Race Reports

Race Report: Nitro Champs Sydney April - May 2011

Well you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't, what you have to realize when travelling to Sydney we have to leave by 11am Wednesday morning to make the journey in time for the meeting.  It is pretty much a 24hr trip with a few stops and two drivers to fulfil the log book requirements from Rockhampton.   Over the Easter break we basically spent the whole time fitting the new Arrow Awning to the side of the Real Deal trailer with help from fellow crew members, some were away on holidays and unavailable but they help at other times.  We usually have a Wednesday night gathering in the shed and whoever can attend does so.  It is a never ending battle to keep up with the maintenance and improve the race cars, transporter and trailer.

Without the help of some dirt devils, speedway grubs or what ever you might call them being Allan "Frog" Barnes & Glen Knox we probably wouldn't have made it as they spent close on 20hrs helping me out over the Easter break and I truly appreciate the help.  Now, motor racing unites people and if you love motor racing you will always find someone or in Heather's words "is obsessed with motor racing" to give you a hand.

Well getting back to the rain, with the weather forecast and phone conversations from Sydney looking dismal we had to make a decision by 8am as to whether we were going or not so the people flying in from Brisbane and Rockhampton could save their airfares in the event of us not going.  I made the call that we were going because I couldn't stand to be in Rockhampton if the event went ahead, and in hindsight it was the right call.  Whilst we didn't win because both cars went out first round, that didn't worry us, we went and let me say to Ray Treasure and all the board at Sydney Dragway; you made the right call.  You have made some wrong calls but on this occasion you put faith back into the competitor and the paying patron who supports the event with his wife & children and sits on the hill.

Whilst we were bitterly disappointed with the first round being run after Top Fuel on Saturday night on a cold track and in my view a dangerous track.  There was not one Outlaw car that got down that track, it is easy enough to say afterwards some Pro-Stockers had a bit of a go but they have clutches.  The track was down right dangerous and yes we had the option not to race but no one does that, you travel 24hrs with another 24hr trip home and invest tens of thousands of dollars, the last thing we are going to do is pull out. 

I would also like to thank Clay Western and his son Rhys who helped get us down and back and during the event, for young Rhys it was three days off school and an experience to remember.  Clay, I can't thank you enough mate, as you will see by the photos it was a mud bath, in fact when we pulled in we got bogged and couldn't move anywhere else, even if there was somewhere else to go.  As you will see by the photos Clay came to the rescue with some rented industrial matting.  Although it was expensive for drag racers it was our saviour.  I went to my favourite shopping centre, Wetherill Park Shopping Centre which has the best deli in the world and bought some cheap tarps to put on the ground to stop the mud from oozing up into our gear.  If you have a look at the photo beside our truck and trailer after Ricky & Christine Steffen left you will understand where I am coming from.

Once again we had the luxury of two loan Lexus cars from Lexus Australia and I must say the no noise takes a bit of getting use too with the new Hybrids, but both cars were superb as always.  Measuring 30ft long and 20ft wide and not an annoying pole in the middle made life a bit easier and comfortable. It is a great advertising marquee and with the inclement weather was an absolute must with the roll down sides, everything performed above our expectations.  You also might notice by the photos that it is a different situation now at the drags; not only do I still not drink but Nathan & Raquel took young Nash along.  He is only 5months old and everyone took a turn at babysitting.  Nash also had his turn in the Piranha buggy and enjoyed it immensely "a family that races together stays together".  There is a lovely photo with Mary Fabbetti in the staging lanes where she makes me look a little bit better.  There is also another photo there with Paul Shackleton, my fellow fat boy and the best photo of the whole meeting has to be of fellow race competitor Paul Stevens with the Rocky Racoon hat that Deane bought him in Italy.  Now that is a face only a mother can love, but seriously if you have a look at the photo with the dinted wing that is Paul's wing.
The First round Nathan against Paul, Paul was right out on the right, about a millimetre off hitting the wall and being disqualified, he had about half a dozen pedals and was severely roasted by his loving wife Deane, whose heart was in her mouth.  While Nathan had six, and I say six pedals – three in first gear and three in high.  Now he never pedals in high, that's how cold the track was and that is my point about putting out Super Charged cars without clutches on a dangerous cold track.  It never should have been done; it was dangerous and I hope they never do it again.  We won the race only to be disqualified because the side panel of the top wing tore off flying into Paul's lane and in fact hit his car.  Whilst disappointing this is just one of the sad facts of racing.  It could all have been avoided and a much fairer round if the competition had been run the next day.

We left Sydney after spending an hour pulling up the matting in the mud and dark, stacking it for the hire company to retrieve and with two drivers and a sleep in the truck we were able to drive virtually straight through to Rockhampton arriving 7.30pm Monday night.  It still makes you pretty tired for work Tuesday but when you live in Rockhampton and race Australia wide unfortunately it's all part of the package.  Whilst we now prepare for the Winter Nationals and the Warm Up, life goes on, back to work to make the bucks to spend on racing. Obsessed, yes I am but most of my friends whom I consider as family are drag racers and I love them.   

See you at the Drag Strip Peter "The Penguin Peirano

Peter A. "The Legend - The Cheque Book" Peirano. 
Piranha Insurance Brokers P/L 


Drivers Blog Zach Peirano  Nitro Champs Sydney April - May 2011

The journey for Bec and I started long before the Nitrochamps with me heading to work over Easter and Bec and the Kids heading to Brisbane for Easter. 

Bec, Mark and I flew into Sydney, leaving the kids with grandma and grandpa Kingy. Picked up the Lexus IS350 Which is a stout little car for a v6. 

Coming into Sydney I was pumped for a good meeting as Sydney has been both good and bad for us 2 x Christmas trees for Nathan, 2 x blown motors (1 each) but last meeting at Sydney I went PB of the trailer.

After warming FED up we noticed a boost leak at the back of the blower between the manifold which had just been machined by Crofty and Bernie  Bond. Just as the call for 'Outlaws to the staging lanes' came across the PA.  Mark and I had the blower off, whilst Bec was capping fuel lines we replaced the suspected pinched o-ring seal on the manifold, put the blower back on and headed to the staging lanes as outlaws was running. Being the last car out and just making it, the adrenalin was pumping, we went to fire-up and in the rush had forgotten to fully tighten the blower belt after a quick fix and ignition gremlin occurred and with my worry about hurting feds powerplant last time Sydney I aborted the run. Hard to do but we had two more qualifiers. Until the weather interrupted hence 1 qualifier being cut. Last qualifier last chance, boom fed out like a rocket 7.25 @ 188mph qualified and relieved.

Bring on round 1 against a fierce competitor and reigning back to back National champ Christine Steffens, strapped in towing through the tunnel I could hear the peddlefest that was blown outlaw cars trying to get down a cold track. About to fire up when Nathan gaming running across leant in and informed me to leave with less revs as the track was off (not his words but pg rated ones). I could see the worry in his eyes, I took a quite breath put my game face on. Laid a strong burnout to try and put some warmth into the track, into stage and upped the revs on the brake to 4000rpm (usually 6000rpm) let the button go and it was on fed launched and drove straight for the wall, pedal got it straight quick stab off again into the middle of my lane and stabbed again into tyre spin and headed for the centre line. After 3 pedals I knew my dash was done, Sure it hurts watching your opponent motor down the track, but I'd prefer to have a straight fast racecar than a slow bent  one. As it stands it 2- Nil in Christines favour, as i said to Christine in the deep end after our run shaking hands 'I'll get you one day', one last shot, bring on the winters!

Thanks to my loving fiancée Bec for allowing me to do what I truly love, my crew for all the help and Dad & H for giving me the opportunity!

Zac Peirano  

Gallery Nitro Champs Sydney