Latest in Australia from Gail and Al:
Hello Family, Friends, and Race Fans;
It is Tuesday, March 6th and we are sadly back in Adelaide. The DLRA Meet was cancelled due to poor
salt conditions and access to the lake was also very mushy and dangerous for heavy vehicles to attempt
access (check out the Forum on the website www.dlra.org.au for details).
We have been working on getting the Streamliner ready at 'Y-Climb Tower Hire' just north of Adelaide where
the car has been stored since its arrival on February 6th. We left on Friday afternoon (Mar 2nd) for Port Augusta
and arrived late afternoon where it was over 110 degrees and it began to feel like the real outback. We met up
with other racers at the Big-4 camp grounds where we spent the night, and all got the word early Sat. morning
before leaving that it looked like they would have to cancel the meet but to wait for several hours while more
they made the final decision. By 10am the word came down that it was officially cancelled! Of course no one
wanted to believe it and after numerous phone calls and brainstorming on how to fix the problem, everyone
decided to drive to the lake anyway and just see for ourselves.
A Port Augusta racer named Doc was just leaving town for the lake when he got the word and he was kind
enough to come to the camp ground and arrange for many of us to leave our race cars or trailers at his home
(very big fenced yard). So we left the Streamliner there and headed out to the lake with the truck and rented
camper (our sleeping quarters). The dirt road in was recently graded after the heavy rains they had had in early
February (contributing to the lake problem of course) so it was not a very bumpy road at all. The weather had
cooled off since the Friday Furnace and even till today has been cool and comfortable - not seasonable at all
and really not fair since it is always hot during racing.
We met up with many racers at the lake and the DLRA camp site and spent two days commiserating with everyone
and hoping some miracle would change the fact that the event was over before it started. We could see for ourselves
that just below the salt surface - which looked good from a distance - was a layer of dirt, and more salt below that.
The club officials who made the finally difficult decision could not find any consistently hard salt and as safety is
always the prime concern they came to the right decision. No one wants to drive over salt that might drop into an
unexpected pot hole or over slush spots that couldn't be graded due to the moisture underneath.
Sunday everyone pitched in and helped pick up rocks to fill in the access area to the lake and a truck pushed dirt
over everything. With all the people helping they made a ramp out into the salt over 150 ft long in about 3 hours
which will help prevent access problems next year. (The edge of the lake was the softess of all and many vehicles
would have got stuck there.) The General Meeting was held later that day and after a great chicken dinner
(cooked by the owners and workers of the Mt. Ive Sheep Station), at the lake-edge canteen watching the sunset
over the salt, 'Animal' lead a spirited auction of donated items raising over $3000 for the club.
It was still great to catch up with old friends from our trip there in 2001, and with the new ones we made along
the way - It was worth the drive to the lake. We left on Monday morning (Mar 5th) and made it back to Port
Augusta where we cleaned the vehicles from the red road dirt and ate dinner at a hotel pub and discussed
the deadliness of the snake Al and I saw cross the road on our way home. Al said get out and take a picture
and I was a little worried about how close to get and the Aussie at the pub said not to worry, it's probably a
Black Diamond - only one of the deadliest snake in AU!!
We are back at Y-Climb Tower Hire in Adelaide and the last 3 days have had us brainstorming what to do.
Of course the decision is to leave the Streamliner here in AU and return to race another day. Doug, Al and Kelly
are almost through switching engines as we will need to ship one engine home to run in the Corvette at
Bonneville in August. We are working on the possibility of leaving the car on display at the National Motor Museum
in Birdwood outside of the Adelaide. So we have a plan, several options, and hopefully it will all come together.
We are keeping up-beat about the whole thing and looking forward to running the Corvette at Bonneville this
August, instead of the Streamliner.
Speedy regards to all
Gail & Al
Changing engines today at Y-Climb (Mar 6th, 2007)
Deadly snake - is it 3' or is it 6' long?