Excited and happy that we could finally get the car out on the track again, we went to Gardermoen to do test runs before heading to Santa Pod the following week.
It was great to be back on a race track and meet all the people we had been missing these last two years without racing, and get to experience the good atmosphere of dragracing.
We wanted to see how our new wheelie bar behaved, test the new breakes and get a run-through for both the driver and the team.
We also have a new team member this year. His name is Andreas, he is 6 months old and very, very cute.
It seemed that he liked to be on the race track with his mom (Linn), dad (Jone), grandfather (Tore), godmother (Ingebjørg) and the rest of the team.
The plan was to do two test runs on friday, but we had not started the engine for 2.5 years, so we discovered some problems during warm-up that we had to solve before we could make it down the track.
It took some time, but my fantastic team fixed it and in the evening we were ready to test the car on the track.
The plan for the run was to do a start and drive out the first gear, i.e. a slow run just to test.
Well, that didn’t go excactly as planned…
On a day where most other teams struggled to get their cars off the startline without smoking the tires, we had read the track and conditions and hit it off with a 0,97 to 60 ft. It felt great, so I continued and did not let go of the gas before the engine exploded and the blower lifted and caught fire.
I managed to stop the car and get out safely. I’m very impressed by the safety crew on the track. They were on place immediately and started the extinguishing.
Back in the pit, the crew started picking the engine apart to find out what happened and why, what parts that could be saved and if we still had a chance of making it to Santa Pod the following week.
Our best theory to date is that this was caused by a fatigue fracture in one of the rods after 4.6 seconds. After 5.3 seconds other rods followed and the blower lifted. If I had stuck to the plan and made a slow run, this would most likely have happened on the next full run anyway.
To avoid this for happening, we have a limit on 12 runs for the rods unless anything happens. This was the 8th run of these rods..
There was no doubt we were done for the weekend, but the question was if would manage to get the car ready again for Santa Pod the following week.
We had started to build a spare engine back home, but we are still some parts short. We are missing the cam shaft, oil pan and the blower restraints.
Luckily, both my team and the dragracing community is amazing!
Bjørn Arild drove all night to Sweden to Magnus Larsson to borrow his blower restraints and thanks to the involvement on facebook we will get it recertified in England on Wednesday. I’m overwhelmed by all the people offering to help us!
The rest of the team went back to the workshop and managed to get the funny car as ready as possible with the parts we already had. Jonnie Lindberg is shipping all the other parts we need from the US directly to Santa Pod, and we will finish building the engine there in time for the Main Event the upcoming weekend.
Now, the trailer is packed and on it’s way to Gothenburg to catch the ferry to Immingham later today. The rest of the team will arrive on Wednesday ready to work to make the funny car great again.
Fingers crossed you will see us race in the qualifying sessions on Friday!