Speed demons prepare to crank 'er up
Friday, 25th March, 2011
By John Casey
Broken Hill speed demons Colin and Trevor Clare were all dressed up with no place to go this week after the 21st anniversary Speed Week event at Lake Gairdner (SA) was cancelled.
However, the twin brothers were so keen to get some miles into their new vehicle they have hired the Mitsubishi test track at Tailem Bend for a private shakedown this weekend.
"We bought this car from America about 12 months ago and haven't had a chance to get it out of the garage as yet, so we were pretty disappointed when the weather forced organisers to cancel Speed Week," Colin Clare said.
"The rain washed out any chance of racing because the road in was wet and Lake Gairdner itself had water in it."
But given their anticipation surrounding the new car and all the planning which had been undertaken, their team came up with a "Plan B".
"The Mitsubishi test track is only 1.4-kilometres long so we won't be able to do much, but it will at least allow us to get out and have some fun," Colin said.
At Lake Gairdner, more than 500-kilometres south-west of Broken Hill, the speed freaks have a seven-mile (12km) track to play with and can crank up their machines to speeds around 300kp/h.
"We use about three miles to get up to speed, are then timed over one mile, and have three miles to pull up," Colin said.
"So, while we'll be lucky to get to 200kp/h at Tailem Bend rather than the 200mp/h the car is capable of, we will at least have a chance to put it through its paces in a safe environment."
Colin describes their 340-kilogram rocket as similar to a top-fuel dragster - but with a fully enclosed cockpit - which is powered by a Kawasaki 2010 ZX14 motorbike engine.
"The car has reached the magical 200 miles-per-hour (322kp/h) barrier at Bonneville and El Mirage Lake (both in the USA) and the plan is to one day repeat that here in Australia," Colin said.
"It's been suggested that more people have been to outer space than the number who have reached 200mp/h on a wheel-driven car, so it's pretty special.
"On this trip to Tailem Bend though we are just looking to sort out the nuts and bolts and get some results from the on-board data loggers so we are better placed for the future."