Race Reports

Time Traveler - Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars Sydney Dragway


Well never in our wildest dreams did we expect to achieve what we did at the Sydney Dragway Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Extravaganza on November 24.

The highlight for me was the appearance of the American superstar Ron Capps.   Where do I start as there were so many highlights?  Of course the only start can be with the exceptional Piranha Racing Team Crew. 

This trip we enlisted fellow Supercharged Outlaw Racer, Reece Northfield to share the 20 plus hours of drive time with Nathan in the Penguins Palace Transporter and Trailer from Rockhampton to Sydney. Our new plan of 2 drivers sharing the load along with their passengers Uncle Ralphy, Alan Croft & Craig Avenell worked wonders until they got to Friday morning.  They decided to take the Penguins Palace to a truck wash to make it look all shiny and sparkling because for the first time we were on the hot mix in Sydney which is close to the front rather than down in the paddock on the grass.  Well there must be a bit of cancer there in the top of the cab because it rained water inside as well as through the roof vent in the back above the crew quarters which had some serious leaks.   There was no way they were going through the truck wash a second time. 

Heather and I flew down to Sydney on the Thursday because I didn't think I would handle the journey in the truck after my prostate operation and we wanted to be there when the truck arrived. 

Raquel, Ella, Nash & Lucia flew in late Friday night with Jeff & Denise Carr after numerous delays due to bad weather.  Zac & Bec had flown in on the Wednesday and Greg Belz flew in on Thursday to spend some time visiting the Sainty's but they were a no show so we picked him up at the train station in the mighty Rooty Hill district being the Vegas of the west, making it a 14 plus crew.  The majority of us stayed at the Chifley at Eastern Creek and I would like to thank Willy Malicks who had the chef prepare a lovely Pavlova for Heather's birthday which we celebrated on the Friday night as we had the event on the Saturday which was her actual birthday. 

Not everyone could make it and again it seems poor Lachlan is always driving one of the big dump trucks at the mines whenever there is a Nitro meeting on. 

The weather was always going to play havoc with the event but we had everything set-up, unloaded the truck & trailer, put the marquee & lights up and unpacked the plethora of gear you need to run a nitro car.  Pitted beside us was the 'Rustlers' Stephen & Aaron Russell from Victoria and on the other side we had our great friend and sometime Supercharged Outlaws racer Robert & Leslie Coleman with the green Mustang that we call the Falcon competing for the first time in Outlaw 10.5 with the small block.  What a meeting Rob had!  Three wins including taking out the legend Frank Mammone, Mr 10.5 himself.  Rob wants to pit with us all the time because whenever he pits with us he goes rounds and in this case he had three wins which was a tremendous feat for the small block under some of the powerhouses in that exciting class they call Outlaw 10.5. 

Race day Saturday dawned with inclement weather but we got the car warmed up and ready to go an attempt Nathan's final license pass over the ¼ mile.  About 10 minutes before we were ready to tow up the heavens opened and after a few hours the management made the decision to cancel racing until Sunday.  Hindsight is such a wonderful thing as it didn't end up raining but the weather reports had forecast storms with hail to the left and right of us so they did what they had to do with the information they had.  Murphy's Law says that when you do cancel it won't rain and when you don't of course it will. 

The option to make a pass was offered to the teams on the Saturday afternoon so we took advantage of this to finalise Nathan's licensing requirements along with Aaron Russell and Phil Lamattina.  Nathan had previously been signed off over the eighth mile but this was something we had planned to do before the racing started.  There was a problem when going into stage with the bottom Stage light not activating and after a quick reverse and second attempt to stage the lights worked and he blasted off down the quarter but no time was recorded.  The data logger showed that it was around a 6.20 - 6.30 at around 220mph which was purely evident by race day when our three runs were consistent and got better and better.  These were the only four full quarter mile pulls that we had ever done. 

After the opening ceremonies it was straight into Round 1 and Nathan was against the NZ International Willy White in 'Back to the Future'.  Satisfyingly what racers seem to love is winning on a whole shot and that is what Nathan did in the first round.  At 3:16pm in the right lane with a .091 reaction time against Willy White's .174 we recorded a win at 6.323sec at 226.20mph against the quicker and faster 6.252 sec and 234.66mph for Willy.  Part of the whole series with Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars is to really interact with the crowd and we certainly tried the hardest at that.  Threatening Willy White with Velcro gloves and sending him home to New Zealand.  He was a great competitor and it was great to meet him. 

Next round the opposition stepped up to probably Australia's premier Outlaw Nitro Funny Car driver Shane Olive in one of Graeme Cowin's stable of cars 'Fast Company'.  We didn't have the experience or the horsepower to beat him but I have likened us to a top fuel racer from years gone by, Robin Kirby the Penzoil Man.  He was always there with consistent runs. Shane had an uncharacteristic red light and a whopper too at .224.  Now Ricky 'aka the Captain' Steffens our illustrious Crew Chief was well aware that Nathan's .015 light on a pro tree was because when someone else drops the hammer you do to as you have to go.  In this case our run improved to a 6.265sec at 213.81mph and Shane raced a quicker and faster 5.928 at 250.6mph.  Another win to the Time Traveler and that was at 5:22pm.

This led to the dream pairing for us against American legend Ron Capps in the famously named 'LA Hooker'.  Considering the total of 38 Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars went down the track in 61 minutes averaging 1.6 minutes per run this meet was spectacular. So lining up against Ron at 7:40pm for the last run with the fireworks timed to go off when they crossed the finish line.  We knew that Graeme Cowin, the mastermind of the whole Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Series, would have the LA Hooker hopped right up because to win the event they would have to run low ET in the final round which was being held by Rick Gauci in the Nitro Express at 5.69 seconds in the pair before us.  We were well aware that performance wise we couldn't match that and would rely on consistency and that they would hop it up to much.  Ricky put another percent in the tank and a bit more air in the tyres.  Nathan did his job on the tree and was very close against the experienced Ron Capps with a .086 light against Ron's .069.  About 60 feet out Ron was out of the groove, started to spin the tyres and had to pedal the car.  At the eighth mile we were in front at 4.088 against Ron's 4.333 and by this stage Ricky was already cheering and honestly we didn't even see the time we just saw the win light.  Nathan trucked on down there with a 6.206 at 226.89mph which was our quickest and fastest run against Ron's 6.372 at 242.76mph.  Margin of victory .1491 against the previous round's .5769 and the first round of .0127.  Our victory celebrations will be on 7Mate in a half hour program and the Speed Channel in an hour program.  I have never seen Heather so excited or the whole crew.  I have quoted Kerry Packer when he said that "you can't buy the joy of winning or the exhilaration in Woolworths" and he is right you just can't buy the feeling you have to experience it. 

We certainly do not do this for the money because you will never make any money out of the sport in Australia with our population.  When it's your time to rock up to the crematorium it's those 'giant killing' days when Nathan had taken out both Internationals and the crew performing well that you will be remembered for.  The crew had their fair share of problems to deal with on the day as during the first round the parachute line got caught around the air ram which releases it and this ripped the box they are mounted to off the back of the Time Traveler body so Crofty, Zac and I patched it up.  We used the normal spring-loaded parachutes from the FED and drilled some holes in the body and finally got it mounted.  In the second round we had a problem with the bolt holding the couple on the tail shaft coming loose and locking up on the tail shaft cover.  It took us about half an hour to prize it off and fix it.  But we were the first out there for the last of the three round-robins.  The whole day was nothing short of spectacular.  The driver parades, the driver interactions and the champagne.  First time ever I think that I have seen champers at the drags on the podium. 

The event was won by the Nitro Express 57 Chev with Rick Gauci driving and fellow Supercharged Outlaws racer Paul 'The Cowboy' Messineo taking second in the Dark Horse Mustang with third place going to the butcher from Duaringa's son Nathan Peirano in the Time Traveler Vega. We look forward to a long and happy Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car career.  In 2014 our first meeting will be at Willowbank on March 15th.  Thanks to everyone who was associated with this including Graeme and Wendy Cowin, Steve Bettes and Rob Sharp.  This was truly the stuff that dreams are made of.  

Lastly may I say congratulations to our outstanding crew, lead by Ricky AKA The Captain Steffens on the performance of our team at Sydney Dragway last weekend...it was outstanding !

Peter & Heather Peirano "Time Traveler" Race Report - Sydney Dragway - Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Event Sat-Sun 23 & 24 Nov 2013.

Check out these statistics;
(38) Outlaw Nitro Funny Car runs down the track in a total of 61 minutes - 1.6 Minutes per run
(32) Outlaw Nitro Funny Car runs that were 6.50 seconds or better
(31) Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars runs that were over 355 kmh (220mph) at the finish line
(14) Paired Runs that had both cars over 322 kmh (200 mph) at the finish line
(13) 5 second runs
(6)  6.Zero something runs
(20) 6 second runs
Unbelievable Statistics! Now that is a SHOW. Well Done to you all.

The next event and we will be able to attend:
WILLOWBANK RACEWAY - QLD - Saturday March 15th 

P.S. Pete's Final Prostate Report for 2013

Well it's a thumb's up meaning no radiation.  I visited my specialist Dr Boon Kua last Monday 2nd December and received a cancer free result.  Next check-up will be in three months and then another 6 months later and then it will be a yearly test.  It couldn't be a better Christmas present for me and the family.  Add this to the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars in Sydney and the end of 2013 has become nothing short of fantastic.

Gallery Time Traveler - Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars Sydney Dragway