – which turned out to be a lot more than I could have hoped for as it led to me racing Jet Dragsters,” he said.
“In 2013 I had quite a bad accident, and after experiencing first-hand the work of Terry Dorrington, the Motorplex’s track chaplain of more than 20 years, I decided to not only be a competitor but also a volunteer in supporting and helping at other events.
“I undertook the chaplain’s course and now I am the Motorplex’s Assistant Chaplain. The role allows me to build relationships not only with fellow competitors but also with the track staff and volunteers, and I find it extremely rewarding.”
With decades of racing behind him and showing no signs of slowing down, De Wit has a number of people he would like to single out for their support.
“I do want to thank my family who still supports me in my racing endeavours,” he said.
“I would also like to thank Daniel Miocevich who allows me to race Iron Horse. And of course, all of the Perth Motorplex track staff, officials and my fellow competitors who make race day possible.”
The Perth Motorplex will host the Night of Fire event this Saturday, January 23. The event will feature the return of the Iron Horse and Banshee Jet Dragsters, the Summer Slam Series and Nitro Bike. Also battling it out on track for points in the WA Drag Racing Championship Series will be competitors in Top Comp, Super Comp, Comp Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Outlaw Radial, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street and Junior Dragster, while a huge fireworks show will also delight the fans.
For event information, visit www.motorplex.com.au
Pic: High Octane Photos
Maintenance on vehicles is no foreign concept to drag racers, but driver Paul Carey has discovered that all elements of his machine need attention – including the pilot.
Carey campaigns a unique Toyota-powered Top Alcohol Altered, the latest evolution of a supercharged engine combination he has been experimenting with for two decades.
He heads into this Saturday’s Night of Fire at Perth Motorplex with his goal of a five second pass looking closer than ever before and a car that has been handling much better in recent events.
His season started with an enormous wheelstand, where the front wheels climbed off the ground under acceleration before slamming back down to the track. The chassis was damaged and needed much attention from fabricator Clyde Carstairs. The silver lining was that the repairs unearthed some issues with the chassis.
“After the wheelstand we had front halved the car (replaced the front of the chassis) and Clyde found a few things that were contributing to the mishandling,” Carey said. “We now have a perfectly square chassis to work with.”
Carey’s race car is quick, reaching 100kmh in less than a second. That kind of G-force is tough on the human body and Carey – like the chassis – found he needed some work done.
“I’m nearly 60 and it was all getting too much physically; I had lost confidence as a driver,” he said.
“I got in touch with my personal trainer Shayne, who works at Liftlab and specialises in preparing athletes for competition. The training helped me lose weight, get fit, and work on situational awareness and I’ve now got my confidence back. I’d like to master this engine combo.”
Most cars in Carey’s class use a Hemi motor with twice the cubic capacity. His Toyota is certainly a David among Goliaths and needs to be worked hard in the first half of the track.
“We have no real advantage over the big Hemis except maybe being quick early in the run and not so prone to tyre shake,” he said.
“At the Night of Fire we will be trialling some more changes to the design to get from A to B more consistently and the rest will follow.”
The Night of Fire features Jet Dragsters and the Summer Slam, plus all the classes of the WA Drag Racing Championship. Qualifying begins from 11am with the feature program commencing from 5.30pm. For more information, go to www.motorplex.com.au
Words: Luke Nieuwhof
Pic: High Octane Photos
The post Repairing both car and body pays off for Paul Carey appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Mark Rothwell will bring his “Blown Money” Chevy Nova back to the Perth Motorplex for the first time in almost seven years for this weekend’s Night of Fire event (January 23).
Rothwell’s return has been hotly anticipated for some time within the local drag racing community, with many eyes set to be trained on his entry in the Supercharged Outlaws category this Saturday.
“Originally I decided to take a year off just to have a break. I felt like I had missed out on a lot of BBQs, catch-ups with friends and family since racing every season since the Motorplex opened, first in Super Street and then Super Sedan and Supercharged Outlaws.
“The next year some political stuff happened and since then there have been some holidays with my wonderful new partner, we have bought a new house together and there was a nice new shed to be built and so on.
“All the while though, I have been buying new parts here and there as there are a few big goals I want to achieve yet.
“The main motivator for making a return now was the death of one of my crew, Dan Whitehorn. With the blessing of his widow and parents, we want to do something special for him at the Westernationals in February, and to do that we need to log some track time beforehand.”
It has been a frantic preparation for Rothwell and his crew as they ready for this weekend’s event.
His chariot now has a screw supercharger in place of the old roots supercharger, a new fuel system and a new ignition system. A new three speed gearbox has replaced the old Powerglide two speed and there is also an updated four link suspension, new ignition/fuel management control system, and a few modifications inside the cabin for the driver’s comfort.
“I am really excited to get back into it but even though I committed to coming back for this meeting halfway through last year, the past few weeks have been intense!” he said.
“I cannot thank some awesome people enough for their help along the way. With so many changes to the car in the six to seven years we have been away we have no data and there is one weak link on my mind, so this weekend we will be taking our time with it.
“I am both excited and nervous to be getting back on the track after so much time away. I am of course excited to be behind the wheel again, to try all the new tech and see how much quicker and faster it will run, but I am also nervous that with all of the changes will come the inevitable teething problems.
“There is also that healthy dose of nerves about going quick again, which I think there always should be – you can never get too complacent with these cars.
“Hopefully, this weekend we can have some fun and then we will work out what the car needs in terms of set-up to ensure we are back to running quick and consistent times.
“The Night of Fire event is a family favourite over here in the West – the kids love the show the Jet Dragsters put on and I hope to see some great crowds at the Motorplex this Saturday.”
With such an intense preparation period, it is no surprise Rothwell has a long list of people he would like to thank for their help ahead of this weekend’s event.
“I want to thank Dan firstly; for his friendship, the laughs and all of his help over the years – we miss you mate,” Rothwell reflected.
“Ray Treasure is the king, and the Motorplex is the envy of all of the tracks in Australia because we have him at the helm, and because it is just so pretty, so we send our thanks to him.
“To all of the track staff and volunteers, you are just superhuman people, thank you for all that you do.
“I would also like to thank Merv Biggs and his business, M’mates Place in Mandurah. Without question he has been the driving force in keeping me on track and has been instrumental in making this deadline. He has probably worked more on the car than me! Merv is like a hyperactive, mechanical saint and I cannot thank him enough.
“There is also Chris Dicker at Dicker’s Speed Shoppè in Mandurah who must be recognised for introducing me to this addiction. His constant help, advice, knowledge, friendship and unbeatable pricing on parts over the many years has been simply awesome.
“Of course, I must also thank my crew – Tammy, Craig, Ben, Karl, Daniel, and Sean. None of this can happen without them. And I want to send shout outs to Greg Gower at Alky Pro, James Rowland at WA Vehicle Solutions, Blacky and Lauren at Black Magic Race Cars, Chris Dimoff, and Bells Engines for all of their support.
“And last but never least – my Shelley. To her, I say thank you for being so understanding of all of this. You are not a car girl and it is not your favourite pastime but your support and undertaking of the catering manager’s position has meant the world to me and you are my world.”
The Perth Motorplex will host the Night of Fire event on Saturday, January 23.
The event will feature the return of the Iron Horse and Banshee Jet Dragsters, the Summer Slam Series and Nitro Bike.
Also battling it out on track for points in the WA Drag Racing Championship Series will be competitors in Top Comp, Super Comp, Comp Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Outlaw Radial, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street and Junior Dragster, while a huge fireworks show will also delight the fans.
For more information, visit www.motorplex.com.au
Pic: Rothwell in action before his time away from the sport. Pic credit: High Octane Photos
The post Rothwell to make comeback at Night of Fire this weekend appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Getting a purpose-built drag racing vehicle to travel in a straight line might not seem to be a difficult task, but for Gail Rowles and her Mazda RX4 it has proven to be a challenge.
Of course, this is no ordinary Mazda RX4. Lying up front is a small block Chev with a Procharger supercharger system that produces 1151 horsepower.
Rowles said that the car had been unpredictable, with hard turns sometimes occurring in the middle of a run. That has made her driving job difficult.
“The car launches well and I don’t have a problem but as she gets down track I start to feel uptight because you don’t know what it is going to do,” she said.
“In December it stepped out badly and I was lucky not to hit the wall, damage the car or hit my opponent in the other lane – but that scared the bejeezus out of me.”
Since then, the team has been changing anything and everything in an effort to cure the Mazda’s handling woes.
“My husband Phil dropped the rear suspension out and redid it all, and we’ve ordered two new rear tyres,” Rowles said. “I’m hoping that cures the issues because otherwise I’ll have no nerves left!”
The Procharger centrifugal supercharger system is still fairly rare in Australia, though many drag racers in the USA now use the setup. The system is crank-driven like a supercharger, but uses an impeller and housing similar to a turbocharger.
“Phil always had a dream that he wanted a supercharged car, and we took the Mazda off the track seven years ago to rebuild it,” Rowles said. “At the time no one was using Prochargers in Australia so Phil wanted to do something no-one else had done.”
When all goes perfectly the Mazda is seriously quick, having clocked a quarter-mile in just 7.90 seconds at 279kmh, however there have been many gremlins to eliminate along the way.
“Last meeting out we broke a supercharger belt and a burst panel, and we’ve had a few hiccups with the fuel system over the years.”
Rowles will be competing in the Top Sportsman class at the Night of Fire event at Perth Motorplex this Saturday. The event features Jet Dragsters and the Summer Slam Top Doorslammers.
While many of those racers will be chasing record times, Rowles has a simple and humble goal.
“If the car would go straight it would be a perfect weekend, that would be my ultimate,” she said.
Qualifying begins this Saturday from 11am with the feature program commencing from 5.30pm. For more information, visit www.motorplex.com.au
Words: Luke Niewhof
Pic: High Octane Photos
Competitors at the weekend’s Nitro Slam did not hold back with no less than eight new track records set at the Saturday event on the 2nd of January.
Setting new track records were:
• Nostalgia Funny Car: Matt Abel, 5.427 and 428km/h (266.19mph)
• AA/AP: Wayne Keys, 5.860
• RR/SM: Michael Buckley, 7.315 and 301.35 km/h (187.25mph)
• C/GA: Rob Gaikhorst, 264.59 km/h (164.41mph)
• BB/AB: Michael Holister, 8.198 and 277.42 km/h (172.38mph)
For Abel, it was not a surprise to eclipse the track record.
“The first two runs we had done prior had certainly shown it was going to run fast. I think the first pass may well have been faster, but it is hard to know as we didn’t get a time (due to a problem with the timing system),” Abel explained.
“The second pass was on-track to actually be faster than the first pass and the last pass, but it had the front wheels off the ground and was heading to the centre line, so I had to short shift and slow the car down.
“That last pass was certainly fast, and I said to Rory that is certainly the fastest pass I have ever done down the quarter mile! It was great.
“At the end of the day, I am just the person that puts the foot down and steers the thing. It all comes down to the massive efforts of the crew and the skill of Rory Taylor as Tuner, so my thanks goes to them.
“I would also like to thank our sponsors, Speed Torque, Bill Miller Conrods, Oil and Energy Pty Ltd, SignBiz, Red Line, Dean’s Autoglass, D&D Racing, Kendall, Kendall Motor Oils, Coverall Sheet Metal, DTM and Green & Gold.
“Finally, I would also like to recognise staff and volunteers at the Perth Motorplex and send a special thanks to the track crew – the track surface was excellent.
“We will be back in March for the next round of the BME WA Nitro Championship – I am certainly looking forward to the next one, I reckon we might be able to give Graeme Cowin’s national record a bit of a nudge!” he grinned.
For the full event wrap-up from the Nitro Slam event, please click here.
Drag racing returns to Perth Motorplex on January 23 for the Night of Fire featuring Jet Dragsters. For more information, see www.motorplex.com.au