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June 5th 2009
Published: June 5th 2009
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Day 40 - Willowbank Raceway
5.45am and we’re up ready for a shower and the day ahead! The amenities block is right next to us but Dar finds a queue even at that time of the morning, they’re a clean bunch! There’s no queue in the ladies but there is a frog in the toilet! I’m told that the secret is to flush twice before you use the loo as frogs in the toilet is quite common! Something to remember!
We head off in search of racing, it’s due to start at 8.30am but there’s a solid amount of fog covering the track when we get round there at just gone 7. As we wander in the direction of the top sheds we bump in to none other than Steve Werner, 2 seater dragster driver and all round good guy from Santa Pod! He’s here on holiday for a few weeks and has already been to Sydney where he did the bridge climb and got wet in the Blue Mountains like us! He’s got straight involved with the track crew and it’s not long before we see him on the start line just before the racing is due to begin and then later in the day hear he’s working with the top end crew getting cars off the track and generally helping out. What a top chap.
And what did we do? Well we sat and watched brilliant racing in the brilliant sunshine! Lucky, lucky us and we’re very grateful to Willowbank for making us so welcome.
We’ve been keeping an eye out for Daz Selwyn who is coming to the event. Daz emigrated to NZ 18 months ago and we met him through Chris and Claire when we followed them to Finland on a Hot Rod trip a number of years ago. We’ve sussed out where the spectator entrance is and we looked out for him throughout yesterday but to no avail. However, the shout goes up from Darryl ‘Is that Daz leaning against that post on the top of the banking?’ I grab the camera with the big lens and take a couple of pics of what could be the long, almost long friend! “I’m sure that’s him” confirms Darryl “Wave!” And then came the smile from Daz when it clicked that the waving on the bank was aimed at him and coming from us! Nice spot Dar! We’d soon been joined by Daz and mate Trevor who are in Oz for a weeks holiday. Whilst here they’re checking out the Winter Sun hot rod show in Coolangatta which goes on til Monday so guess where we’ll be going with any luck!
The great racing is cut slightly short by a significant downpour of wet stuff so the four of us headed back to our camp for a coffee and a bit more of a catch up! It really threw it down and even prompted a rainbow but the track team are soon sorting things out and racing starts again mid afternoon kicking off with ‘the big stuff’! There’s plenty of action, plenty of tantalisingly close races, plenty of sharp intakes of breath and a very chuffed crowd of spectators who were being treated to some great night racing as the sun went down and the drags ran through til 10pm! Many thanks to all the team at Willowbank (plus of course ‘our’ Steve!) and all the racers for a great day, we came away with huge smiles and are just about to fall into bed exhausted!
Dar & Sar

PS We’re really trying with the night camera shots and we’ve got the camera on manual settings now … but we’re still learning and as Andy (from the bloggers Kangaroojack) would say it’s very much ATGNI which means ‘All the gear no idea’!!

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