2000 Mustang - BAE Hemi
It was a cold and wet December day... Okay maybe it was the end of August and really hot. Sweat poured down my brow as I waded through the hysteric crowd to find a particular car and crew. I had heard rumors of a monstrosity that had been created. As if Frankenstein had created a new monster, with modern resources at his hand.
Doug Sikora had driven all the way from southern California with Bob Remillard and Jason Pettis to do one thing. That one thing was to show everyone at the Yellow Bullet Nationals who was boss. The weapon of choice was a BAE Brad 8X Hemi fed by an F3-136 Procharger. The chassis trying to contain this beast is was built from a 2000 Mustang with a Tim Mcannis 3/4 Chassis that Doug installed himself.
After introducing myself to Doug and Bob, I found myself amongst friends. The generosity and homage that was expressed to me was overwhelming. Bob and I talk for hours about the theories and actual R&D that goes into every aspect of the high powered race cars. On Saturday I was so blown away when Bob asked me if I'd like a burger. I thought he had some grilling near the trailer. No, he ran off and stood in line for over 20min to buy me a burger. He is a very generous person, possibly the most I have ever seen.
The skill this small crew expressed was short of amazing this weekend. The enviroment they normally race in is dry and the weather is very consistent. They had never seen a track burried under so much heat and humidity before. They had never had to run their car under these circumstances before, so they had no tuneups designed for it. This put them at a disadvantage for everyone else there, this was their home track. Jason could not waste any of the test session runs to find what the car wanted on this slick humid track. Did they figure it out fast and not a moment too late!
Friday night on the first qualifying pass, Doug went straight up to number 6 with a 4.33 @ 173. Second round of qualifying found itself in the heat of the day on Saturday. The humidity in the air and the sun beating down on the track, slowed Sikora down to a 4.44 @ 181. With five hours of down time between rounds, Doug, Bob, and Jason had more than enough time to think of what the wanted to do next... go faster! By the evening, the temperature had dropped to a cool 70 degrees and the team knew the starting line finally had more to offer. Doug took every advantage he could and moved up to number 4 with a 4.23 @ 179.
Now it was time for the team to buckle down and take each round one by one. Doug faced Smith in the first round. Doug had to peddle the car 100ft out, but easily walked away from an aborted run by smith with a 4.57 to a 6.20. The heat came out just in time for round two. After analyzing the data from the racepak and the video recording, Jason figured out where to pull some power out of the run so Doug would have to play traction control with his right foot. The calculations were a success as Doug runs a 4.34 @ 178 giving Kimmis nothing but a good shot of his rear end. Bill Mitchell took a short nap only to wake up to himself being at the mercy of the mighty elephant as Doug cuts another great light and runs a 4.25 to a 4.28. In the semi-finals, someone played a bad joke and lit both bulbs in Sikora's lane, Doug, always a joker... This mishap didn't faze Doug one bit, cutting a .031 reaction time and running a 4.27 like a machine. This victory put Doug and his team in the finals against Steve Gorman and his new Proline built 481X turbocharged powerplant. It was a side by side race down the track as both Doug and Steve run identical 4.34 @ 174 passes! When the smoke cleared (metaphorically speaking) Doug Sikora "the machine", with his .012 R/T, rose to claim his first Yellow Bullet Nationals championship trophy. This was proof that no Rat can make an Elephant flinch.
Write Up and Pictures - Tim (Defbob) Brinner