Lake Gairdner Speed Trials - 1998

 

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1998 Report

by Rod Hadfield
Well, once again the dead calm and silence of the best salt lake in the world has been interrupted by the sound of the internal combustion engine. The place: take Gairdner, South Australia, the event: the 1998 Dry lakes Racers of Australia speed week.
Approximately 30 drivers paid their entry to run the course, which was in as good a condition as it has ever been for the last six years. Most will know that the 1997 event didn't happen became of unseasonable weather conditions which saw rain dropped on the lake and cost Australia's Rosco McGlashan the chance to be the first to break the sound barrier.

The first members arrived on Saturday, unlocked and connected up the essentials at the newly acquired campsite on the Lakes edge, bought by DLRA members from Rosco McGlashan. Some Castlemaine members left Saturday morning taking in the drag meeting in Adelaide that night, then continuing on to Lake Gairdner on Sunday morning. The course location was chosen and a specially made pull was dragged the full three miles of the course to maker it 100% flat under perfect skies.

Monday saw scrutinering underway, the track markers placed along each side and the timing caravan and equipment positioned and checked with a few passes being put, down by early arrivers. By Monday night most crews had arrived end unloaded.

Tuesday dawned very hot and the scrutinering continued, the press and spectators had arrived and licensing passes were put down by new drivers. All was ready Car a great days racing on Wednesday, even though some crews had experienced troubles, Mark Hadfield breaking a gearbox in his Mustang, John lynch breaking suspension components and a Hemi powered T model breaking it's auto (something you don't run at the salt).

Wednesday arrived and all could tail that records would tumble, the air was cool no wind and light cloud cover. Ray Charlton in his `32 Roadster upped his best speed his son, Stephen in his XB sedan also put in his best pass ever, then the staggering pass by Mike Davidson in his side Valve T model running 168 mph, this caused great excitement at the start line as the speed was announced over the radio. Rod Hadfield who had put dawn a couple of good passes the day before put everything into his first run and pushed the '53 Studebaker into the 200mph club with what turned out to be the fastest speed of the meeting before blowing the head gasket on the CRS Rodent motor as he crossed the finish line. Mike Davidson then decided to run again and pushed the nitrous button as he approached the timers and the side valve ran 176 mph, don't ever say side valves can't go with the right attention. John Lynch's bad luck continued as he screwed the tailshaft out of his bellytank when the parachute accidentally deployed during a test run. Also experiencing more bad luck was "lucky" Keiser with his streamliner bike powered by two cylinders cut from a Rolls Royce Merlin. Mark Hadfield returned from Adelaide with another gearbox as brother Rod pulled the Rodent engine apart to find he had the wrong head gaskets forcing him to pack and head for home.

Thursday saw more bad luck for Lynch mob with a split water tank after having replaced the tailshaft. The wind began to blow early allowing only a few cars to make passes, the stewards then closed the track and most crews decided to pack although the wind died down later in the day.

There were many passes put down over the meeting and it was great to see the Sydney crew in the Bob Bowman built car, Kevin Saville couldn't get the new combination to perform like the old one, but much was learned this year, many people contributed to the events success, especially Andy Jenkins, Leigh Fielder, Wayne O'Grady to mention just a few.

Dick Williams from the USA is in Australia at the present time arranging for another US tour next year and says he has 10 cars lined up including World Record Holder Al Teague, The Summers Brothers famous Golden Rod and the beautiful '34 Roadster of Chuck Salmon's. Three New Zealanders have also put their names down including Richard Hollywood with his very fast XP Falcon and drag racer Garth Hogan, so do yourself a favour and keep March free for the 1999 Lake Gairdner Speed Trails, you will never experience anything like it.

Regards,
Rod Hadfield

 
RESULTS Report  Results  Photos 

Compiled by Peter Noy
Any application for amendments to these results must be made on the Results and Records Amendment Form.

DLRA Speed Trials Lake Gairdner March 1-5 1998

Records shown are either Open or a Record prior to this meeting.
Speeds shown in RED are records set for this year

Driver No. Vehicle Class MPH Record
Rod Hadfield #003 1953 Studebaker A/BFALT 212.244 188.01
Kevin Saville #060 1924 Ford T Roadster E/BFMR 178.677 184.27
Mike Davidson #001 1927 Ford T Roadster XF/BFMR 176.560 163.52
Mike Davidson #001 1927 Ford T Roadster XF/BGMR 165.337 162.58
Peter Watson #192 - D/GMR 155.783 140.01
Bob Bowman #194 1927 Ford T Roadster D/GMR 146.980 140.01
Dick Bushell #193 - D/GMR 147.657 140.01
Ray Charlton #096 1932 Ford Roadster C/STR 153.326 153.01
Ron Bunting #152 1923 Ford T Pickup C/STR 121.576 153.01
Dean Smith #031 Fiat 124 G/GALT 117.429 114.37
Eric Smith #032 Fiat 124 G/GALT 116.754 114.37
John Lynch #092 Belly Tank A/BFL 107.239 231.86
Steve Charlton #151 Ford Falcon XA Coupe C/PRO 162.339 142.48
Brian Nicholson #131 Ford Falcon XA Coupe C/PRO 156.108 142.48
Brendon O�Reilly #191 Ford Falcon XA Coupe C/PRO 150.438 142.48
Greg Kelly #190 Ford Falcon XA Coupe C/PRO 135.905 142.48
Mark Hadfield #044 1967 Ford Mustang C/PRO 160.015 142.48
Bill Heeremans #70 - C/PRO 153.009 142.48
Lucky Keiser, Sylvian Minier #105 Merlin motorcycle SBG/C 108.016
Dave Tattingham #153 Suzuki motorcycle MG/B 162.339
Brendan Collier #157 Motorcycle MG/B 117.861
Phil Cvirn #135 Harley Davidson motorcycle PG/B 128.417
John Pudney #173 Motorcycle MP/B 149.433
Shaun Kirkby #189 Motorcycle MP/B 139.553
Greg Butler #187 Honda 750 motorcycle M/B 68.118
Adam Hanson # GoKart GOKART 44.078 78.03

 
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Thanks to Geoff G.Rea and Wayne O'Grady