AIRSTRIP ATTACK

1y ago

1.2K

Racewars 2015 was a drag event held at Wyalkatchem airstrip in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. The 3 day event comprised of a small motorkhana, 400m roll-on drags, 800m roll-on drags and the main event being the 0-1000m V-Max event. 2015 was the third time the event had been held, the previous 2 times were also at "Wyllie".

"WPN15" is my little Colt I acquired about 12 months previous to the event. It had already a heap of money spent on the engine and driveline but needed some further development to take it from a street car with some foibles to a car that could go to this or any larger event, run consistently and be taken seriously. I had tried my hand at some track stuff but by no means considered myself a skilled track driver so prepping the car for a drag event seemed like a good compromise at the time. In the lead up to the event, it lost the street wheels/tyres for some track semi's, had a computer upgrade, change to dedicated e85 fuel system, retune, interior removal and rewiring under the hood. The car has previously dynoed at 301hp at wheels on PULP fuel (98) on a hub dyno, but came up a fair bit shorter at 252hp at wheels on e85 on the roller dyno. The numbers sort of broke my heart a little but the first time I drove it when I got it back, I knew the numbers didn't tell the entire story. Being able to dump the clutch in 3rd gear and spinning the street tyres into white vapour was my new favourite pass time. The car actually took some relearning to drive and get off the line, as the power delivery from PULP to E85 was very different. I've heard people describe the change as "waking up" a turbo car and this was definitely the case.

Colt giving a lesson to a V8 BMW M3

The experience was really good as my first proper race event. I'd done track days before but nothing that was really as competitive as this. The Colt was the smallest displacement engine there. It was the only 1.5 litre and the next largest car was a 1.8 litre from memory. The Colt next to 1000hp Skylines and big displacement V8s was certainly a laugh. When you drive a car like a Colt, you need to be able to laugh at yourself. I had the last laugh though, as the Colt was not the slowest car there, not by a loooong shot. The event is quite unique in that it allows spectators to buy passenger wristbands, which allow them to have rides in the cars during the roll-on drag races (as long as they meet the safety clothing and helmet requirements). As the day progressed, more and more passengers wanted a ride in the car. The lack of traction and sheer speed once the car hit 3rd gear got the attention of the commentators and a rivalry developed with a Toyota Echo with a 3SGTE and huge turbo strapped to it.

There was a slight lull in racing when a car dropped its transmission fluid down pretty much the entire length of the runway. Once the crew took care of the bulk, cars were allowed to do some test runs down the strip for 200m, cruising the rest to soak up the fluid and then deposit it on the gravel return road. I decided this was the time to let the front wheel drive shine... It's really "embarrassing" when you leave the handbrake on for 200m and light up both front wheels for the entire length. See top pic... This is why my tyre guy loves me.

Results... 10th in Motorkhana, 71st out of 110 in 400m (184.11kmh), 79th out of 115 in 800m (212.92kmh) and 55th out of 77 in the 1000m (220.88kmh).

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