in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of June 4, 1999
Yesterday ended quite early; after spending nearly thirty minutes trying to access this "What's New" page to save the source code and re-construct the page (don't even ask, please) with the latest news... and failing to connect... I simply gave up, logged off and went home to Gaven Heights. (Ken had to leave early for a Divisional Council meeting up in Brisbane so I couldn't hang out long enough to wait for the page to appear).
Before logging off though, I checked in at Willowbank's Winternationals entry list page and found it had grown to 420 entries as of Wednesday evening. With less than 48 hours before the deadline, they may be hard-pressed to top last year's all-time Australian record entry total of 521. Still, the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol fields had filled out to eight entries each (full fields, assuming everyone shows up). Yes, the T/A list included "#1676 - Wilson - Robert - Dragster"... So, in other words, if no one else throws their hat in the ring, we'd be in the show as long as we could bolt the car together and make it to the starting line.
That kind of news is really depressing, in light of our current situation. If we'd just been a week or two earlier shipping the car down, we could afford the customs delays and still be ready to race. But that unfortunately isn't the case and now we're looking at the prospect of missing out on our best chance ever to be in a big show and meet all the goals we set nearly two years ago. I shouldn't really blame anybody but myself for cutting things so close, but the fact is that we didn't have the money and parts ready to get here any quicker than we have. We've already accomplished most of the goals we set: We've got all the parts; The car is in Australia; The car will be finished and ready to run very soon.... just a week late.
Where do we go from here? The next major event on Willowbank's calendar is the Winter Finals, scheduled for July 17 and we are certain to be ready to compete then. The current plan is to finish assembling the dragster at the Winternationals (or in the days immediately following the event); make a test launch or three on the still-tacky Willowbank surface in the days following the Winternats; fly home to Vancouver to work for three weeks; then fly back in time for the July 10th "Test'n'Tune" and the following week's "Winter Finals", which is also the final round of the Lucar Cargo Vans Queensland Top Alcohol Championships".
Then it will be time to fly home until after Christmas, with our next flight downunder booked for December 26, landing us in time to run the New Year's Eve "Millennium" race. Following that meeting is the Castrol New Year's Series at Willowbank, a round of the Australian Top Alcohol Championship at Calder Park (Melbourne) and the Australian Nationals, also at Calder Park in March, 2000.
The dramas we've encountered this week and expect to face next week are just another small hurdle to clear... when we look at the big picture of where we want to be in the future. At this moment I feel like I've let a lot of people down; people who have supported and encouraged us; people who have helped us with their time, effort and supplied some of the parts necessary to make this dream come to life.
Realistically though, no one will be disappointed when we do finally fire our first "shots in anger". Then we can all look back at this episode and realize that it was just another obstacle to overcome... one that we did overcome and moved forward from. Hang in there, keep the faith, your patience will be rewarded. Keep tuned to this station for the continuing story of "A Drama A Day". (Tomorrow's episode: "Bob tries to find the Finish Line....")