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in the world of drag racing

Black Bar

The latest update as of June 5, 1999

8:00 am:   No hurry today; the gates don't open at Willowbank until 4:00 pm for tonight's Test'n'Tune. Small problem though; it's an hour past sunrise and the skies look very dark from my bedroom. Pulling back the shades, I'm greeted with.... rain! Can't be, must be a bad dream. Nope, it's real, very real. And very heavy. I keep reminding myself that despite bad weather down on Gold Caoast, it's usually fine up at Willowbank.

As the morning passes.... and the rain intensifies, my hopes for a dry night at the track are gradually washed away in the downpour. The track hot-line still has the race going ahead as scheduled, but I'm already thinking we're in serious trouble. If you've just tuned in to this ongoing "Dragster Diary" saga, you'll know that today is my last chance to get my licence endorsed before the Winternationals. No endorsement, no race.

2:00 pm:   The latest weather report from the Willowbank area shows rain there and dark skies. Things are definitely getting worse by the minute, but a call to the track itself gives us the news that the final decision will be made at 4:00 pm. Hang on, two hours until the execution... still time for a reprieve from the weather gods.

4:00 pm:   In the distance, through the intense rain, I can hear the faint singing of fat ladies. It ain't over 'til it's over... but now it's definitely over. The Test'n'Tune is cancelled. All the effort directed towards competing at the Winternats has been for nought. Even if the car could be prepared in time, we still won't be allowed to race.

At this point I'm starting to wonder why I tried as hard as I did to make this happen. All the goals we've set seem so meaningless right now and drag racing is the furthest thing from my mind as I stare up into the cold (well, Queensland cold... 17 C) sky and think how my "grand" plans have come unravelled this week. Time to give up, call Qantas to re-confirm my flight and pack my bags? Not a chance. I've come too far for that and we still have to deal with customs and quarantine and receiving the container and all the other details connected with it.

Night is falling and for the first time since I arrived in Australia, nearly a month ago, I'm left wondering: "Where do we go from here, what's next?" I'll leave those questions for tomorrow. Right now, it's time for dinner, then curl up on the couch and get lost in the Saturday night movie and try to put all the disappointment of today out of my mind. Tomorrow I'll start planning for next week.

Black Bar
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