The Best of Times, the Worst of Times.
The 2007 Racing season was all of that. We had some exceptional success, we had some spectacular failure.
The first full passes in our new liner.
First data from our Qwikdata system.
Our first ever passes over 200 MPH --Kristeen and I earned our “A” (over 200 MPH competition licenses).
Kristeen went fast enough to grab the beautiful “Fast Lady of the Meet” trophy.
We validated our aerodynamics and performance theory as only empirical testing can do.
No one was injured.
Unintended parachute deployments.
Poor function demonstrated by my snazzy drive chain tensioning system.
A spectacular crash at ~200 MPH with my racing partner driving on a test run.
Picking up shattered fiberglass for a half mile down the course and hauling the Streamliner pieces home in a bag.
As you can see, 2007 was a Mixed Bag. On the plus side, My buddy Jim Owen didn’t get hurt in the crash, we got some good video courtesy of Paul Busta (not of the crash). The car was repairable.
Here’s the run by run account
The run data also shows something interesting. If you look at the speed traces, you see a big uptick near the end of the run. I had intended to run thru at about 175 MPH as a shakedown run. But at about the 4 ½ mile, I could just see that final 5 mile marker at the exit, so I kicked it—I just couldn’t resist. It picked up big time. From about 175 to an exit trap speed of 208 MPH. Not bad acceleration from 175. Shut down was fine and a check in the pits indicated it was still good to go.
For our next runs we put Kristeen in the seat. Her first
run was spoiled by unintended parachute deployment. The chute came out
(inadequate latching mechanism and vibration) at about the 1 mile and
she ran on thru with a fully blossomed parachute at about 165 MPH.
Here is a hot video of Kris passing by the 3 mile
I need to stop for a moment to explain a bit about the “Fast Lady” award. It ain't your usual "Bowling Trophy"! The USFRA does a great job of that particular award. Bud McManus sponsors the award and works with a digital designer to create a really gorgeous work of art. Photos of the car are used to create a scale replica of the vehicle floating inside a large block of leaded glass crystal. The 17 pound block of crystal is mounted on a base equipped with blue LED lights that shine up thru, illuminating the car inside. A real class act.
Kristeen's 2007 Fast Lady Award
That brings us to the final run of 2007. I wanted my longtime
racing partner, Jim Owen, to get a little seat time. Jim is a very experienced
driver. He held (and still holds as of 4/2010) the SCTA MPF/F 1350 cc
MC class Record @ 219.555 MPH. We often confer during the off season about
plans and modifications for the upcoming season. Getting him more familiar
with the ‘Liner would make the discussions easier. That was the
plan. It didn’t work that way.
It picked up the rear of the car and flopped it over on its right side. The first clue Jim had that something was wrong was “no horizon”, all he could see was salt. After that, as he put it “I was just crashing”. We were very fortunate. The parachute that caused the crash actually helped to keep the car headed straight so it couldn’t “pencil roll”. It helped to slow the sliding car, and keep it from gyrating. Considering the speed involved, the damage was surprisingly light. The fiberglass body was pretty completely ripped from the chassis, and parts and pieces of fiberglass were scattered along the ½ Mile long crash path. Tthe 3/16” aluminum bulkheads that separated the cockpit from the engine bays were bent beyond repair from scraping along the salt, but overall, we were very lucky. Jim was uninjured. The safety equipment worked as intended. In the crash photo, you can see Jim out of the vehicle unassisted and walking towards the first course worker responding. There is no video of the crash.