Ballistic Drag Racing: Winternationals Here We Come

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Ballistic Performance Parts

BALLISTIC DRAG RACING 2017-18 Heading for some warmer weather

Winternationals Here We Come

The 2017-2018 ANDRA season was highly successful for the Ballistic Drag Racing Team. Traveling to the Spring Nationals in Adelaide in October we qualified second and made it to the final against Tony Frost. We walked away as the Runner-up which was really pleas- ing. On our way home from that weekend Katie and I spoke about purchasing a new bike. As luck would have it one just popped up for sale. Following lots of discus- sion and some ’facetiming’ to the USA, we decided to purchase the new ZX14 Pro Mod bike from the Mary- lands. The bike arrived in January and it was a thrash to get everything together to get the bike ready to race. I thought it would be easy but was proved wrong with some testing at Calder Park Raceway. The bike was just not happy. I went home re- wired the whole bike and then tested at another street meeting at Calder.

Thankfully this time the bike was happy and I was able to do a burn out and run down the track. We loaded the new bike and headed for Adelaide for the Grandfinals. With the new bike and only 4 runs on it there was only a slim hope of winning the championship. I was sitting third and needed to Top qualify, reset a record and win the meeting in order to win it. This was a huge ask with a new bike that at its best had run in the 10.00 sec range.

The first qualifier was to see if I had worked out the tune-up. I was going from using a Schnitz Pro 2 ignition to a new Fire Storm which was a totally new deal and I was still trying to get my head around it.

Q1 the bike bogged and then took off and I was not ready for it. I backed off in third and tangled the gearbox up. I got back to the pits and had hurt some parts in the gearbox with no parts to fix it. We thought we were out but a friend of mine Trevor Birrell came to the rescue and said he had what we needed back at his shop. He got the part I needed and we were back in business though missing Q2. I thought we would be right for Q3 the next day.

Saturday morning came around and I got on the phone to my mate Dan Wagner From DTM in the USA. We were going to try something for Q3- but as things would have it the wind had kicked up and Q3 was canceled. A decision was also made to run the meeting over the eighth mile due to the conditions. We had qualified last and the meeting was not looking good for us. We were going straight into first round and I did not think the bike was going to go. I was up against Gavin Dohnt who had stepped up to comp bike this year. Gav is known as a hard hitter having won a lot of gold trees in mod bike and being Number 1 also. I was up against it and was not going to take him lightly. The bike went fast and it nearly threw me out of the seat running 5.00 seconds over the 1/8.

Beating Gav we progressed to the semis where we would take on Jim Hanlon who had made a return to Comp Bike this year on his A/Street bike. I had to give him nearly 1.5 seconds on the tree so I was under a lot of pressure. I thought had better calm the bike down so I could ride it all the way. With a great light from Jim and not bad light from me I crossed the line first by .005– it was a close race. Couldn’t believe that I was going to race my mate Tony Frost in the final. Tony had sealed up winning the Championship but I owed him one from the Springnationals where I had a big sleep at the lights.

Tony had been up all night repairing his motor after it had broken a cam chain in qualifying. It was a top effort from the team. I was not going to take him lightly either. With the bike running well all I had to do was cut a light. So the final was set and it was game on. Tony is always good at the lights and with only the 8th run on the bike I was still getting used to it and how it rides. Tony cut a good light and I cut an average light. I was on the charge and the bike was hauling with a 4.68 sec at 149.00 mph pass to Tony’s 5.14 seconds. I had beaten him for my second Gold ANDRA tree and runner up in the Australian championship- it was great and it was great to have two Victorians in the final.

I would like to say special thanks my wife Katie for being there for the last 23 years of my racing and thanks to all my crew; my nephew Shaun, our cousins in SA for crewing when we race in SA and to all my sponsors POWERPLUS Race Fuels, Denso Auto Parts Australia, Ballistic Performance Parts, Shinko Tyres Australia, EK Race Chains, Lectron Carbs Australia and Nitrous Express.

Heading for the warmer weather and welcoming a new sponsor

Heading to the Winternationals this year we take with us a new sponsor– Xlite Performance Helmets. We haven’t raced the Winters for a few years and it will be nice to head to some warmer weather. Xlite Performance helmets have come on board for the upcoming season.

Xlite are part of the Nolangroup founded in 1972. They are Italian made and one of the best helmets on the market. They have been used in MotoGP and Motocross. I have found the helmet to be comfortable and with ultra carbon much lighter. Xlite helmets along with all Nolan brand helmets are available through Ballistic Performance Parts.

We will be racing in Top Fuel Motorcycle which will give us an opportunity to see what the new bike can do. We are still very much learning the nuances of the ignition system as well as the feel of the ride. Of course, we are not going all that way to test– we will be looking for a win and hopefully some high six-second runs. Let’s see how we go at our first Thunder 400 meeting.

Come and see us in the pits and collect a poster.