The 2010 Nitrolympics were celebrating 25 years of the event on the now re-named Rico Anthes Quartermile at the Hockenheimring Germany, one of the 2 venues that hosts the Formula 1 German Grand Prix.
Racing at Hockenheim involves a lot more planning and organisation than when we are “at home” at Santa Pod. To begin with virtually the whole contents of the workshop have to be loaded into the trailer to ensure we have every eventuality covered. Then it’s a 600Km each way trip to the track for the truck and trailer. The journey started at 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning for John and Lee, who were sharing the driving, with Jo accompanying them. They arrived at the track at Wednesday evening then spent Thursday setting up the pit. We had pit box 4, which at the F1 race had been home to Mercedes F1 with Michael Schumacher.
The rest of the team, with the exception of Crew Chief Bob, flew in to Frankfurt on Thursday afternoon and headed for the track. Bob was due in Friday morning.
As we were not scheduled to run on Friday, there was a planned schedule to cover prior to warming the car up as for a final check. You can see the checklist on the “ Live Report” we did at the time. Our plan to post frequent updates on the website actually worked out quite well thanks to our good friend and webmaster, Nigel Holland.
Saturday is the focus of the event because of the legendary “ Niteshow”. We would be “match racing” against the Shockwave FC. It is a very long day for everyone involved. The running order had us down to run at 10.45 a.m, and in a change to previous years, 8.00pm to open the “Niteshow”, rather than close it. We may get a relatively early night this year!
The car was warmed up around 9 a.m, then tow down to the pairing lanes around 10.15 . Unfortunately the running order was re-scheduled so we did not get to run until just after 1pm
Tog on www.eurodragster.com described the runs as follows:
“ That was the best Fuel FC race I’ve seen in a long while, nice one guys! 0.963 to sixty for Gordon,0.970 for Spuff. Gordon had the better eighth 3.547 to 3.540,some smoke from the Showtime FC at about 1100ft and Spuff was off the throttle,but got there first”
(The above reproduced by kind permission of eurodragster.com)
5.194 secs at 445.57kph for John to Gordon’s 5.273 secs at 406.47kph
John’s run was the quickest ever by a Nitro FC at Hockenheim
Servicing was routine, although there was damage to an exhaust seat. We replaced both heads during re-build.
As we were due to open the Niteshow, being late was not an option, so everything was ready to go well ahead of time and we took our place behind the start. Janet Linke the Niteshow organiser briefed us on the timings. We should be ready to fire up before the National Anthem, whilst it was playing skydivers would descend, when the anthem finished and the skydivers landed we were to fire up the car. It all went to plan, as did the run! Even quicker than the first – 5.127 secs at 473.02kph, like an arrow, straight down the groove.
Servicing was a repeat of earlier, and the hoped for early night came our way. The crew enjoying a late evening meal at the track before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday schedule was to run at 11 am and 3 pm. We had the car warmed up and ready to go but unfortunately periods of light drizzle and oil downs meant the schedule was running approx 90 mins behind. We eventually towed down around 2pm, the FIA classes were running in between the drizzle.
The wet stuff did eventually stop by which time the shutdown area was too wet to dry before the mandatory 5pm curfew. The organisers asked John and Gordon to round off the weekend with a paired burnout.
That was Hockenheim 2010, not as much racing as we would have hoped for, but a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Jerry Lackey and his team at the Rico Anthes Quartermile, the German fans who turn out in their tens of thousands, Eurodragster.com for their excellent coverage and Nigel Holland for the website updates.Sunday schedule was to run at 11 am and 3 pm. We had the car warmed up and ready to go but unfortunately periods of light drizzle and oil downs meant the schedule was running approx 90 mins behind. We eventually towed down around 2pm, the FIA classes were running in between the drizzle.