Sydney Dragway, November 21st 2010

This was a very big weekend for Nostalgia Drag Racing not only in Sydney, but in Australia. It was the first time outside of the U.S. that 4 Nitro Nostalgia themed cars had appeared at the one venue for a Chicago style event.

The weekend started off on the Saturday with an Open Day at Rocket Industries with a car show, free BBQ and a cackle fest. It was a great turnout and the weather was super to boot.

The Saturday evening saw another BBQ at the track in the Australian Nostalgia Fuel Association's (A.N.F.A.) pit area. About 60 ANFA members, family and friends enjoyed a laid back cook-out to wind down an eventful day.

Sunday dawned just great. We had been used to rain every time lately that we tried to lap the car, so to see the sun raging was a great feeling.

The team assembled at the trailer about 7.30am and proceeded to 'set-up camp'. This time was a little different, as we were expecting a lot of guests, so we had a separate cantina for the crew and friends. We also had taken delivery of some new 'eze-ups' and had to play with them a little, but when all assembled together, we had more shade than an eclipse.

We had also taken delivery of our 2 new U.S. designed and made t-shirts back in August, but had not had an event to show them at till now, so Wendy was run off her feet with the sales of the new threads. We also had mounted 20 pieces of shrapnel, comprising pistons, rods and 'carnage odds' to polished timber bases and plonked a Black Widow gold and black plaque on them. The fans just loved them, we sold 12 and took some orders for more, but what was even more amusing was the pictures that were taken of them and after our last pass, which we hurt the old girl, one of our crew guys with a weird sense of humour (Tommy) added a note; "New Stock Coming" and placed it on the table. Never let it be said that our whole crew doesn't have a sense of humour.

Down to the racing part of the program.

We fired the car for a warm up and a checkout about 10am to make sure there was nothing majorly wrong that would leave us time to fix. Started fine, warmed her up then leaked the cylinders for a reading for the rest of the day, adjusted the new clutch and we're ready to go.

At about noon, with one hour to racing, we started her up again, warmed her, made all of the necessary checks and made the decision that she was ready to lap, dropped her onto the bitumen and pushed her out for the tow to the start line.

We had drawn the "Nitro Express" 57 Chev FC of the Cowin Family first round on a seeded basis. Mark and Andrew had never raced each other before in the big show Top Fuel, so there was a bit of a "I'll get you" and "I'll see you at the bottom" style of good natured banter that had everybody in the staging lanes chuckling. Ah, these young jockeys.

Rolled to the start up box, let the 57 burnout first, started the engine, Mario checked her over then sent her to the burnout box. Mark did a nice solid but short burnout and reversed back to be sitting near the start, with the 57 on the other side of the lanes, both crews checked both cars over and the message came from both chiefs to stage them. On the green, Andrew had a slight lead with a reaction of .160 to Marks .197 and as they crossed the 60 foot timers, the 57 got there in 1.01 while our black car reached them in 1.18, so already we were behind the 8 ball. At half track, the 57 went past at 3.95 and we followed at 4.45.... there's half a second already.

Through the traps and Andrew broke the beams with a 6.03 at 227 mph (365 kph). Mark followed with a 6.64 at 218 mph (350 kph), good mph considering the time.

So, that was first round. Norm Longfield then beat Dave Armstrong and as I was a tad busy, I have no idea of the times.

We scooted back to the pit, and wheeled the car under the Taj Mahal, and up on the jax. The decision was made to leak the cylinders again and compare them to the reading from the warm-up earlier in the day. Number 5 cylinder had dropped a bunch, so we decided to pull one head off and see if the valves were a tad bent or the piston had a problem. Nothing, all checked out just fine, so let's put her back on and start her again. While Joey was under the car changing the oil, Mario asked him to turn the motor over (still with the one head off) and she had a tight spot. A little more muscle and she turned over. We should have picked something up then. On the warm up, she didn't want to shut down easily.... should have sensed something again. There was a small fuel leak which we couldn't stop when the motor was running, so we swapped out a return line and putting another one in its place. It just didn't seem like the motor was happy though. Dropped her onto the tarmac and headed to the lanes. Buckled Mark in the car to run Norm Longfield, as we have been waiting to lap each other for a very long while.

Started the car in the box near the start line, moved to the burnout pad and again Mark made a nice sharp sorter style of burnout. But, things didn't seem quite right. The motor went off song a little bit and as I was walking down across the start line, I looked back at Vince as I couldn't see anything where I was and put my arms out as if to say "What..." and he motioned to bring him back. I still had not seen the oil on the track where Mark had stopped and turned around to guide Mark back when he went past me. When we stopped on the line, the officials had waved us to shut it down and after we looked down the front of the engine.... there was a smaller cousin of the Exxon Valdez. Pushed her back off the line and towed back to the pit, put her up on jax and started to have a good look, although we couldn't see much.... there was oil everywhere.

Hmm, OK let's drop the belly pan and see what we can see. Yep, full of oil, OK, let's check the diaper, yep there's the rest of the oil. Oil everywhere except in the pan. Now we can see the pan. Two nice little holes punched through the bottom of it. She has broken a rod bolt. Damn, common occurrence, but why us?

Pulled all of the oily parts off and Tommy played dishwasher and cleaned up everything. No good tearing anything else off, so buttoned her all up and put her back in the box. The whole team then set about dismantling the Taj, and putting all the gear back into storage for the short trip home.

I had to run some people to the airport, so Joey parked the trailer where it normally goes, and when I arrived home thought that I would have a quick peek at everything, and quite funny, we had placed the two absorption pads from the diaper in a tray on the floor of the trailer, and they had leaked, so between that and a small oil can that had fallen over on the trip home, oil was leaking from two spots, and just looked like the trailer was bleeding as well.... what a day.

We have several people that make it all happen, and I know that I repeat myself a bit here, but without these people, the companies and family and friends, this whole operation just don't happen.

The crew guys from De Don, Mario Mariani and his trusted fellow Italian two handed man Vince Della Cioppa. Masters of the universe.... except this time we had a falling star.

Joey, our transport manager, quartermaster and diver. Exceptional.

Tommy, Mr Fabrication and the man of a thousand folded arm poses.... everywhere when you need him and the target of all of our team photographers....

Buddy, our resident computer geek. From the RacePak to the canards, good deal... and he even flies in to play silly buggers with us.

Mark the leather footed shoe, a hit with the families and kids alike. Cool under pressure and loves sitting with the ladies in the pit!

The Ladies Catering and Photo Corps. We had enough food to feed the whole complex. Every guest who entered the cantina was made to feel warm and cuddly... and FAT! Great spread, great hospitality and great gals.

There is a list of sponsors who help out when we need them,

Nitro Fuels, Transport Today, Teng Tools, Koala Auto Kare, Quickstrip, Translock, Tony Thomas Engineering, Jeff Rogers Wholesale Cars, AutoXcel, Santos Cranes, Race Glides and many others. Thank you.

That finishes our season heading up to Christmas, and we will start again in the New Year with a fresh motor and a keen and refreshed crew, looking to improve on our best from before.

From our team, we hope you and your family have a Super Christmas and all of your family stay safe and well,

Steve and Wendy Turner and the Black Widow Team.

For more pictures see Sydney Dragway - November 21st, 2010 in the Gallery

Sydney Dragway, October 30-31st, 2010

On show

The A.N.F.A. had 3 cars on display at the Sydney Dragway Top Fuel/Top Alcohol meeting this past weekend to help promote the upcoming Nostalgia Event on November 21st.

There was the Black Widow, Norm Longfield's F.E.D. and Graeme Cowin's '57 Chev Funny Car.

All the cars were in a static display in the large white building from the opening of the event on Saturday morning till the final pass on Sunday evening.

Mid morning Saturday, we moved the cars around a bit more for a better viewing angle for the public and because the cars are a little longer than most, this made for much better photo opportunities.

During the busy crowd times on the Saturday, Wendy and I put just on 25 kids and 12 adults in the car for photo opportunities. To say that every child was just awe struck would be an understatement. Plenty and plenty of photos were taken of the 'Widow, then when they had finished with their 'Thanks very very much kudos', they turned around and Wendy slapped a brochure on the upcoming November event into there still sweaty palms. Wendy and I both like doing these kinds of promo's as every child and every parent is super grateful as chances are, they have NEVER been up close and personal with a race car of any description. We get just as big a kick out of this as they do. Even the 'silly questions' are not taken as silly, as they really do not understand some of the intricate aspects of our car and sport, but after we explain the 'question' back to them, they nod with a better understanding of how the whole system works.

I think with all of the P.R. that we did on Saturday and Sunday, I that we have definitely had an effect on some people that hopefully will return to watch the REAL Kings of the Sport strut their stuff on Sunday 21st November.

If you hadn't been aware, this will be the first time outside of the U.S.A. (the birthplace of drag racing) that 4 cars on Nitromethane will go at it over 3 rounds of racing. Not for the faint-hearted.

Come along on Sunday 21st November and let your senses be assaulted! (Sort of like a radio commercial isn't it...).

Thanks to all of the people that we have hopefully converted into Nostalgia fans,

Sincerely, Steve and Wendy Turner....

For more pictures see Widow at Sydney Dragway - October 30-31, 2010 in the Gallery

Track Champs - Saturday 16th October, 2010

On the start line

This was our final hit-out before the Nostalgia Match Race next month on the 21st November.

The day before (Friday) it rained after a picture perfect and hot Thursday, so heading into Saturday it didn't seem real good, then on the weather channel the night before, they said extreme weather with lots of wind, possibly no rain, for the Sydney basin. Well, the 'lots of wind' notice was perfect. It was howling at 4am when the wind rustling through the whole neighbourhood woke me up. It just didn't get any better from there weather wise. Sure the sun was out, but 100 mile away in the mountains, it snowed. Was it cold.... look at the pictures.

We arrived at the track about 7.30am after Joey had a slight confrontation with the ticket box and the trailer on the way in. No problem, as the trailer was wedged against the box, we just had a dozen guys lift the ticket box up and to the side, moved the trailer, put the box back and everyone was happy....well everyone except Joey. The ‘instances’ that people just won’t let you forget.

After we parked the rig, we wasted as much time as possible before rolling the car out just in case the winds may have died down any.....well, when we left at 6pm, the wind hadn't dropped off at all.

Unloaded and set the car up on the Buddy Jax and the boys went to work preparing to fire and warm the car. Everything was still as we had it set for the washout on Sept 5th, so it was just a matter of refreshing what we had the engine set at. Fired the engine on petrol and checked the timing, and all was where it should have been. Tommy had the offset mag drive out between events and rebuilt the whole unit to make it run perfect, so Vince needed to check his timing and Mario wanted to double check everybody before firing the old girl on fuel.

Primed the engine, cranked the starter and that beautiful roar that only nitro and a drag racing engine can produce wafted through the pit area. Ran it for a little while, played with the high-low system, set the idle speed and then shut her down. All looked just fine.

As there was a small attendance at this event (the Track Championship Series) they brought our scheduled on-track time forward to about Noon. We towed out to the lanes and proceeded to get Mark belted into the car, then pulled forward onto the start pad.

The Officials pointed at us, and said it was our turn. I started Ready to fire up the engine and handed the starter and the batteries to Big Tony, as we are moving a few guys around on the team to give everybody experience in every position (Tommy has put his hand up to drive for his next experience) and Big T was filling in for Joey, who was out on the start line with Vince, doing ‘work experience’. In one of the videos of the day, you will see Vinnie waving Joey’s hands around like a puppeteer.....bit funny when you actually see it. Joey remarked "Man, it’s different out there...." In our current 'move around crewmember mode', Tommy actually got to wash parts this time, an experience that he will never forget...or become accustomed to.

Oh yeah, back to the run. Mark did a nice burnout, and as we had moved our burnout start a little further toward the start line, it meant that we didn't have to bring Mark back so far on the pad, and we stopped his reverse about 3 metres (10 feet) behind the start line. Mario checked the engine over, didn't need any adjusting, blessed her and again said to send it.

Mark rolled into pre-stage, pulled the high side, focused, and then lit the second light. Vroooom and gone.

Down the bottom endThe plan was to run it out to about half track or just beyond, with Mark having the final say on when to pull the throttle back. 4.1 seconds into the run, he lifted, pulled the chutes and touched the brakes and stopped in the shutdown area. Everything looked fine, and we towed the car back to the pit to analyse what we were going to do next lap.

Incrementals for that lap were:

1.171 to 60 feet

4.322 @ 177.86mph to half track and backed off 

7.324 @ 123mph

Back in the pit, winds still howling, we checked the data logger and all appeared pretty fine, so we did a leak down on the engine, 5 and 6 were a little shy of the others, but not overwhelmingly of the scale to warrant an actual inspection. So, we decided to leave it together, and send it again.

 

The Officials asked if we would be ready at about 2.30pm, and we said no probs, we will be in the lanes waiting. So we buttoned it all back up, set the clutch, packed the chutes, added some fuel and headed for the lanes.

Once again, same guys in there new positions, but a little bit smoother in their operations, and Vinnie only having to move Joey around by the waist this time (as he thought the car was going to run over him on the backup...check the videos). Started the engine and proceeded to the burnout pad. Another nice sharp burnout, back her up, stop, check the engine over, pre-stage, pull the high lever, stage......gone.

Super straight, right down Broadway. Mark kept the throttle wide open all the way. The car left really, really lazy and you will see by the figures, same good mid track mile-an-hour, and a six, our first and only our second full power run. Yeah, not bad, not bad at all.

Incrementals for this lap were:

1.209 60 feet

4.446 @ 176.86mph to half track and crossed the stripe at

6.710 @ 211.20mph

Returned to the pits, analysed the logger and the car, and decided to have a look inside, so the order from "De Don" came to 'strip-it'. You will see in the pictures that Vinnie, Big T and Joey are in the heat of the battle, little clutter and confusion, but intent on their work.

The engine checked out perfect, not a ring, piston, bearing or even gasket needed refreshing or replaced. Darn fine. Changed a few nozzles while the top was off the engine to balance the cylinders out a bit, and the ‘Bomb Squad’ put her all back together. Come this time to set the clutch and Mario pulled the inspection cover, slid in the feeler strips, and the clutch had worn more than we wanted, anticipated and had hoped for. We were done. Our new discs had not arrived, so we were standing there with a fresh race car, a keen crew....and no clutch. Sheeeesh, what a let down.

OK, what we then had was a fresh engine, ready toIn the pits run the next time out. A crew that had been moved around for experience. A group of guys that laugh at each other and had a great day out. A gaggle of ladies that laughed all day that made their trip a sensory overload. But above all, we had a race car all in one piece, time slips what were dropping every time out, and a crew that have a great time when there together. What more could you ask for. OK, well we may ask for that, but not just yet.

Our next event is a display at the Top Fuel race at Sydney Dragway on 30th-31st October, then we head into the 4 way match race at the Nostalgia event, also at Sydney Dragway on Sunday 21st November. This is the first time outside of the Continental U.S.A. (the birthplace of drag racing) that an event with 4 Nostalgia styled nitro burning cars has occurred. We have been building toward this coming event since we received the car in December last year.

Naturally to make this event, or for that matter, any event happen, it takes people. We have some super people helping this whole deal come together.

3 weeks from this event, and with nothing major to happen on the car maintenance wise, Joey and I decided to 'reconfigure' the inside of the trailer. Phew, lucky we had 3 weeks. Lucky Joey is a sheetee (Sheet metal fabricator for American friends). We re-laid all the items and locations that we were just not happy with from when we first finished the trailer for the Purple Haze, some 6 years ago (how long....gees). We have also doubled our itinerary of parts that what the trailer was made for and also the tools and equipment necessary to perform the correct maintenance on the vehicle at the track. Well, it all just about fits nice and neatly now. We have also cut down to nearly zero the dependence on Joey and myself to point the guys in the right direction to access tools or equipment, as everything is labelled and custom fitted. A super cool deal inside now.

Speaking of tools and equipment. We are super proud and excited at the same time to carry the Teng Tools logo on the car, trailer and Hyundai van. Teng Tools, through Claye Brierley and Steve Kane have taken our operation on board as a marketing partner for their iconic brand of hand tools. Quality is the word association here. We now have Teng Tools toolboxes in the pit box and the inside of the trailer, and coupled with all of the engine storage items they have, our hand tool program is super organised. When you are visiting our team at a venue, please ask for a Teng Tools brochure of their nearest stockist and have a good eyeball of their range of products exclusively used by the Black Widow Team. They are superb. When we started out with this operation, we desperately needed the hand tools upgraded, and it was us that approached Teng Tools to use their equipment, as they are renowned for quality. They are not a household name here in Australia, but throughout Europe, they are in the top 2 in every Country, and you would know how competitive that market is. There is a link here on our website, so click on and browse some quality hand tools. As I have said beforehand, we are very tickled that Teng Tools have hooked up with our team.

Crew Make This Car Happen

Every Wednesday night is our team/car night, and religiously all the guys turn up to massage the car and receive their orders (some foreign orders) for the coming week. Wendy and I can never thank these guys enough, they are all dedicated and skilful to boot, and we make no bones about it, the 'Crew Make This Car Happen'. Again, Thank you.

Please join our supporter network through our site, and every time that something is posted about our travels and comings and goings, you will receive an automated e-mail. We will have our site as a very up to date tool, as there is always something happening and we would like all of you people to enjoy the ride with us. 

Many thanks, Steve and Wendy Turner...

Test 'n Tune - Saturday 4th September, 2010

in The RainWell, the words 'wet, wet, wet' should have been on the top line of this report, as again we had a washout, our second in three Test days. Mario and Vince again have been through the fuel system, and changing and checking, checking and changing. Lot of time, lot of effort.

Buddy had also flown in from Brisbane for the day, and Tommy had finished off the trick single mag drive and hold down clamp. To say we were looking for a lap or two would be an under statement. It rained the Friday night, and was still sprinkling at 5.30am when I got up to prepare for our 'day'. Humphhhh.

All the guys assembled at the track (we were just about the only team as everybody had stayed in bed) and while still sprinkling, at about 8.30am, the track called the event.

So, we all hopped into the Hyundai vans and went to Mickey Dees for a hearty brekky.

We returned to the track about 10am and the rain had stopped, but the grounds were well wet. We rolled the 'Widow out of the box, set her up on the Buddy Jax, and proceeded to get her ready for a fire up or two.

After an hour or so, the call was made to grab the starter and batteries and let's have a cackle.
She roared into life, and at this stage, I have to bring you up to speed on a few things.

  1. We had changed the way we mixed our nitro, and this time, we had right on 90% in the tank.

  2. Our new Eze-Ups had arrived from the States, and we naturally had them up to keep the nuisance rain of all of us....but we did not move the back one when we fired the engine up.......Tommy had the dubious task again (although willingly) of sitting in the seat while we warmed her up.....90%, NO breeze and NO ventilation = NO brains.

  3. Poor old Tommy, and for that matter, the rest of us....we all copped a good dose of the yellow stuff. Tommy couldn't talk for 30 minutes after (a blessing in disguise), his eyes were swollen and he was spluttering. A good experience, I recommended it to everyone. Needless to say, the next start up had the canopy moved.....

So, with Buddy on the RacePak, and Mario and Vince trading pressures on the fuel system, the engine really started to come around. By theHuddling Around RacePak For Warmth last start up, the motor actually sounded superb. You could just about hear each cylinder firing. After 4 start-ups, the call was made to 'box it' and let's get outta here.

It goes without saying that we kept Mario away from the nose while we loaded, and brought the old girl home where she now sits waiting expectantly for another shot at a 'dry' piece of asphalt.

There are a few talks going on at the moment about running the 4 Nitro cars at either the Nostalgia race in November, or the Track Champs in October and early next year.

As soon as we have something firm, we will post it.

All in all, apart from the wet, we all got to hang out again (in the rain) the girls got to stay in their nice warm beds......and we sorted more of the fuel system on the car.

A good day.

More soon, Steve T...

For more pictures see Test 'n Tune - Saturday September 4, 2010 in the Gallery

Test 'n Tune, Sunday 25th July, 2010

The Widow's first outing in AustraliaWell we finally caught up from our washout Test 'n Tune from May last Sunday here in sunny old....cold Sydney. The weather wasn't the kindest to us on the day, as we were able to sneak a lap in about Noon, then a heavy shower, which was good as we pulled the unit apart anyway, then as the rain stopped and dried up a little, we got out again about 4pm. Still, the track was clean with all of the water, but from about 150 feet out from the start, it started to get a little slick. The track guys done all that they could under the circumstances, with even the little used track dryer making an appearance, but also the cold temp didn't help anybody in the end.

Our week heading into the event was a bit comical, as Wendy and I had been away for a while, and the guys had not been anywhere near the car, so the first trip back into the shop was opening drawers and doors to remember where all the tools and parts were located. A bit funny actually, as most of us are senior citizens 'in waiting', and just remembering how the car went together brought a lot of laughs from everybody associated with each task. Ah, can't wait to get to a ripe old age......

Tommy had made a new trolley to load the car from the shop into the trailer, and apart from a few very small bugs (like muscles needed...) the unit performed flawlessly. Sure makes backing the car out of the shop a whole lot easier. We also had some really neat pinstriping applied to the car before the last rained out event by Lee Holt at Coupes Pinstriping. It gave the old girl that retro look. Shame Mark tried to clean the cowl at the event from the excess oil on the body and took some of the design off the cowl....possibly not as bad as me when a few days after the pinstriping was applied, I attempted to clean the body with prepsol...yep, one lot of pinstriped cobwebs from the side of the body 'gone'....

We were pretty much ready to go for the rained out event from May, so there wasn't a lot to do. Mario and Vince when over the fuel system again and again, just checking and double checking. Tommy had our new offset mag drive unit ready to roll as well, and after a few teething problems to install it, we were good to go. Loaded the car up Saturday afternoon, with Tommy's new chassis trolley, and was watching the footy on the TV at 5pm.....never had that happen before.

Sunday dawned cloudy after some overnight rain, but was pretty nice by mid morning, till the DARK DARK grey clouds rolled in about 2pm. Unloaded the car and set up camp, and put a marquee at the front of the trailer this time for the crew, their wives and our friends to use as a lunch room. We had 17 people along for the ride this time, as one thing Wendy and I have always stated, we want EVERYONE to enjoy the car and the day out, no matter how good or bad.

Again Mario was not happy with a section of the fuel system and kept checking the return poppets, tried several competitors leak down units, but after a while, decided to stick with what he had set the unit up with beforehand. Started the engine and warmed everything up. Again Mario went searching through the fuel system, and again several times we lit her off, and in the end, the verdict came....send it.

Buttoned all the car back together and towed around to the staging lanes. Man, this was a BUSY Test 'n Tune day. There were a lot of racers waiting in the lanes, I think with oil downs and breakages that it was developing into one of those days. Suited Mark up and belted him in the car, then gave the nod to the officials that we were ready to attempt a lap if possible. They were excellent, and pushed us to the pointy end of the lanes and before we knew it, we were on the start pad. Since the last visit here, we have revisited our procedure from the start-up to the staging, and nearly have a nice settled program in place. Everybody was a lot more aware of their role this time. Some people had NEVER been on the line and some people had been a VERY long time since they were on the line, but we are rapidly bringing all our guys up to speed.

The engine fired, Mario looked her over again and motioned to move to the burnout box. Vince gave Mark the fist pump (Explanation-burn up Turners dollars) and the car sounded sweet and executed a nice little burnout across the line. We brought him back to the line, Mario gave the send it signal, he staged, and zoom. About 1100 feet, she sounded a bit off like she had ran out of fuel. The time represented that with a 7.1 at only 151mph. We cruised to the braking area where Mark had pulled up in the braking area still on the track, and as he had pulled both chutes, and the carbon brakes...well that little old gal just pulled up like somebody threw a dime in front of her. Funny question from the track crew to Mark. 'Where do you want the chutes put' after they had rolled them up...to which Mark replied 'Gees, dunno' we have never been this far till now...'. Fixed all that up and towed back to the pit to an expectant Mario who was waiting to look his baby over. Decided to pull the heads and pan and have a good look, as Mark had noted, and the Racepak told us....no fuel.

Number 4 piston had just nipped the ring lands, so decided to put a new soldier in for duty. All the rest was fine, bearings and oil were great. Lost 8 spark plugs though. They were a little light on in the electrode department. Our latest celebrity crew appearance was Tony Delutis, cousin of Mario, who has always crewed on these engines in the big show. With he on one side, our resident celebrity Vinny on the other, and grass cutter Joe underneath, it is just like having your own personal ' A Team' on board. These guys are slick. We had the whole unit back together again in no time with a 'no hurry today' attitude, and as the rain had stopped, and the pit was a tad dry, we decided to head back out and try our luck again.

Arrived at the head of the lanes and the Officials told us if you get ready in 5 minutes, you can run virtually straight away. Cool deal. Same thing, rolled through the water, nice straight burnout, brought her back before the line, Mario blessed her, then Mark dropped her into the beams.

Bit of clutch dust again (as we have not got it tight) and she was up on the tyres and motoring pretty good. A little wiggle to the left, Mark corrected, then a big wiggle to the right. Ooops, that's enough. Mark lifted off the throttle, and coasted through for whatever the time was. Track was a tad slick out mid way down. Went to the bottom to retrieve the car and Mark, and on overall appearances, everything looked fine. No re-appearance of the small oil leak from the first run, and nothing looking out of place. OK, let's tow back.

Some very huge black clouds were bearing down on the track as we came through the pit, and we figured that we had about 30 minutes to load to avoid a bigger shower. Put the car under the awning, half the crew getting the car ready for travel and the other half packing up camp. When the boys were backing the rockers off....holey dooley. The inlet pushrod from Number 4 had broken about 2 inches from the top. On analyse of the computer, it happened in the burnout at the hit of the throttle. Dumped the fuel and oil, loaded the car and chattels and headed off just as the day was canned cause of the impending shower that had arrived.

On Wednesday night, we will tear the engine and car apart and start all over again. Try to figure out our fuel problem and why the old gal broke the pushrod. Ah, too much fun!

 

Some things need to be acknowledged here;

The Black Widow Ladies Auxiliary. These gals (Wendy, Pam, Annette, Natalie, Hiam and Marie) kept everybody fed and watered all day. It's a bit sad when you go to the track, work your butt off all day, yet come home weighing more than when you went. 'Thanks Gals'.

Tony D; Thanks for the hand man, you were an asset today. You are the best apprentice Vinnie has ever had!

Jeff Rogers Wholesale Cars; Jeff Rogers, is my oldest (and I mean that) and longest buddy ever. We met when he was 19 and I was 21. You do the maths. Jeff has always supported whatever deal Wendy and I do, has utmost faith in our choice of racers, and has backed us 100% of the way. His company has been associated with every race car that we have ever owned. Twas a pleasure having your wit and wisdom for the day. Thank you!

Also thanks to Lee for the pinstriping, and a very BIG shout out to Grant from Angel Signs. I send an e-mail with what we need, and he sends one back saying 'come and get em'. How do you beat that? Good deal Bud, thanks much.

Geoff Paradise from Transport Today, one of our majors. Geoff is the link with Hyundai and our team, the glue. Continually working on the three way arrangement between Transport Today, the Black Widow and Hyundai. Wants the deal to succeed just as much as us. A great guy to have in your corner.

Santo Rapisarda from Santos Cranes. Many times I went to Santo with cap in hand, and he always had the same reply. 'Go see Robbie and fix it'. Damn, it's great to have people with such an understanding of what it takes to make these cars run. Thanks mate, Freddy would be proud!

OK, this just may get boring here, but the following people make this car happen. Make NO BONES about it, Wendy and I just could not run this car without these people. They put in plenty of hours that nobody sees. They ring at all hours with what they have been thinking about and are going to do. Gees, it's a luxury we have not been used to before. In no order, but as I look at a photo- Tony Thomas, Joe Camilleri, Buddy Ryder, Mario Mariani, Vince Della Cioppa, Tony Delutis, Mark Mariani and Aaron Turner.

GREAT JOB GUYS

At this very stage, we do not have a further date, but after we tear the engine down, check her all out, then we will jump at the next opportunity that presents itself, and YOU my lucky reader friend, will be able to view another saga in the 'Black Widow-What I done last weekend' diaries.

Many thanks, Turner and the Blonde...

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