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Author Topic: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion  (Read 11049 times)

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Offline Milwaukee Midget

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US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« on: March 23, 2018, 11:05:02 PM »
I'd like to open up this discussion regarding feasibility, costs, hurdles, and possible coordination efforts to take cars and/or bikes to Australia to compete at Lake Gairdner.

Saddened as I am to admit it, given the issues that are occurring with respect to Bonneville, I'm thinking Oz might be our last best place to realistically continue this sport.

Right now, I'm focused on getting ready for Bonneville in August, but I'm starting the fact finding to take the car down under.  2019 isn't out of the question.

Who amongst you have done this?

Who might be interested?

Is a container sharing arrangement logistically possible for anybody interested?

I know bike guys have shipped containers out of the Great Lakes to the Pacific Rim and Europe - New York is an option, and both Washington and California have ports with the shortest travel distances.

I know it takes approval out of Canberra, there are issues regarding certain brake and clutch lining materials, and fluids need to be drained.

How do you set up a container to ship vehicles?

Anybody else thinking along these lines?

Does anybody have contact information?

Yeah, it's expensive, but it's doable, and it's my thought that if there are like-minded racers willing to pool resources and information, and share containers to split up the shipping costs - and if the DLRA were open to an onslaught of Americans chasing down a number of open records - we could make this happen in a somewhat affordable fashion.

Let's open up this worm can. 

   
"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  :roll:

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

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Offline Jack Gifford

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 12:30:09 AM »
I hereby nominate the midget as official fact-finder (in his spare time) to meet with the Target-550 gang and record all answers gleaned from said meeting. :-D
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 12:33:17 AM by Jack Gifford »
M/T Pontiac hemi guru (or does guru status expire after 30 years?)

Offline generatorshovel

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 01:07:39 AM »
There are plans in place for two way runs at Lake Gairdner from 2019  :-D
SSS was spied working for the SOS team  :-o
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 01:10:09 AM by generatorshovel »
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Offline Malcolm UK

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 02:51:07 AM »

Saddened as I am to admit it, given the issues that are occurring with respect to Bonneville, I'm thinking Oz might be our last best place to realistically continue this sport.

Let's open up this worm can. 
   

As a Brit we cannot offer any racing surface to match the International Course at Bonneville. All our speed teams on two and four wheels have travelled for decades and will always travel in the 21st Century across the world to go really fast. However, have you exhausted research of all of the salt sites in the USA? If you have nowhere to race in your own country, then why not South America - say Bolivia? And as well as sites will SCTA/BNI become an International sanctioning body or will the Bonneville Records be frozen (much like the 1 mile tracks that close?). Yes, the DLRA use one year old SCTA regulations (with a National twist) but what happens after year two? I see lots of worms guys and girls.     
Malcolm UK, Derby, England.

Offline Dr Goggles

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 05:33:18 AM »
Gairdner comes with an absolute bastard last 100miles on the approach and no 20th century amenities, however.
The salt is unimpeachable and we are English speaking and on the surface a first world business oriented country with enforceable laws.
Going back to the downsides I'm here.
Few understand what I'm trying to do but they vastly outnumber those who understand why...................

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Offline jfr757

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 09:20:46 AM »
We've put cars on the track at Lake Gairdner in 2017 and 2018.  Used a Roll-On/Roll-Off arrangement in 2017 to take 3 vehicles together with a 53' car hauler and a repurposed 1973 GMC Motorhome Recovery Vehicle (not recommended) and a Container in 2018 (highly recommended).  The last 100 miles are pretty rugged to be sure.  For those who subscribe to Bonneville Racing News, our agonies were described in complete detail in one of the early issues in 2017.  Also covered on Motor Trend on Demand.

After learning what NOT to do in 2017, our trip in 2018 was much easier on everyone.  We put two cars in a Container along with parts with everything anchored down double-tight and with redundant hold-down straps or actually bolted on to metal we welded on the container itself.  It is a lot easier if you purchase a used Container rather than try to rent one.  They sell between $2000-3000.  They have implemented strict rules on asbestos content.  That did not come up in our export inspection in the US or the import inspection in Australia.  But there is no guarantee that it will not in the future.  We carried duplicate parts for our brakes and clutch in hopes that showing these would avoid a teardown. 

There are NO communications at Lake Gairdner.  No internet, no cell-phones, no land lines, nada!  Oh, there might be a Sat-Phone that works sometimes. So, if you go, be prepared to be totally OFF THE GRID for about a week.  But what there is at Lake Gairdner is a beauty that is rarely seen.  In addition the DLRA people couldn't be more welcoming or helpful.  They were frequent visitors to our area making sure we didn't need more assistance (we usually did).  I'm noticing our Crew Chief, Steve Strupp who actually made all of the logistic arrangements and modified the container, so that he can follow this discussion and answer specific questions.
Bonneville 200 MPH Club
El Mirage 200 MPH Club
DLRA 200 MPH Club
ECTA 200 MPH Club
Loring 200 MPH Club
Texas Mile 200 MPH Club
Colorado Mile 200 MPH Club
Arkansas Mile 200 MPH Club
Mojave Mile 200 MPH Club

Offline ack

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 10:33:23 AM »
I have been to Australia and Bolivia. In my estimation Bolivia is hands down the best venue in the world for land speed trials.

Why? Bolivia is much closer to the US than Australia. In Australia we had to deal with their onerous regulations regarding fuel, batteries, fire extinguishers, carnet etc and that was over 10 years ago. Once we got there after traveling miles into the outback over a dirt road that covered everything with a fine red dust the lake was under water. Al Teague and their effort in the mid 90’s ran into the same problem. Although things may have improved the accommodations were very spartan not quite Naked and Afraid but close. Oh and did I mention the flies? One positive thing we’re the people, great folks not full of them self’s, meeting Animal was worth the trip.

Contrast this to Bolivia. In Bolivia other than getting all the hazmat and customs information for the U S authorities before shipping there were no restrictions and no Carnet required. The annual rainfall between April and October is 0.00% and the wind on the salt mostly zero. The salt is a sight to behold stretches 100 miles in each direction and is up to 30 feet thick, not an insect in sight. Mike Cook prepared us a course best described as a concrete highway 15 miles long and 150 feet wide, it could of been 20 or 25 miles. We stayed in a 4 star hotel right at the entrance to the salt for $117 per night which included breakfast, dinner and free WiFi. There is a new airport 10 miles away. A brand new highway connects LaPaz to Uyuni. The Bolivian government was very supportive of the event.

Mike Cook is organizing an event this year July 10th through the 15th. The FIA and FIM will be in attendance for international records. At this point there are 2 cars, five bikes and one snowmobile entered. March 31st is the deadline for pre entry. The entry fee is $10,000 which includes the cost of FIM and FIA officials attending. For anyone entering after March 31st the entry fee is $15,000.  Marcello our man in Bolivia is arranging shipping. A 40 foot container including pick up in the US, port fees, custom fees and delivery to the salt is $6,080. 00.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTDKb7dHymNBAfZ_OaCADPYeJUs_02JZx



Offline Milwaukee Midget

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 01:10:46 PM »
Ack, I don't doubt that.  For International records, yes, hands down.

But the advantages I see to Gairdner are these:

There is a commonality of rules between BNI and DLRA.  By design, the DLRA has made it's rulebook a virtual clone of the SCTA-BNI book.  Generally speaking, if you've built a vehicle to the BNI standard, tech inspection in Australia would likely be very straightforward.

The ability to make power with a normally aspirated engine at 12,000 feet at Salar de Uyuni - vs. 125 feet at Gairdner - could prove crippling.  Not all of us run blowers or turbos, and a normally aspirated vehicle would likely be leaving 25% of their power on the table.  Granted, the lower density would be a plus for aerodynamics, but would that be sufficient to overcome the power loss?  In normally aspirated vehicles where drag coefficients can't be greatly minimized or are a function of an original design parameter, Bolivia looks iffy.

As to the creature comforts, a person would need to be willing to step out of their comfort zone for a week in order to race at Gairdner.  Personally, I'm looking at this as "sooner than later" - I turn 58 in a few weeks.

Right now, you've mentioned that Mike has 8 vehicles booked for this event.  It's a great, high profile showcase for the finest and the fastest in the world, and maybe that's the attraction.  When Eyston and Campbell and Cobb were running in the 1930's, Bonneville was equally as exotic and unusual.    

But what we have now - at least with BNI and DLRA - are racer focused operations geared toward personal bests and accomplishments, with a high degree of comradery among a relatively large number of participants.  I think it's going to be a while before Salar de Uyuni will have in place that kind of an atmosphere.        

For special construction vehicles pursuing international records, yeah - Bolivia.  Like Eyston, Campbell and Cobb, you guys are clearly on the cutting edge with this new venue.  

But a lot of us aren't at the international record level.  And despite the flies, the lack of accommodations, and the need to carry in and carry out virtually everything, I think it's the participant focused nature of the events that BNI and DLRA put on that make them attractive.

In Bolivia, I think I would miss the current cultural aspect that Speedweek or WOS provides.

 
"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  :roll:

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!

Offline jdincau

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 01:18:48 PM »
I will second that Chris, philosophically for many of us it is the journey not the destination.
Unless it's crazy, ambitious and delusional, it's not worth our time!

Offline fordboy628

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 02:04:18 PM »

Gairdner comes with an absolute bastard last 100miles on the approach and no 20th century amenities, however.
The salt is unimpeachable and we are English speaking and on the surface a first world business oriented country with enforceable laws.

Going back to the downsides I'm here.


Oh, come on now.   I think you are being too hard on yourself.

I've heard you are one mean "picker", I've witnessed Chris' prowess with an axe, so if you can round up a Gibson EB2DC, I'm in.

Sans flies, please.

 :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
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Offline Kool Performance

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 03:43:56 PM »
This is Steve Crew chief for Jack Rogers.

We can provide assistance with all aspects of racing in Australia. My wife CJ has mastered shipping process. The Carnet is not difficult once you understand it. We can provide tools, supplies, push truck, air compressor, welders, Canopies, Fuel, Nitrous, secure pre and post race work facility, pit crew help. We have developed a fantastic network of people and businesses in Australia. For those people that are interested in going in 2019 I would be glad to answer any questions.  Contact me at Speeding4u@gmail.com.  Hoping take 2 or 3 containers of cars and bikes in 2019. 

Offline Elmo Rodge

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 05:16:11 PM »

"As to the creature comforts, a person would need to be willing to step out of their comfort zone for a week in order to race at Gairdner.  Personally, I'm looking at this as "sooner than later" - I turn 58 in a few weeks."

Ha! I turned 71 out there last week.  :-D  :cheers:
Wayno

Offline wobblywalrus

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 05:57:29 PM »
The bike was crated at my house.  A big box van drove up and we pushed the crate into it.  There were a bunch of bikes in the van.  It drove to the port at LA where it went through customs and was put on a freighter.  The ship off-loaded cargo in Panama and they lost the bike.  It was found and loaded on another freighter going to London from the east side of Panama.  Then it was trucked to a storage yard in Swansea, Wales where it was put into a storage locker.

After the race, the bike was cleaned up and put into its crate in the storage unit in Swansea.  It was picked up by the shipper and hauled back to London where it was put on a Chinese freighter going either through the Suez Canal or around Cape Horn and back to Portland.  The bike was unloaded and it took more than a month to get it back through gringo customs.  Then, I drove up to Portland and got the bike.

I chose the shipping option which was "Deliver the bike to a storage yard in Swansea, intact, by this date.  I do not care how it gets there.  Use the cheapest method.  When do you want the bike?"  They told me a date and I had it ready and it was shipped out three weeks before they said they wanted it.  This saved my butt.  The bike barely got to Wales in time.

Knowing what I do now and when using the low cost boat option, I would ship the bike out with it arriving six weeks or a month before I need it so as to have time to deal with unforeseen problems.


Online Stainless1

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2018, 06:34:36 PM »

"As to the creature comforts, a person would need to be willing to step out of their comfort zone for a week in order to race at Gairdner.  Personally, I'm looking at this as "sooner than later" - I turn 58 in a few weeks."

Ha! I turned 71 out there last week.  :-D  :cheers:
Wayno

Well as the youngster in the group, I turned 67 on Lake Gairdner, I am considering taking the new car there but need to do a little homework first.  The salt was great, much like I remember Bonneville in the late 70s.  What I want to do is take it there and leave it for at least 2 races, which should help if there is a weather problem.  I have to see what the laws are for fire bottles and C02.  I think Marlo mentioned he had a little issue with his bottles.  Also can it stay in country that long....
The flies were friendly... they don't bite... but they want to be up close and personal.  Although I dispatched several thousand of the little bastards there seemed to be an endless supply.  They were only bad the day the wind was very strong, as we were packing up Marlo.  Of course the one Wayno ate happened on a fairly low fly day.
The folks down there are helpful and friendly.... about 60 or so well lubricated ones sang Happy Birthday to me as I left the Canteen
It is remote, the road is rough, the flies are a pain, the flight over is long.... I think I will start planning to go back next year to help get the SoS racing.
 :cheers:
Stainless
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Offline ack

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Re: US teams going to Gairdner - open discussion
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2018, 07:57:02 PM »
Ack, I don't doubt that.  For International records, yes, hands down.

But the advantages I see to Gairdner are these:

There is a commonality of rules between BNI and DLRA.  By design, the DLRA has made it's rulebook a virtual clone of the SCTA-BNI book.  Generally speaking, if you've built a vehicle to the BNI standard, tech inspection in Australia would likely be very straightforward.

The ability to make power with a normally aspirated engine at 12,000 feet at Salar de Uyuni - vs. 125 feet at Gairdner - could prove crippling.  Not all of us run blowers or turbos, and a normally aspirated vehicle would likely be leaving 25% of their power on the table.  Granted, the lower density would be a plus for aerodynamics, but would that be sufficient to overcome the power loss?  In normally aspirated vehicles where drag coefficients can't be greatly minimized or are a function of an original design parameter, Bolivia looks iffy.

As to the creature comforts, a person would need to be willing to step out of their comfort zone for a week in order to race at Gairdner.  Personally, I'm looking at this as "sooner than later" - I turn 58 in a few weeks.

Right now, you've mentioned that Mike has 8 vehicles booked for this event.  It's a great, high profile showcase for the finest and the fastest in the world, and maybe that's the attraction.  When Eyston and Campbell and Cobb were running in the 1930's, Bonneville was equally as exotic and unusual.    

But what we have now - at least with BNI and DLRA - are racer focused operations geared toward personal bests and accomplishments, with a high degree of comradery among a relatively large number of participants.  I think it's going to be a while before Salar de Uyuni will have in place that kind of an atmosphere.        

For special construction vehicles pursuing international records, yeah - Bolivia.  Like Eyston, Campbell and Cobb, you guys are clearly on the cutting edge with this new venue.  

But a lot of us aren't at the international record level.  And despite the flies, the lack of accommodations, and the need to carry in and carry out virtually everything, I think it's the participant focused nature of the events that BNI and DLRA put on that make them attractive.

In Bolivia, I think I would miss the current cultural aspect that Speedweek or WOS provides.

 

You are right about Bolivia and Australia too, being for the folks that are serious about racing, going after serious records and being the best they can be. I totally get why people enjoy the club aspect of running at Bonneville. Build a highboy roadster with your friends or a bike, go out and have great time going after the countless records available. You don’t have to go to Australia or Bolivia to do this.

You are wrong about the comradery we had over 60 people in Bolivia all Bonneville veterans who stayed at the same hotel. The sense of adventure and purpose was electric.  When Mike needed help preparing the track all 60 came out to help drilling holes, placing markers and many other sundry tasks.

Another thing you and I were wrong about was the performance of normally aspirated engines at altitude. Those of you that have flown normally aspirated piston aircraft know the higher you go the slower you go. Nick Genet and the Salimbeni brothers wanted to come and take their normally aspirated Aprilla RSV4 bike. I tried my best to talk them out of it saying you are going to go a lot slower because of the altitude. They just wanted to go. The same bike they had run at Bonneville numerous times before went 8 mph faster I was amazed. The only explanation I could think of was the very low humidity 8-10% and the cold air, motors love those conditions.  Those that have flown piston aircraft also know how much better the airplane performs when the humidity is low and the temperature cold. They ended up setting a World record for a normally aspirated bike.

Even with the steep entry fee going to Bolivia I believe is cheaper than going to Australia as we did in 06.