Westernationals – Report

The biggest event for the season has arrived, the 43rd Westernationals.  The team is pumped and after the good results from the previous meeting we were expecting to start where the team left off.


A new clutch was placed in for this meeting and floaters all freshly ground up.  The first pass was going to be a little softer than our PB but we hoped to be around that.  The track was coming around a little but still need some rubber down on it which will only get better as the meeting progresses over the 3 days. (Photo Courtesy High Octane Photos – Phil Luyer)

First pass for the night was at 8:15pm but with a couple of delays we hit the track at 9:04 against Craig Glassby in his TA/FC.  The dragster left hard off the line shaking again at the top of first gear, but was a respectable time off the trailer a 5.62 @ 247 mph.


This was the only pass for tonight and we were scheduled back at 3:50pm Saturday.

Saturday morning the engine maintenance was done we headed around to the staging lanes.  With the weather at around 32 deg we knew the track would be a little greasy with the heat.  We left the car the same and added more fuel to the system to take a little power out of the engine.

The dragster left hard but we under estimate the track a little and it bogged the enginedown and didn’t allow the clutch to slip as much and went straight up in servere tyre shake, the worse the team has suffered whilst running in TA trim.  It shook that hard that parts fell off the car and shane rolled through for a 6.8 second pass.  No what the team was looking for.  In the pits the sump came off and everything in the bottom end checked to make sure nothing had come loose then the normal maintenance between rounds was done.

At 6:58 the next pass we changed a couple of things to see if we could settle the dragster down off the line.  Shane done his skid, reversed up and staged the dragster.  It left slower than normal but as he changed gear there was no drive, something had failed and rolled through the top end at 7.4 seconds with the team all disheartened.  The team had about 1.5 hours to service the car and find the problem before the last qualifying pass.

lenco-140301Back in the pits the dragster was jacked up and started to run through the gears to see if this was the problem.  Yes we had lost second gear for some reason.  The transmission (lenco) was pulled out and the guys started to strip this down to find out why this had lost drive in second gear.  It was revealed that a grub screw from the previous tyre shaking pass and came loose and fell out which in turn didn’t allow this to change.  This was replaced and the lenco placed back together and time was running out to get into the staging lanes for the final pass.  The team all pulled together and got this done and fired the car in the pits to check and this seemed to fix the problem, we have all gears again.  The dragster was fuelled up and lower and quickly towed to the staging lanes.

We were paired up against Rob Pilkington for this final shot at qualifying.  We are currently sitting in 5position and looking at improving on this if everything comes together.  We knew that the track has came around with the Fuel cars running and all the Doorslammers.  We stepped the dragster back up hoping that we could get back to our form of running hard and fast.

The dragster left great off the line with a 0.924 60 foot time, a little shake at the very top of first.  Shane shifted gear and just hoped it would change which it did. “It felt good and shifted gear so I just kept on the throttle waiting for the next shift point hoping it would also change into gear which it did so I just kept my foot hard down” said Weston.  Everything worked and it seemed like a good pass and the scoreboards came up with 5.565 @ 250.69mph which is only 3 thousandths slower than our personal best.  This has qualified the team in 3rd position only 0.054 from first person David Dequen in his E/AA Altered.

“I have to thank my hard working team today, there has been some trying times when things just didn’t happen the right way, but when needed the whole team pulled together and got the job done and made sure the Pirtek/Darling Downs Drilling dragster was back out on the track for every lap.  Kudos to all of them, especially Aidan Duncan whom is tuning the car from Central Queensland after he wasn’t able to fly due to back surgery a week before the event.” said Weston.

First Round of racing the team was pumped for a good days racing, but unfortunately Shane left early resulting in a red light (lose) so that ended the day for the team.

We will be back at the next meeting on Saturday 22nd March (Nitro Fury) at the Perth Motorplex for the local round of racing where we are still sitting 3rd on the points.

Compressor Valve Services, Darling Downs Drilling, Stewarts Pest Control, The Boat Business and Pirtek Blackwater and his crew; Aidan Duncan, Mark Shorto, Brad Anesty, Troy Alford, Richard & Elaine Weston, Bob Marlow, Kayla Vogel and Karen Hildebrandt.

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