Saturday, July 4, 2009

Go Fast or be Passed!

First 2 Photos taken by: Troy King, Professional Production Photography

First they started with a warm up lap

Then lined up on the grid for a photo shoot for Shannon’s PR, then it was out for 20mins demonstration on the track from a rolling start

He & his comrade-in-arms, Peter Woods, in his Black VK Commodore Croup A Touring Car, both agreed that this was the high light of the weekend, being asked to run in the Lunch time track demonstration session with the big guns
Along, with Bri’s hero car, the ex-Dick Johnson’s No.17, Bryan Burt Falcon Hard Top, was
The late Ian 'Pete' Geoghegan, 1965 Mustang, which Pete drove to win 68 races from 74 starts, which was driven by, Shannon,s Queensland Business Development Manager, Phil Ross
The ex-John French Falcon XC Hard Top
The orange 1970, 302 Boss Mustang pace car & the ex-Bob Morris XD Falcon sedan driven by ex-V8 super car Driver Craig Harris, plus other racing muscle cars
Last but not by any means least, ex-V8 super car driver & with 7 Bathurst victories under his belt to name but a few, Jimmy Richards
A fellow Kiwi who Bri followed to Race meetings back in NZ in the late 60’s & early 70’s, who drove the Red & White Winfield racing Holden

This weekend was value for money, $185 early bird special, lots of track time & experience, with the beasty guzzling through 75 litres of fuel

“Another day of sprints for you & your car versus the timekeeper”

Sunday 28th June 2009
The start of day 2 of the Shannon’s shootout!

A beautiful sunny day dawns, we leave a bit later as we woke without the alarm, which is always a good feeling

The first 6 laps goes ahead without mishap... 2 hours later he’s off for the 2nd outing of the morning

The car feels great.... Power on down to turn 1.... up to turn 2 .....breaking hard then back on the gas... along the 600m back straight.... the car runs strong... ready to corner down through the dipper..... OH SHIT....

A mowing we will go!!!!
We really are so in sync; it is soooo true that many years together you grow oh so very alike!

I like to keep a tidy property, 1 1/4 acres mowed weekly & depending on how fast the grass grows, sometimes twice weekly!

He likes to keep track side well manicured also it seems

Along the 600m back straight a car is up his arse!

From where I was I could barely see daylight between them, I kid you not

I knew exactly what was going to happen from the onslaught of Bri not allowing him to pass him on Dick Johnson straight.
Just prior to the corner, I knew then the race was well & truly on!
There was no way in hell he was going to let him get passed him & while I’m at it!! Who in the hell had moved that witches hat which had become Bris breaking point after turn 2!

So my man decides, even when racing to take a wee detour,

He reckons some attention is needed at the dipper area so he makes a sideway manoeuvre to give it a quick slash on flight

I of course witnessed all this; all I can see is abt 2 inches of the roof of the car down in the dip.

I rejoiced at that as it could have been the wheels I was viewing

By this time I swear I could hardly breathe, but I was calm as I had an audience beside me

I was brought up old school; "never make a spectacle of yourself Pamela"

Breath, exhale, Breath, exhale,

FUCK that was my husband!! Mother would have been turning in her Grave at that point!

Thankfully after what seemed like an age the red flag comes out & Bri is pushed out of the mud & hostilities resume, he is off & racing once again

Now, after the mud slide incident, other wives might have been excited at this point, but no not me, I am the panicker or so my kids tell me, & in my mind what I see isn't my man gallantly riding into battle once again, I see a possibility of bumps & scrapes, crashes & risk, I am terrified once again

The Queensland Raceway site says "If your pride and joy, your passion, has wheels and horsepower its time you brought it out to play.
Cotton balls are all well and good but if you want to get the real deal you have to use it the way it was built to be & how right they are, you do not have to put your car at risk.
If half the roads were as safe as Queensland Raceway it would halve the road toll.
Your car was meant to be driven and you owe it to the people who designed it, and built it, to show what it can do – safely"

How right they are, day 2 & we only have a bit of mud & bits of grass hanging foul!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Qld raceway Shannon’s Sports & Muscle Car Showdown

Photo by
Professional Production Photography
Saturday 27th June 2009

As a hint of early morning light peeks through the wooden blinds, she slowly climbs out of her warm comfortable bed.
She can hear him outside on the patio, patting the dog, lighting his fag & slurping his coffee, over the idling engine of the mustang.
With a heavy heart & hesitant footsteps, she forces herself to make way to the shower, then dresses, wanders out into the still dark morning, & forces herself to face her fate for this weekend –
Two days of adrenalin at The Shannon’s Sports & Muscle Car Showdown.

He was thoughtful enough to say, do you want to stay home.
Thankyou darling, but no, there is no way in which I am going to take the chance of missing any moment of significance as I wait patiently, camera in hand … What were our Vows.. To death do us part

We are off, 5.55am & black as pitch, & a brisk 6 degrees, blinded by the glare from the headlights off the rain puddles on the road!
Then to top it off, further on down the track the fog rolls on in!

Saving Grace, NO wipers needed.
What was that I just said, 15mins away from the venue rain! Wipers on!

The weather discussion starts, slicks? yes, no, maybe, & then a glimmer of hope, as my Granny always said if you can see a handkerchief sized patch of blue in the sky, then the weather will be fine, & there it was, & yes indeed she was right

We unload the Mustang, the wet weather tyres in case needed, the fuel etc etc & took the car & trailer to the car park, in minutes we were all sorted & erected the cover amid the quagmire the ground had become overnight.

Bri then attended the drivers meeting, they stressed how slippery the track will be with all the water lying through the dipper area,
“keep off the green & stay on the black stuff! if you get on the green, grab your passport, as you will end up in some foreign country & in this weather you are likely to hit the wall”, yeah right, just what I wanted to hear!

Back to our paddock area where darling jacks the car up, he's now decided to run with the rear sway bar off, thankfully this was completed with no mishap & the sprint began

The new tyres are duly noted by Mr John English

Clubman Circuit 2.11 km
Practice - 1:13
Best time – 1:08


Thank you MR Glen Seton & MR John English, NOT!!
As one really must buy new tyres particularly when the fact is mentioned that new ones are paramount by 2 Racing Drivers at 2 different times!

It’s a tuff call as to who’s advice to take when buying new slicks, & when this advice has been personally given, & even worse, when you will see them both again

One recommended,
Hoosiers “Tyres designed for champions”
& the other Pirelli Tyres “Mates rates”

Worn tyres or the wrong choice of tyre, means the difference between losing & winning
Or the staying on the track or the running out of control & off it,
ahh that would be into the mud! but that is another story!!
so this thought process is no mean feat

In dry weather, 'slicks' are used
Slick tyres have no tread, thus giving the tyres maximum surface area in contact with the road to grip most effectively on a dry road surface, so the man says

So you can imagine my deleimer when the courier arrived with the tyres & they had grooves!!!! in my mind grooves mean tread!!

In my defence the Dunlop’s we were running were a non grooved slick

My man just grins that indulgent grin, at me, which seems to appear when I have a blond moment

Lots of humming & haring & tooing & froing & the new bags are....

Hoosiers, size 275 45 16. A6
Got to be good as also run by the Pinepac 1 car & by the Biante drivers

Cost $1860
We have yet to see how well these babies’s perform