John fulfilling need for speed
Tuesday, 17th March, 2009
A team of local racing enthusiasts cracked 155 miles per hour (mph) at the Dry Lake Racers event in Lake Gairdner last week.
Driver John Ogilvie said the team had been aiming to reach 150 mph but was "over the moon" with the 249.4 kilometres an hour result.
Ogilvie, a fitter and machinist, had been working on the V8 "lakestar" vehicle for two years before testing it on the South Australian dry salt lake last week. A number of other people were involved in the construction of the aero-dynamically designed vehicle, including boilermakers Darren Vartuli and Nathan Holmes, mechanics Tony Rowe and Hamish Wood and sign writer Wayne Milne. At the event, competitors are given a three mile warm up, before the quarter-mile timing stretch. "It took us four runs to get up to 155 miles per hour," Ogilvie said, adding there was little that could prepare an entrant for the sensation experienced at that pace. "Everything happens really fast," he said. "It's a bit of a buzz. "You get white knuckles and big eyes.... You put the throttle right to the floor and just hold on." More than 200 vehicles took part in the event, and a number of other locals also participated, including Robert "Tiny" Lambert with a modified postie bike; Andy
Jenkins with a Lakestar, Trent Clare with an open class motorbike and Cec Fraser with a 125cc motorbike. "From a small town like Broken Hill there was a pretty good turnout," Ogilvie said. "I think they all had a good run." And while Ogilvie was blown away with his recent result, he is now planning to modify the chassis and install a new motor, to try and crack 175 miles per hour at next year's event. "It's only a race against yourself really," he said.