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!
TC and Robbie had another successful afternoon in the workshop, yesterday; Robbie stripped, checked and rebuilt our 3-speed Lenco while TC removed the blower manifold and one of the cylinder heads.
We entered the year with Freddy virtually ready, aiming to be out at the Festival of Power. We needed to resolve our towing issues, with our previous tow truck reaching the end of its days. With little funds in the bank and this not actually preventing us from racing, it wasn’t our priority. We had an awesome new paint scheme which was being kept top secret, but we knew it was a stunner.
March soon came around and Easter bank holiday was fast approaching, with the weather forecast looking horrendous. The weeks in March had been very cold, and the thought of sleeping in trailers/tents over a bitterly cold weekend was not appealing to any of us. A last minute decision was made to miss the Festival of Power, and put the money towards another meeting with warmer weather forecasted.
The Easter weekend wasn’t a complete waste, as a new tow truck was sourced instead!
Work soon began on the tow truck, refreshing its battered self and preparing it to hitch up to our trailer. This unfortunately was not quite done in time for us to work on the trailer, with it being nearly 3 years since we used it last, and having everything ready for Summer Nationals – out first event of the year!
We loaded Freddy onto the open trailer, all our tools etc in to a van, hitched up the caravan and set off for Santa Pod. The forecast was ok, with a few showers possible. We tried a new route avoiding the A303 as it was Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, and made it to Santa Pod in the usual time. We set up home for the weekend, and sat down with a cider at our favourite place.
So many people popped over to say hi, welcome us back and comment on the new paint – safe to say it proved popular! Huge thanks to Power Race Graphics.
We were well aware we wouldn’t be ready for the first run on Saturday at 11.50am, so we got Freddy ready and fired up to change the oil, and towed down to scrutineering at about 11. It was incredibly windy all weekend, with scrutineering being a windtrap, but while we were gone our party tent awning tried to blow away then collapsed! TC couldn’t hold it down, even with the thankful help of Team Chaos, so unfortunately we were open to the elements for the rest of the weekend. We also managed to run over and see an awesome side by side 6 second run from Joe Bond and Nick Davies who were also representing the NFAA that weekend.
We proceeded to get ready for the NFAA round 2, and towed down for a bye run while still making a come back. Dave pulled round in to the spectator-side lane (different for us) and got in line, great little burnout and back up to the start line. Launching in second gear again, he lined up and got in to stage, as the lights went green he hit the throttle and launched great! Freddy was keen to go! The run was a little wandering, as we’re used to, but Dave had it under control and was on the throttle as long as he felt necessary for a check out pass. We were happy with a 9.2 at 90mph and a car in one piece!
After the run the decision was made that we’d got what we wanted out of the weekend, and would return home for our final checks and changes.
We may not be out in time for Dragstalgia, partly due to our To Do list being the length it is and also running or smaller crew numbers. Chris and Sarah recently welcome Lumen Iris in to the world (and her ears are a little too tiny for such loud cars at the moment), and Robbie would be away on holiday. We are very much a family team and it wouldn’t be the same without everyone. We are still aiming to be at the National Finals though with a couple of full passes up our sleeves to end the season nicely.
Massive thanks to those out there who help us, support us, send us well wishes and congratulations, positive comments and feedback – it means the world.
See you all soon!