Garth Butterworth #004
Paralowie, South Australia
My involvement with DLRA began with Mike Davidson, as we had been friends since 1981, and I was building flathead engines with him from 1988 through to 1996.
His enthusiasm of Bonneville and the need to set up something similar here, was a huge driving force to inspire me, and right from the start I offered my services to do the timing, even if he was the only one there (luckily Andy J and Haddy turned up too).
For the 1990 meeting, Mike purchased a millisecond timer triggered with infrared sensor beams set 100 meters apart, that required the salt surface to be cut for the wiring to cross the track (angle grinder and generator first off). The digital readout time for crossing that distance, was then worked out with a calculator, pen and paper, and 3 formulas to get a mph reading (very time consuming, Pete has it easy)
In 1991 I was involved, via the DLRA, with timing the BP Bullet motorcycle speed attempt after our race meet, which failed due to weather two weeks later. Also in 91 Allen and Rebecca Osbourne from the US visited our meeting, and on their invitation I travelled to Bonneville with them from their home-state in Oregon in August of 1992.
After meeting with and befriending Gary Cagle (Chief Timer for the SCTA), I was employed as assistant timer for the 1992 speedweek, where also an association with Al Teague was struck. I also became a member of the SCTA Gear Grinders.
I returned to work at Bonneville in 1993, but the meeting was washed out, then in 1994 I suffered a crippling injury to my left leg, causing Pete to take over as chief timer after the 1995 Thunder Down Under meeting.
1996 saw the great Glen Davis fiasco, where on behalf of the DLRA I spent 4 weekends, at great expense, timing a pipe dream. Weather made sure of the end of it forever.
The injury caused my inability to return to Bonneville until 1997, but not as a timer, instead as a crew member for Al Teague Motorsports, and then again in 1998.
In 1999 I ran my 800cc Kawasaki motorcycle at the DLRA meeting, then crewed for Keith Turk, President of the ECTA at US speedweek, and with pure luck met and made new friends with Pete and Leigh Farnsworth (Reaction Dynamics --- Blue Flame) so rocket is now firmly planted in my mind set.
The last time I saw any salt racing was at Bonneville in 2001, where I actually got to see the whole meeting, for the first time, positioned at the four mile mark on the return road (a well used stopping point by allot of racers I had befriended over the previous years, and the addition of new ones).
My face hasn't been seen around the DLRA camp for some time, and may not be for some time more, due to a complication health issue, which is dangerously aggravated by high heat. The salt is still in me, and thank goodness for this electronic media to help quench the thirst that is created by it, and if luck is on my side I hope to cross the salt here again in the near future, after pulling the trigger that combines LPG with Hydrogen Peroxide.