A word from Shaz

Sharon MiddletonTOP GEAR Motor Festival March 8-10, 2013

What a way to start off the 2013 season at the International Top Gear Festival at Eastern Creek, Sydney! For all of us, not being part of Clipsal was disappointing, but this kind of opportunity to be part of such an iconic show was amazing.

Preparing for this opening round got off the ground pretty well as the sun went down on the 2012 series. Even though there was a three month break, the day to load up for Sydney seemed to come around pretty quickly!  The work carried out was extensive. Birdman had the added assistance of Paul Currie in the final stages, with Paul staying in Adelaide for a week to lend a hand with preparations.

Camaro 85 – Mark King

A major bare shell rebuild took place, including shell reinforcing and repairs with weight reduction where possible. Rear suspension modifications were done to comply with the new regulations. The engine was rebuilt and updated. Pedal system moved and redesigned to improve driving position. The steering ratio was changed with heavy duty tail shaft and yokes fitted. Multiple minor changes and updates.

Camaro 95 – Andrew Miedecke

Extensive panel repairs by Mark and the team at the Truck Factory with a new paint scheme promoting premium oil and lubricants supplier LUBRIMAXX. A new clutch assy was fitted, rear suspension redesigned to comply with regulations. Brake cooling system redesigned, including new front spoiler design, front suspension modification to increase track and adjust range. Usual routine maintenance was performed. The transporter underwent refurbishment, with the A trailer painted by Brannon Cushnie and Aldom fitted purpose made tool boxes to improve how we transport spares, tyres and general equipment. The inside was decked out and is almost like a museum of Whiteline Racing inside – thanks to Bob and Smythy for their hard work.

The transporter, being towed behind the Adtrans supplied Argosy, with our cars, and the porches of Rory O’Neill and Greg Keene’s got away on Wednesday morning – very strict bump in rules were in place for this event. Transporters were not to be parked where garages were, so this meant unloading the cars, parts and tyres at the garages, then park up the transporters some 1 klm away !! No creature comforts for the weekend, with the normal gourmet Whiteline kitchen reduced to cold rolls !!! Although got to say there were no complaints.

Brenton did a great job organising the crew catering plus had the arduous task of walking backwards and forwards from the transporter – he was pretty happy about this, saw it as a great kick start for his weight loss programme !! We were also able to utilise the Copyworld racing pit jeep – looked like something from F troop to and from the pit to the truck – thanks Ross. Brenton and Mark drove up in the Whiteline van, leaving early Thursday, with the rest of the gang flying in Thursday night and me, the straggler, Friday night. When I arrived, the boys looked like they had been enjoying a pretty ‘relaxing’ time – blamed me saying they couldn’t go to bed until they all said hi !!! Likely excuse.

Usual crew member Paul Currie was unwell and unable to join the team in Sydney, we hope Paul is on the improve. Also on the sick list, J.B. from Yass with another stint in hospital and Timmy Bush under the pump with grape harvest 24 hours around the clock. Jason rallied together troops to fill the void with Darryn Prince and son Daniel on tools with Peter Cetrangolo from Jason’s Hurley’s Smash also kept on the go !! Tim Ede had friends Robyn and Stuart trackside on the Saturday and Stuart had a detailing cloth in his hand all day – he fully appreciates how hard it is to keep a black car shiny and dust free !! Also there to support the team were Bob’s son Andrew and partner Dori.  Team Lubrimaxx were in town with both Bruce and Matt trackside to support Andrew along in the newly painted Black machine, so too, son George.

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