A few weeks have passed, the sunburn has subsided, the traces of Redbull have exited our bloodstream and the body clock has been reset. It’s time to reflect on probably the most intense and fast paced motorsport event Western Australia has to offer. For those of you that couldn't make it, or haven't even heard of the event, this is for you.
Racewars is held in Australia’s southwest coastal town of Albany. Sponsored and supported by the South Coast Shire and the City of Albany, the council ever so kindly close the airport runway for two days of action packed, fingernail biting, side by side racing.
As soon as the gates open at 7:30am there’s already a sea of race cars, trailers, transporters and everything in between. The pit lanes fill with some of the rarest metal known to man as well as the bravest of high-horsepower builds. Anything from highly tuned Japanese hero-cars, to worked Aussie V8s. The event welcomes any chariot you have and challenges you to put your money where your mouth is. Proper grassroots motor sport.
Following the drivers briefing and sign on, it’s straight into action with cars already lined up on the grid for the first event, the ¼ Mile Roll Racing. Drivers are doing their final checks and prepping for their first crack at the strip. For the next three hours, its race after race - head to head challenges as the red mist descends as drivers light up their tyres at half track only to re-check their tune and do it all over again. This class of racing puts on quite the show as heavy hitters belt out some epic times only to be trumped by some of the more ‘unconventional’ racers.
After the track gets closed (albeit briefly) the winner of the event was Anthony Knight, in his absolutely mental Turbo LS Powered 1978 Mazda RX7 - a staggering 252.2km/h over 400 metres all thanks to his race winning formula of 900-or-so horsepower in an 800kg chassis.
Next on the Racewars agenda, the ½ Mile roll racing. In 2017, there were only two entrants that made it over 300km/h - These legends of speed were John Kopcheff in his twin-turbocharged Lamborghini Gallardo sporting over 1250hp and Matt Haines in his R32 GTR with a 1000+hp 3.2L Stroker. This year, John entered his backup car, a standard LP560 after the TT Gallardo wasn’t quite ready to compete. Unfortunately also Matt had some mechanical issues. Even with the title holders and 2017 heavyweights missing, 2018 saw the dawn of FIVE cars to take up the +300km/h mantle in the 800m sprint. Cementing everyone in suspense for the coming 1000m races the next day. Ed Tassone ended up taking the win (with 309.48km/h), nudging Peter Grey out of top spot by just 1.3 km/h over the 800m.
As the 800m roll ons completed, the team with the “Banshee” Jet Dragster put on a bit of display with a flame show before firing off down the strip. As the fire subsided, and the Banshee was towed back to the pits, Jordan Leist of Forged Magazine took centre stage to unleash “Forged - Cash Days”. ⅛ mile of ridiculously fast paced action. The last cars have barely got off the track before next ones are hitting launch control ready to race. Stephen Adams took the $5000 prize in his wild V8 VK Commodore, which goes to show, it's not always the highest horsepower that going to take out the Cash Days title.
Sunday was shaping up to be an amazing day, the clouds had cleared, the hangovers were subsiding and a few heavy hitters showed up to give all the other racers some added competition.
To be expected, it didn't take very long at all for a 300km/h run to hit the big screen. Both Peter Gray and David Christie both hit that target in quick succession. Following that it was almost run after run of 300km/h sets. A total of TWELVE highly tuned cars all crossed the line travelling over 300km/h, and those that just missed the mighty 300km/h milestone only needed an extra 50m of runway, or a split second faster shift to do the same. Everyone had refined their tunes and upped the boost this year and put on an amazing show.
Ed Tassone took another win with an epic run of 334.93km/h in his 2006 Holden Monaro GTO which was 1.4km/h shy of a national record and a 10km/h over Peter Grey in second place. For full event results, head over to the Racewars web page and follow the links!
For those of you that considered heading down to Racewars but didn't make it, I strongly suggest heading down next year! They have enough for all of the family, and if you don't want to spend the whole day Trackside, you can head into the beautiful Albany town centre and see the sights!
Thank you Racewars, you have been great! Until 2019!