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The Beginnings

At the tender age of 15 months Shane Weston received his first car. A battery operated Jeep. With a little help from Mum (Elaine) & Dad (Richard) he drove it everywhere.

Shane’s Dad then put his spare time into building a 1934 Junior Ford Hot Rod. This was the start to Shane’s obsession with cars and racing. He attended many shows including Motorvation & the Hot Rod & Street Machine Spectacular winning quite a few trophies. Over many years he was able to drive his hot rod in the Channel 7 Christmas Pageant. The hot rod was Shane’s pride and joy he even showed it to Victor Bray at Motorvation one year.  Victor told him to never paint it, leave it black, which he did.

In Shane’s spare time he would tinker in his little garden shed spending hours pulling apart then rebuilding Briggs & Stratton and Honda engines. We would be inside watching TV and would hear another engine start up and would often laugh at the mess he would make. But every time he would get the engine back together and running. Over many years all he wanted for birthdays & Christmas was new tools.

For Motorvation one year Shane and his Dad built a motorised bar stool. It had 3 seats and a Honda motor in it that Shane had built. This bar stool got changed over the years. At one stage we were driving around with Neil Anderson’s front end off the Ford Customline. We won many trophies for crazy cruiser award. We even had Richey Howlet on the back while we were driving down the strip, he was doing his commentating for Motorvation. We even got in Street Machine with the bar stool.

In 1999 Shane was 7 years old he wanted to race.  We inquired with ANDRA about purchasing a miniature Funny Car but were told quite sternly, “no way it will never be allowed”.  We tried to convince Shane to trying other sports footy, cricket, motor cross, even golf (which he was very good at). But all he wanted was to race a drag car.

So at the 2000 Westernats we were down in the junior pits looking at dragsters. When we got home we made a decision to purchase one but the funds were tight. So Elaine & Richard decided to give up smoking.  With a lot of saving and determination we did it. By October 2000 we had purchased a dragster from Townsville. It needed a little TLC so Richard put his polishing skills into action and turned it into quite a nice car. This was what we called Shane’s learner car, we kept it for a couple of years and when we thought he was confident driving we decided to sell it and purchase a dragster from Motivational Tubing USA.

jdwestonWell what a car it was.  At the time it was considered one of the best junior dragster in the country.

Shane did really well with this car he won numerous awards – Westside Drag Racing Association’s Best New Vehicle, first time ever a Junior Dragster had won this award. Motorvation – best competition vehicle, best engine bay, best interior the list goes on. He also won the top qualifying medallion at the Westernationals. Throughout his JD career he won many local meetings and travelled every year to Sydney and the Winternationals in Queensland.

The last season Shane raced his JD he was 15.  A family decision was made to sell his car a year early because at the time we knew there were a number of other junior dragster racers who would be finishing their careers in junior racing and their cars would be up for sale.

After selling the JD Elaine was made redundant from her job of 20 years. She found another job straight away so she put her redundancy into purchasing our current car, a Top Alcohol Dragster.  We purchased the car from Adam Croker as just a roller. Richard’s idea was to save up and put a blown small block chev into it.

Well that didn’t happen within a couple of days of purchasing the dragster his Nanny & Grandad Davies came around home. His Nanny had decided that she wanted to see Shane race, so she was going to sell her house and give him the money to purchase the dragster outright. We were so shocked, his Nanny had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and her dream was to see Shane race this car.  Shane is her only grandson – he is her life.

We tried to talk her out of this huge decision but that was not an option she wanted to see that black dragster go down the track with him behind the wheel. So for the next year while Shane was waiting to get his driver’s license he crewed on the dragster while Adam drove it for the season.

Shane learnt everything from Adam and his wonderful crew. He also helped Adam out when Daniel Gregorini got his new doorslammer. Shane did the clutch for Daniel. Shane now does all his own engine work, gearbox, everything is all done in-house, at home.  Our thanks to Adam, for teaching him so well.

October 12 came, Shane turned 17 and he was straight to the Traffic office to get his street license. The following Saturday TnT was the first time he got in the dragster.  First pass out on the track he stalled, so we pushed him back for a restart.  He had never done a burnout before, so back out on the track he went more determined, he had heard a few people laughing at him, he was not going to give them the satisfaction. Perfect burn out and staging, the first part of his licence all signed off.  Next he had to stage and do a half track pass, the second part signed off.   Unfortunately time ran out that day so he would have to complete his licence at a later date.

Due to work commitments we were unable to attend any more TnT so we entered the Boxing Day meeting hoping that he would be able to complete licensing.

At the 3pm qualifying round we were allowed to tag on the end of the field.

Out he went, burn out perfect, staged no problem, and off, he stopped the clock at 6.05, not bad for a licensing pass and his licence was now all signed off.

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Well back to the pits to strip everything down to get ready for racing and compulsory qualifying at 6pm.

Well who should we pull up alongside, John Zappia. Shane’s first ever side by side pass was against the legend himself. Shane wasn’t at all nervous just eager to beat his opponent. Unfortunately it was a red light for Shane but he beat him to the finish line with a 5.90.  The crowd roared and cheered for Shane. It was a moment that we will never forget. From a mothers point of view it was a sigh of relief that the chutes came out. For quite some time Richard and Elaine had terrible butterflies every time Shane went out to race. Now it is just second nature, we know he is very confident and able to handle it.

Over the next couple of season’s Shane was named Australia’s Fastest Teenager. He had the Motorplex record for AA/D at 5.68 and quite a few wins under his belt. He also obtained his Group 1 license which at the moment makes him the youngest Group 1 racer in the country.

The plan now is to concentrate on getting a major sponsor and some spare parts for the engine. We would also like a spare engine and a PSI Supercharger, this will then enable Shane to race competitively in Top Alcohol.

Shane would like to sincerely thank his sponsors: Compressor Valve Services, Darling Downs Drilling, Stewarts Pest Control, The Boat Business and Pirtek Blackwater, and his crew: Mark Shorto, Roy Scott, Brad Anesty, Aidan Duncan, Richard & Elaine Weston & Nanny & Grandad, Kayla Vogel and Karen Hildebrandt.   They have helped him achieve what he has so far.

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