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Drag Racing Sydney Drag Races

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Racing and Track Days' started by ruckusman, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Just spent the last two days doing onboard cameras at the Sydney drag races, media accreditation gets you full access to pretty well everywhere, into every pit & car and onto the staging parts of the track

    First time I've ever seen drag races in person

    Top fuelers - all I am going to say is holy S%$T - had one late moment when I had to rush in to turn a camera on as the top fueller was about to go in to do the burnout and got completely swamped by exhaust gases - it lets you know you're alive because you feel like you're dying

    ...and the NOISE

    In a crazy way I can see the attraction, looks like an expensive sport though
     
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  2. risky

    risky risky

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    one could guess at 10k per quarter mile.years ago jim read would send his motors back to california for a 100k rebuild after 3 minutes running time and that was a long time ago.
     
  3. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Funny that you should mention Jim Read - he was there running a top fueller

    I asked the top fuel guys and they do a full rebuild between runs

    There's an amazing level of engineering everywhere to be seen, very impressive
     
  4. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    It is only as expensive as you want it to be. After building my little CBR250 I only spend on entry fee ($100 for two day event), fuel (about 5Lt used per event) and maybe $50 return in fuel to tow my caravan (which carries bike, tools, etc and is my accommodation) to the event at Gunnedah 78Km away.
    How much would you spend to go to a rock concert which goes for a couple of hours?
    As per the top fueller, lets just say that watching one run is one of those life experiences that you must have, as it is impossible to describe to anyone who has not been to watch.
     
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  5. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Top Fuellers...meh. If you really want to enjoy nitromethane at it's very best, watch a Nitro Funny Car do a full pull run! Lamentably, this doesn't happen too often in Australia. The quickest top fuel run yesterday was a 3.86@313mph that Wayne and Santino ran. In the states, many of the top line funny cars run quicker than this at a much faster 330mph+. Top fuellers are easier to drive and don't move around like a funny car does, but if you're really nuts and want to sit on top of a nitro-fuelled potential bomb, then you should throw your leg over one of these...

    Gavin Spann TF Bike 2.jpg
     
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  6. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Yes siree - I was basically right next to the car with the crew - not sure if that was the best place to pop my cherry as it was basically 110% intensity
     
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  7. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Actually, there's not. Well, not in top fuel anyway. Glad you had a chance to witness it at close range and, you're right, it is very impressive. However, if you look at the engine in a top fueller you may notice it is based on the archaic Hemi 426 motor from the sixties. A great engine, but hardly an engineering marvel by today's standards. So, why would you use a pushrod, 2-valve engine in a top fueller? Basically, because there is a huge aftermarket business built around these engines and, as you alluded to, they are pulled down between each run. If you used a multiple valve, multiple overhead cam engine between round maintenance would be a much longer process. Instead of removing the heads and exhaust as a single unit by undoing a few bolts, you'd need to do a lot more. The electronics used with these engines are more about data logging and fuel delivery than engine management. When a cylinder goes out on these engines, there's no engine management system to stop the fuel supply to that cylinder and attempt to relight it. Instead it just hoses out raw fuel. And when a few holes go out, the engine doesn't shut down to prevent detonation, it just keeps running until it blows or breaks something. The gearbox/clutch is direct drive and the timers that engage different plates/parts of the clutch pack are mechanically initiated and electronically timed. The fuel system is very interesting technology. Nitromethane fuel is a dangerous liquid with odd properties. Getting all of the outrageous amounts used into an engine and burning it is an artform and science all at once. Massive Blowers, sophisticated fuel delivery/metering systems, Magnetos that make a welding torch look like a cigarette lighter, twin plugs, twin fuel pumps etc. I could go on, but this a motorcycle forum, so I'm out.
     
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  8. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Were you at the meet or watching it online? That was a damn quick run - over 500kms per hour in under four seconds

    OH the top fuel bikes were there also - They were all cool dudes, really relaxed and good for a chat - I had cameras on the back of all of them - and yes you're right - they are the craziest of the lot of them
     
  9. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Chief Contributing Member

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    This is the same motor thats in my Land Cruiser ... albeit with a few add ons :)

     
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  10. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    I was watching online. I normally do a couple of WSID and Willowbank races each year, but didn't make this one. Let me know (PM me) if you're going to any other WSID meets in the future. You're right about the people involved, they're all very friendly and there's a real sense of sportsmanship amongst the competitors. However, Australian drag racing is in a poor state at the moment. The sanctioning body for yesterday's meet is the IHRA Australia. They are in "competition" with the original sanctioning body ANDRA. Some tracks run IHRA and some ANDRA. Basically means you don't get the numbers showing up that you should. The only class that has reasonable numbers is what IHRA calls Pro Slammer. And yes, you're right, a 3.86 second pass is pretty special to witness. I guess I'm just pissed at how things have played out since the IHRA/ANDRA split.
     
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  11. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Well, while top fuel engines are based on old technology, these things are most definitely not (other than rotaries). It's the one sector of drag racing that is really going gangbusters. The fast fours, rotaries and turbo brigade is really outstanding. The numbers they run are awe inspiring. If Ruckus gets a chance to go to a Ramboree meet, then he really will see impressive engineering.

    https://www.jamboree.com.au/
     
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  12. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    I did not know about the politics in the governing body splits.

    Aall of the officials were incredibly friendly, many must have taken a look at me humping two heavy bags full of cameras and tools looking wiped out, I was frequently offered bottles of water. Same goes for the crews and competitors, lots of offers of a drink - so many were pleased to see one another.

    The whole day is a great experience, parents with kids, lots of people watching on in the pits chatting with crew and competitors.

    Pro slammers was a big field, they ran a different number of rounds as a result.

    Still coming to grips with the timing and other factors, reaction time is obviously added to the run time, but there was something else in there as the trees didn't always light in perfect unison
     
  13. risky

    risky risky

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    andra grew away from ahra [hot rod federation] as the drag racers felt they were not being represented.that was a long time ago. i still have my ahra stewards card in my old jacket in the cupboard. jim read was a plumber.as going to surfers once and blew a motor at karuah. jim and i new each other so he stopped and gave me a lift to taree in an ex london to sydney marathon monaro.quick trip and he showed all the gizmo,s still fitted like different police sirens for the countries the car went through. oh to be young again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yes full engine rebuilds now after each run and so much nitro blows past the rings that if you did another quarter the motor would explode.
     
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  14. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    I met Ben Bray - put a camera on his car in hope that he'd make it through so I didn't have to change cameras to another car.

    As it turned out I managed to have a camera on all 12 competitors in the 6 pro series finals.

    @Frankster - not sure which other meets will get covered, but if I'm contracted I'll give you a holler beforehand.

    Tough gig though - I was on my feet non-stop from 8AM till 9PM, fitting cameras across the 6 pro classes, turn them on in the staging lanes, then after the last run of the pro classes, back to the pits, turn off, replace batteries, remove some cameras, fit some to others, rinse then repeat for two consecutive days - my feet were angry with me last night
     
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  15. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    I forgot to ask them if they run vacuum inside the engine, and with the boost the pressure differential would be huge

    There were a few that popped superchargers and the v-twin bikes have just got a big mofo strap over the heads in case one just pops off

    It's all got the feel of sitting too near to dynamite and hoping the explosion doesn't get you
     
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  16. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    That's called "handicap racing". It's what Murdo and I do. Top fuel, pro slammer and all the "group one" classes run a pro tree and leave at the same time. With handicap racing, a slower vehicle can race a faster vehicle. Each vehicle tells the starter what their expected time will be and the starter sets the "handicap" into the tree. If both vehicles run to their handicap and leave with the same reaction time, then they should both get to the finish line at exactly the same time.
     
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  17. ruckusman

    ruckusman White Mans Magic Master Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Is handicap called dial-in?

    I didn't actually get to pay a lot of attention to both the races and the commentary, but from what I have seen previously, if you have a dial-in, if you exceed that dial-in you get penalised or some such

    Am I correct?
     
  18. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Yes, dial-in is part of the handicap racing "rules". There's a lot to take in with handicap racing and given you were running around so much, it would have been difficult to get it all in. Reaction time is VERY important across all classes as it is not included in your elapsed time. Each lane is individually timed and the timer starts when you cross the staging beam after the tree has given your lane a green light. So, in Top Fuel, the tree is synchronised so both competitors get a "green" light at exactly the same time, but reacting quicker gives you an advantage. This really does people's heads in because a slower run can win a race because the driver reacted quicker to the tree. Drag racing has a couple of rules that generally apply across all classes...

    Leave too early after the tree is activated (Red Light) means instant lose (not a disqualification).
    Leave before the tree is activated (pre-stage light) means instant lose (disqualification)
    Cross the centre line means instant lose (disqualification)
    Break out...you run faster than your dial-in (your nominated run time) means you lose
    First or worst rule...no matter what you do wrong, you can still win if your opponent crosses the centre line or leaves before the tree is activated.
     
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  19. Frankster

    Frankster See the World before you leave it Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew

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    You're lucky to have a premium venue to race at in Sydney. Below is why I would rather drive for an extra hour to test at Heathcote Park Raceway than go to the local track (Calder Park Raceway)...

    CalderShithole.jpg

    If I lived in Sydney, I'd be going to this without a second thought.

    http://www.sydneydragway.com.au/events/bike-night081118/
     
  20. Linkin

    Linkin The Apprentice Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    I remember years ago seeing a jet powered drag car down the drag strip in Perth. It was a cold night, lacking a jumper, the heat from the jet kept us warm for quite a while.

    Will have to get the ZXR and R6 at a later date down to the dragway.
     
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