in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of August 1, 1999
Hello again from South Queensland, Australia. There's not a lot of news to report this time around but that's never stopped me from wasting space before. And why stop now? For a change, we've even got some photos of the new car and (the old) driver... just in case you were starting to doubt their existence by now. As usual, we can't report that the car is finished and running... yet... but it's almost there. Another $2000 and a week's worth of work and we'll be there. Unfortunately the money ran out several weeks ago and that's been the latest hold-up. So, while I'll be flying back to Canada later this week... and back to my job and generating some much-needed cashflow, my Australian crew will continue to prep the car in my absence.
With the almost instant world-wide communication capabilities provided by the internet, I'll be able to stay in touch with things down here on a daily basis. Plus, with the "GPS" (global positioning system) indicator installed in the race car, I'll be able to see if anyone takes the car out for an un-authorized "test drive". While it seems like an awfully long time until the start of the 2000 season on New Year's Eve at Willowbank Raceway, we'll all just have to be patient until then... and watch the latest Countdown on the "Scoreboard" at the top of this page.
I knew that this year was going to be a tough one, financially and physically, with all the details required to move my entire racing operation halfway across the world, but nothing could have prepared me for the ordeal it's become. We've been here nearly three months now and in retrospect, much of that time has been wasted waiting for the ship to arrive and the container (with race car and truck) to navigate its way through the various government departments. Then we've had to deal with all the probelms inherent in putting together a completely new dragster with a combination that virtually no one else has ever run. "You could've had a Brad Anderson motor running by now Bob, couldn't you?".... Yeah, I guess so, but I've got to revert to my old adage (that pretty much sums up my racing, working and personal life)... " why be normal? "
Despite missing the entire 1999 season, we'll certainly be on-track for the 2000 season in Australia. While it's going to be a rather short schedule, with only five national meetings on offer, we should be able to compete at all of them without stretching the budget and parts supplies too thin. Following the New Year's Eve "Millennium Drags" and major party at Willowbank, we'll finalize licensing requirements (I've still got two full runs to make) at the January 8th Test 'n' Tune. Then it's on the road south, first to Adelaide on January 15 and the following week at Melbourne's Calder Park. Approximately a 4000 kilometre round-trip and a real test of trucks, trailers and race cars on some less-than-perfect highways. Then there's a three week gap until the Australian Nationals, also at Calder Park, February 17-19, followed by the fourth round of the season championship at Brisbane's Willowbank on March 18th. Then it's off to the airport and home until I return for the season-ending Winternationals in June.
As this is being written, I'm less than five days from returning to Canada and already starting to count the days until I return on December 28th. It will be nice to get back to Vancouver and enjoy the balance of the Canadian summer and back to work for five months. But it will be tough leaving this beautiful country, the very friendly people and the (mostly) great weather. Even though it's "winter" here currently, the average daytime high temp is 20 degrees plus (approximately 70 fahrenheit) and the rain has pretty much disappeared for the past month. I'm still trying to imagine how hot it's going to feel when I come back for their summer at the end of December. 40 degrees (celsius) and high humidity are normal for that time of year in these parts and going further north just gets hotter and wetter.
Not much more to report at the moment, but within a week we should be back up to speed at home and starting the long process of fully updating the website. If you've visited here recently, you'll know some areas haven't been worked on for a month or more. It will take a while, but we'll keep you informed of all the changes as they happen. Now it's time for... the pictures. Just a few random snapshots from last week of the car in its current state. Next week we'll have some better pics of the car fully assembled and looking race-ready.... as long as I get out of this chair and down to Ken Lowe's and roll the car out of the container/workshop into the bright sunshine.
Bob is still searching for answers... but is he looking in the right places???
Is the car shrinking... or am I getting "thicker"?
"Dangerous" Dave hard at work and modifying the brand-new dragster.... already ??
How did I get in here... and how the heck am I going to get out again???
The looonnnggg view of the car... sans body panels, driver and just a few more parts
Our brand-new Crower clutch.... which will never look the same after the first warm-up
Last note for now: To anyone waiting for e-mail replys from me over the past three months, we've been unable, due to scheduling and access issues, to respond to any but the most urgent messages. My aplogies to everyone waiting for answers to questions or news about what we're doing, but until I'm back in Vancouver and on-line more regularly, the e-mails will have to wait. Next year we'll definitely be better prepared in that area and promise that we'll be able to update the website properly and keep up-to-date with the e-mail. Typical Wilson, eh?... "next year, next year...."
Apparently NHRA has relented on their earlier "iron-clad" position of deleting the injected nitro cars from Top Alcohol... oops, Federal-Mogul dragster, next year. One step forward, two steps back? From this distance it's hard to fathom the feelings of the racers on this issue, but I'll certainly have something to say about it... soon!