Competing in Australia's fastest racing series - Formula Holden

Mallala 16th - 18th 2002
Thursday practice

After Pete and Rebecca got the pits set up ready for the weekend we decided to partake in the unofficial practice that was available on Thursday. On about the tenth lap at max rpm and speed on the main straight there was a big bump like hitting a speed bump in the road. After a quick look n both mirrors to verify that all I could see was flame I decided to let the car roll along and hope that the flames would blow out. After 100 metres the flames had largely gone out and I braked to a halt. As I hopped out I could see that this was really really bad. There was a large pool of oil growing under the car. I could see bits of the block scattered around on the under tray and one of the rods was out too.

Once the car was recovered on lifted we could start to gauge the full extent of the disaster. You could see through the block from one side to the other. Clearly we were out for the weekend.

We started to look at the other opportunities for a drive for the weekend and finally settled on using the 96d from hocking motorsport. We set about changing the car again to suit me. The experience from Darwin was useful and the car was ready for qualifying.

Saturday qualifying

In the qualifying session I was having a lot of trouble getting the car to turn in and then to run out with over and understeer coming at all sorts of times. I was only able to come in 12th.

Sunday warmup

Still unable to get the car to turn in properly. We made a series of changes to ride heights wings and brakes but were unable to get the changes we required.

Race 1

In spite of not being happy with the balance I got a good start in the chaos of a couple of cars not starting. I ran wide on turn 1 and Terry got underneath me for turn 2. I couldn't keep up with the car handling the way it was so I tried to consolidate and hope. A few laps later my hopes came true. Terry had disputed a corner with Aki and was beached on the side of the track. The pace car came out and we all bunched up but I missed the restart and Roger got a break which he easily carried to the finish and we got 15 silver star points for second

Race 2

This time I got another great start and again had a huge moment in turn1 and let a whole bunch of people past. I gathered it up and carried on in third place. After a racelong fight with the car I got home in that position.


With 27 points in the bag from what was looking very bleak we moved from 4th back into second in the silver start championship with only one meeting to go. Now we really have to try and get an engine together because our budget won't let us rent a drive again. Thanks to Paul Charal for being crew chief for the weekend and to Kevin, Bruce and Pete for their big effort in stripping our car and getting the 96d in shape.

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