Category Archives: News

Winter to Easter, Festival of Power review

After the National Finals we found the engine wouldn’t turn over, this turned out to be because the rear main and centre bearings were damaged. We pulled Freddy apart and found the block to be oval on the rear main and centre bearing housing, so we sent the block to Andy Mapes for some surgery to make it round again back to factory spec. Our gearbox was looked at kindly by Martyn Hannis who changes one of the gear ratios and set the clutch pack clearances, we wanted to change this to make sure our lowest gear wasn’t too low. Over the winter we also installed a data logger and carried out emergency repairs to the trailer stub axle after our breakdown on the way home from the finals.
We left for the Festival of Power on the Thursday afternoon later than hoped as usual, and all was going well until 2 hours down one of the rear wheels on the trailer suddenly started smoking. We pulled over and found one of the ball bearings had gone on the same axle which we repaired over the winter period after our National Finals breakdown! An hour later, after hammering the fused bearing off and replacing with a thankful new one which we had in stock, we were on the road again. We arrived at the Pod still in daylight thanks to the summer clocks change then got ourselves unloaded, fed and beds made.

We woke up Friday morning to hear rain on the roof. We prepared the car and got her scrutineered, however the misty rain and heavy showers kept coming and Friday was called off. After a long day of doing nothing we retired to bed at a reasonable hour, much to Robbie’s dismay as a young bachelor going to bed at 10pm on a Friday night.

Saturday we were due out in the afternoon, so the rain water was cleared and the racing started around 11am. We got ourselves warmed up and ready to go having had chance to watch the first round of Pro Mods and Fuel cars. We were running against Apache, which for all of us is quite special as we’ve all got quite a thing for that beautiful nostalgic funny car, and the side by side burnouts looked great! This was Dave’s first burnout back in the car for over 18 months and he’s sure still got it. Unfortunately we were shut down on the start line for an oil leak, however we are so grateful to the guys on the start line for their input and safety precautions as running with that leak could have ended the same as the Lucky Devil crash that morning (we hope you get it fixed and to see you back the track soon!) or even worse.
We got back to the pit and started pulling Freddy apart. The leak was found to be the rear sump oil seal, after hours or thrashing to get this repaired we fired up to test for the late afternoon slot only to find the timing cover oil seal to be leaking now. We missed the second slot and got the sump off to replace the seal and fix the leak. We were finished doing this well beyond curfew so we’d have to wait until the morning to see if all was good.

Sunday morning we were up and at ‘em so we could fire up as soon as the noise curfew finished at 9am, a quick fire up gave us the answer we hoped for and we were ready to race again. This time we were to run a bye while Chaos and Apache ran side by side 6.2’s – amazing. Another great burnout from Dave, no leaks shutting us down on the start line today and off he went. Freddy hooked up and Dave stuck with it until around the 1000ft mark, both ‘chutes out at the line to run a 7.67 at 160mph. That’ll do us nicely! It wasn’t quick enough to get through to the final so we packed up and headed home, all pleased with the outcome of the weekend even if it was only one run.

This event commenced Dave’s 30th year of drag racing, and with the help of many other races we presented him with a book full of messages of congratulations and love (well, one or two) which he was surprised and really pleased with. 2014 had been Robbie’s year to licence and get to grips with the car so for the first weekend back in the car Dave was pleased, as were the rest of us, and is right back in the saddle looking forward to our next appearance demonstrating at the Brands Hatch Speedfest on June 6th-7th http://www.speedfest.co.uk/ .

Congratulations go to Nick Davies and the Chaos team for setting a new European record! Fantastic stuff and that 5 can’t be far away now.

We had many visitors to the pit over the weekend, meeting some long time drag racing fans and some who were at their first event. We genuinely love meeting people and talking to them about our car and their cars too so thank you for your interest and we hope that being able to talk to the crews and see the cars up close makes drag racing that extra bit special for you. Please do keep popping over to say hi and have your picture taken with the car, as long as we’re not busy getting ready for or after a run we’re more than happy to help you with that wonderful one-time shot of your child stood next to a dragster!

Now, who drives in 2015?

29th September: After a successful first outing in the Freddy’s Revenge altered at the Festival of Power, Robbie Grabham and team went to Dragstalgia to continue his licencing in the blown-alcohol machine:

Dragstalgia was a very testing meeting for us as we had had gearbox issues which meant we missed a run. After help from various different people we managed to source new parts and fix the gearbox ready for Sunday. With one full pass under my belt I needed to make one more run to gain my licence. We towed down Sunday morning only for the starter batteries to let us down. So back to the pits to charge up the batteries ready for the afternoon run. After waiting all day the time finally came, on the penultimate run of the day I ran an 8.1/175 which was enough to gain my licence. I was over the moon! To top it off I was presented with the runner-up trophy for the event.

Next up was the UK National Finals. We had high hopes and I was excited to race someone for the first time. Saturday morning came round and I was paired against Nick Davies in the Chaos Fuel Altered. This would be the first time I would launch in first gear, and it resulted in a 7.88/174. I was so happy with my first seven-second pass and judging by the pictures so were all the crew. I thought this was a good baseline to work from and was looking forward to the next run. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be: the motor felt tight when trying to turn it over in the pits and we instantly knew the cause as we had massaged the pistons back to life for this event. We thought the repair would last the weekend but unfortunately it only lasted the one run. Still we hadn’t lost anything we just needed a new set of rods and pistons over the winter.

Our trip home was just as eventful as one of the stub axles snapped on the trailer on the A34. Luckily the wheel stayed in place and we managed to pull over with no disasters. The plan was made to unload Freddy on the side of the road and wait for another trailer. As usual with drag racing, offers of help flooded in. Big thanks to anyone who stopped to see if we were OK or offered us help in any way.

With our season over until next Easter the winter freshen up starts. Now the big debate starts of who will be driving next year; with the old man chomping at the bit to get back in the hot seat I feel I will have to give it up for next year.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us out over the season, but the biggest thanks go to the team for providing me with a great race car, and credit to my dad and to Crew Chief TC for building a fantastic car. See you all in 2015!