Race History - A brief history of Bruce's racing career.
Race Night - A tale that gives you a bit of an insight about what goes on during a race day.
News Archive - A collection of previous news updates from the Race Engineering team.
Right from when I was a toddler, the only sport I knew was
Speedway. Dad had a very fast Mini Super Sedan, which he campaigned every
weekend at the Ekka. He was virtually unbeatable for years, earning himself the
nickname "Jack the Giant Killer". It's little wonder I'm addicted to
During the 2002/03 racing season, I "inherited" my
father's Commodore/Chev Super Sedan. I gleefully took up the reins. Along with
the car came Graeme Smith, owner of FULCRUM SUSPENSIONS who gave me financial
support as well as technical advice and help with the suspension and steering on
this car and my Sprint Car.
Life can have some delightful twists at times. About halfway
during this off season, a generous person by the name of Wayne Lemon offered me
a ride in his second Sprint Car. It was an opportunity too good to pass up, a deal was struck and I was racing again. I finished the season thoroughly
enjoying myself, learning plenty along the way. At the beginning of the 2004/05
season, Wayne offered to sell me the car, which I immediately bought. I am
forever in Wayne's debt, his generosity has enabled me to go Sprint Car racing.
See you race night.
RACE NIGHT (by a Budget Racer)
3PM, any Saturday. The Race Car is loaded in
the Transporter, all the tools, spares, fuel and other essentials are loaded,
ready to go. Time for a quick tub and we're off.
"Okay fellas, their calling us up for engine start, heave-ho, push us onto the track, lets get the show on the road". The car's warmed up and checked over, time to go out for our "timed hot laps". As we are last in line for our shot, take out the jack and tools to reset the car if the track looks like changing. We wait our turn, no changes, we're off on a quick one. Or would be if I didn't come into turn one too hot and bog the car in the loose poop outside the racing line. I'll have to cure myself of this, it's becoming a habit. Oh well, if we don't explore the limits, we'll underachieve. We're back in the pits, the car feels good, fellas, so just clean the mud and measure the tyres, we're right for heat one.
Heat one, we're off the front in a field of ten cars, the car's a bit loose, I give it a bit more wing. A couple of the hot shoes pass me, we're trundling along in fifth, going ok. Hello, trouble ahead, a goose has turned around in front of me, no avoiding him, I spin the car and hit him side on. The trackside stewards check the car, minimal damage, I'm pushed away to restart at rear of the field. (Crazy rule this, the crash wasn't my fault, I still have to start at the rear!). I manage to pass a few cars to finish fifth, a good result considering.
Even though the only obvious damage is a slightly crunched wing, we better check the rear axle alignment, fellas, it felt like a hard hit from where I was sitting. It also felt a bit loose in spite of having full wing, so can someone mount up that larger tyre on the spare rim and fit it to the left rear please? We're set for heat two.
I start pole, the car feels a lot better. I lead for a couple of laps, I get passed by one quickie, I manage to dog him home to finish a rewarding second. We've qualified tenth for the feature, but haven't done enough to be in the top six shoot out. Back in the pits, car felt good, fellas, but still a bit loose. Fit the wicker bill, fuel it up, that should do for the final.
We're lined up, this is the race they're paying us for. It's re-start after re-start, we can't even get a lap in! It seems to be non-stop first corner dodgem cars! I avoid all the crashes like I avoid snakes, keeping well away from them. I've migrated up the field two positions by the time we finally get a lap in and the race is on. The track is slick, catching a lot of people out. I settle into a rhythm, pass a couple struggling ahead of me, and finish a respectable sixth, an excellent result. Back in the pits, pack the car up, fellas, while I set up the Barbeque. We top off a great night with a sausage and steak washed down with a cold Gold or two with our mates. Does life get any better than this?
See you next week!
RACING NEWS - ARCHIVE
Race Update 11/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 14 Apr 2007Hello Everyone!
There were thirty eight Sprintcars that hit the track on Saturday 14 April and once again Bruce was amongst the feature race finishers.
Heats position for this night was based on club point average, so the highest point scorer started off rear of field. Bruce started in position three for the first heat but finished sixth. One week on he can't remember now why he went backwards though! He started in position four in the second heat and despite several incidents throughout the race involving red light stoppages and subsequently a shortened number of laps, he fought off enough challengers and finished in third place.
Bruce just missed qualifying direct into the A main, instead scoring pole position in the B main. He got the jump on Terry Bracken at the start and continued to lead the race from start to finish with Terry and Andrew Scheurle in hot pursuit behind him.
His win in that race meant he started out of position thirteen in the A main feature and after a bit of shuffling throughout the race with contenders dropping out and cars overtaking for position he made up one spot and crossed the finish line in twelfth.
With the racing over once more it was time to kick back and relax at our usual trackside barbecue after the show. At this point we'd like to thank all our sponsors, especially Colin Jeffery from Re/Max Colonial Real estate and his colleagues at Domain.com.au for their generous supply of bags and assorted goodies to give away to our race fans.
The car is still in one piece, and after it's usual check over and service will be set to go racing again this weekend alongside another forty plus Sprintcars on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th April as they contest the Qld State Title to be held at BIS, Archerfield.
Race Update 10/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 24 Mar 2007Hello Everyone!
I made a little error last week when talking about Bruce's dad Ian. He hasn't actually bought the Q32 Sprintcar. I'm told the car is for sale and Ian is simply showing it off for the owners for a few races. If you are interested at all - contact Dan Murray Q44.
Back to us now - Bruce and the Q22 started off well time trialling twelfth out of a field of thirty Sprintcars.
However qualifying well does have its disadvantages too - the faster you are the further down the field you start in your heats. For Bruce that meant seventh in the first and eighth in the second heat - ten cars in total each heat.
In one of those freaky circumstances that never seems to plague many other drivers, a lump of mud flung up under the bonnet and knocked a plug lead loose just as the first heat race started. Initially Bruce wasn't sure what was wrong with the car, so whilst he's checking oil pressure gauges etc to confirm it wasn't anything major like an engine about to explode, he got overtaken and shifted back to eighth spot. There he remained, pleased though that he could keep fast cars Bryan Mann and David Muir behind him until the chequered flag fell
In the next heat about three to four laps into the race another mud clod went up under the bonnet - this time knocking a lead off from distributor cap. Fortunately he had moved into seventh by then and maintained that spot to the end.
Those finishing spots meant he was out of the automatic qualifying into the feature. In fact he went into the B main in position eight. He had what you might call a 'driver error' moment in the first corner with a half spinout in front of the rest of field - subsequently he got cleaned up by those behind, damaging the front wing, suspension, axle and Jacob's ladder.
He restarted the race from the rear and despite the car handling poorly as a result of the crash, had raced his way back up to sixth position when the organisers cut short the race. They cut the race from twenty back to eleven laps as they were running short on time due to multiple stoppages throughout the evening's racing. Bruce missed out on the transfer spot by one position (normally fourth would be the final spot, but an A main qualifier blew up his engine and so the first 5 from the B went through to the final). Bruce was the first reserve but as no one crashed in the first lap, he was free to then go pack up the car and call it a night.
Next race won't be till after Easter, which will give Bruce and the crew time to repair the damage and maybe work out how to mud proof those pesky engine leads!
Till next time...
Race Update 09/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 10 Mar 2007Hello Everyone!
It was another eventful evening on Saturday. Bruce's dad Ian, former state and national champion in speedway Super Sedan racing has been off the track for a few years now, content for a while to crew for his son. The itch to get behind the wheel proved too much though it seems and so after purchasing back the car Bruce drove two seasons ago and sporting the Q32 number he made his Sprintcar debut. I think Ian found that a Sprintcar wasn't quite the same as a super sedan though - but am certain that with his competitive spirit it won't be long till you see him closer to the front once more.
As for Bruce, he got off to a flying start from the front row of the first heat and led the field all the way to the chequered flag. He slowed down a little at the end of the race with a comfortable gap on the rest of the field. With his position secure Bruce didn't feel the need to keep racing full pace and risk getting into the wall trying to overtake the lap cars.
The heats were worked out on a draw and invert system this week so that meant for heat two the Q22 car would start from the rear. In a ten car field Bruce passed a few to finish in seventh position.
These results meant a direct transfer into the A main feature - but he was tied for equal seventh with two other drivers. According to the rules, in the case of a tie, position is then worked on the fastest lap time of the night - and that meant he slipped back to 9th on the start grid - Bruce wondering then if he shouldn't have kept his foot down at the end of heat one and took his chances with the lap cars after all
The final started well but Bruce was caught behind the car in front for a couple of laps, the yellow lights came on and both he and the car in front slowed. Unfortunately the driver behind didn't see the yellow come on, and Bruce copped a shunt so hard that it pushed him into the back of the car in front of him. The main damage was to Bruce's front wing and in the rear, a broken rear pusher. The car even copped some paint scraped off from the cage behind Bruce's head where the rear driver had crashed into then up and over and off the back of Bruce's car! Fortunately all three cars were able to keep driving, but the accident meant the Q22 wasn't quite the same anymore on the restart.
Bruce had a good side by side tussle with Darren Jensen for a few laps. Bruce on the low side and Darren on the high, before Darren eventually got around him. Bruce tried to follow but quickly decided that with the damage his car had sustained it wasn't the spot on the track for him and after losing a couple of spots squeezed back down to the bottom once more.
The Q22 car eventually crossed the line in twelfth position. Considering the damage caused by the yellow light incident and the fact that the field numbered forty Sprintcars at the beginning of the night, it wasn't such a bad result.
We'll be back on the track this Saturday March 24 at BIS Archerfield.
Race Update 07/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 27 Jan 2007Hello Everyone!
Well we got the car fixed and on the track again in time for Saturday. It always going to be tough with freshly repaired car, to make a fast time right off the bat but, we did our best.
Time trials are sometimes done during hot laps so you hit the track and you are straight into racing and hope everything is right because you have to go fast to set a good time to set you up points wise for the night.
Unfortunately we didn't set a good time, but that meant we started up the front of both heats. We were still struggling through both heat races, finishing fourth and fifth in each.
On the good side, everyone else was crashing and we weren't, and so we did manage to squeak our way into the A main simply by finishing both heats - so that was some positive news.
During the intermission we were trying to figure out what to do to make the car easier to handle, and then when we got some assistance from fellow car owner, Paul Gislingham. So, with his advice, we made some changes to the set up and we went out in twelfth position in the A main. The car was much more driver friendly because of the changes and we went forward and finished on the lead lap in eighth spot. A very pleasing result considering how we'd struggled earlier in the night.
It was a big crowd and we had a good time at the bbq afterwards, and we gave away all the goody bags we'd made up and a bundle of the postcards.
Next race: BIS 24 February, 2007
Race Update 06/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 6 Jan 2007Hello Everyone
Well it was a festive season filled with frustration for the Q22 Sprintcar team with disappointing results of 20th and 26th in the previous two races. Although privately we were very happy to get the rain, neither the driver or car were quite prepared for the rougher track conditions the rain caused on those nights, however things seemed to be turning around and going quite well this week.
Hot Laps were okay, despite the big greasy puddle in turn 3 that didn’t quite disappear until mid way through the final feature race. Unfortunately a racing incident on the re-start of the first heat caused a pile up and resulted in Bruce copping a right rear puncture; and he was out of the race before he’d even crossed the start line.
The second heat went much better though. Bruce started out of position two and was rapt at being able to keep one of the visiting American drivers behind him for the entire race to take the chequered flag and retain his second spot.
Because he didn’t finish heat one, the resulting lack of points meant Bruce started in position 4 for the B main. He passed one of the Americans around the outside in the first corner and was a fair way into the race before fellow local driver Darren Jensen eventually passed him and Bruce dropped back to position four again. Getting toward the end of the race and coming up onto the back of the lapped traffic, Bruce found the inside part of that turn 3 was still too slippery and greasy and slowed down. This is where the Americans showed their class in coping with race traffic and they breezed past with Bruce caught behind the slower lapped cars until he was caught with 5 laps to go by Andrew Scheurle who was leading the race.
Andrew decided to lap Bruce at full race speed on the inside into turn 3 and subsequently hit the same greasy spot that had been there all night. His car slid up and hit the Q22 car sending it up into the wall. They managed to pull Andrew’s car out of the wreckage and he restarted the race, but unfortunately Bruce’s night was over.
The car damage is both extensive and expensive including an absolutely trashed wheel, cracked diff, broken suspension parts, brake rotors and mounts, torn up front wing…..you name it! So it looks like the only action Bruce will be seeing of the World Series this week, will be sitting up on the hill with the rest of you!
If we can repair and replace all things broken in sufficient time, our next race will be Saturday the 27th January at BIS, Archerfield. Check out the website over the next few weeks as we run a story for any would-be racers on the actual costs of running a Sprintcar with the list of repairs from last Saturday night!
Until next time folks!
Race Update 05/07 News Update BIS Archerfield Sat 9 Dec 2006Hello Everyone
The evening started off very well indeed. The car was set up beautifully for time trials and the driver very happy with his qualifying time, Bruce earning his highest ever position for Time Trials in eighth spot.
With the way the point system is set up, that quick time in Time Trials meant he started from the back of each heat in 8th and 7th position. For the remainder of the night both he and the crew toiled continuously to get the car’s set up to match the changing track conditions. The car even hitting the wall at one stage in one of the heats as the Q22 Sprintcar railroaded off the corner and up the track. Bruce battled to retain his standings in both heats - moving ahead in one only.
Because of his results in the heats, Bruce’s total point earnings for the night pushed him back to the B main where he started off in pole position. He won the B main leading the race from start to finish and that qualified him into 13th position for the start of the A main feature race.
The car proved to be a handful all night but Bruce kept his cool and his car on track and held on to cross the finish line in 11th position. After the race Bruce commented that it was all he could do to drive the Q22 Sprintcar round the track and not the other way around! All things considered not such a bad result, as there were twenty two other drivers who finished behind him!
There will be some serious investigations going on this week as the car is again pulled apart to try and discover just exactly what went wrong after time trials – be it something got bent when he clipped the wall, something else with the suspension or set up – or whether it was simply the driver having a really bad night behind the wheel!
Fingers crossed a cause is found and you’ll be seeing us again trackside very soon.
Next Meet: Brisbane International Speedway, Archerfield. Tuesday December 26.
Race Update 4/06 Brisbane International Speedway, Archerfield – Saturday 18 November 2006
14 November 2006
Race Update 3/06 Brisbane International Speedway, Archerfield – Saturday 4 November 2006
Race Update 2/06 Brisbane International Speedway, Archerfield – Saturday 27 October 2006
07/10/06 - Saturday night started off really well with Bruce posting his fastest lap recording in time trials with a time of 11.9 seconds. He was only about .355 seconds off the fastest pace, but with such a quality line up it got him qualifying twelfth in a field of almost thirty cars.
30/09/06 - We had a good first night’s racing on Saturday with a second place in both heats. The battery unexpectedly died during the feature race causing the car to misfire and caused it to slow down each lap. Bruce managed to just hold on to his 9th position but a stoppage and restart only a few laps from the finish was enough to slow the car even further and he coasted around to the chequered flag in last place.
04/09/06 - Last Saturday was the first of two practice evenings before the commencement of the new 2006-2007 Sprintcar season, so I thought I’d give you a little update.