in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of April 28, 1999
The road show has finally begun. At noon yesterday, the Hanjin Kaohsiung left Vancouver harbour bound for Singapore, with my container aboard. Finally. Two years of planning, sweating, spending, worrying has ended (for at least a month) and the "show" is finally on the road... er, water. I've got some pictures of the "momentous" event but with twenty or so to left to shoot in each of the cardboard cameras, it might be a couple of weeks before they're developed.
With the car gone I should be able to sit back, put up my feet and relax for a week, eh? Not a chance! There's still seven more U.P.S. deliveries coming, a medical to pass, seatbelts to reweb, six or seven very heavy suitcases to pack, more money to round up, personal details to attend to, etc.etc.etc. Before we know it, we'll be heading for the airport... just 180 hours to go at this writing... and flying down to Brisbane.
While waiting for the container to arrive, Tom will be finishing the cylinder heads (both sets), the intake manifold (burst panel, nozzle positions, blower studs), the valve covers (burn-down breathers, rocker oiling, o-rings - to replace the gaskets) and anything else we can think of that needs doing before the car arrives. Of course, I'll be able to put my feet up and enjoy the weather... NOT!... as I'll be busy as ever putting together a computer for website updates and the racepak, jetsize, clutch software programs. Then, when I get it rolling, lots of updates from downunder and all the usual stuff that keeps happening around the Northern Thunder website.
Then the race car will arrive. At this time, there is no really firm arrival date, as the steamship line people in Vancouver don't seem completely tuned in to what's really happening outside their windows. (Last week they kept telling me the ship was on time, two days after I knew it was going to be 48 hours late). So, whatever arrival date in Brisbane they give me will have to be taken with a large grain of salt. We're hoping for May 28th, which will leave us nearly two weeks to prep the car for the Winternationals, but the realistic projection is more like a week... or maybe three or four days.
No matter what, as long as we have at least three days to complete the car, it will be done and we will be at the race. We might not get the license passes done (one half pass, two full passes); we might not qualify for the race; we definitely (unless lightning strikes six or seven cars) won't win the race... but we will be there. And we'll finally get a chance to make some "Northern Thunder" downunder. And after nearly two years, the soft, fuzzy edges of CONCEPT will meet the hard, square corners of REALITY. Slide into the seat, do up your safety harness, push in the clutch, grab the brake lever, open the fuel shutoff and HANG ON!!!... it's going to be quite a ride.
As usual, more news as it happens, including what the heck is going on over at Larry Pfister's "Horsepower Heaven" as soon as we can find out. For the past five days, his website has been down, certainly not permanently, but the mystery is deepening as the days pass. Last week he mentioned that he was having some hardware/software crashes and that is probably the reason, but we'll try to get the facts straight from the horse(power)'s mouth. Stay tuned.