The weekend’s Night of Fire event at the Perth Motorplex not only provided plenty of entertainment and exceptionally close racing for an enthusiastic crowd, but also delivered three new records.
Danny Costello set new track records for both Elapsed Time (ET) and Mile Per Hour (MPH) for the AA/A class with his 5.711 second pass at 243.78 miles per hour in the Top Comp bracket, with those results also being well over and under (respectively) the current Australian national A/AA records. This effort becomes even more impressive when you consider Costello’s rookie status, with only 14 full passes under his belt to date.
Rob Gaikhorst was another re-writing the track record books, with the racing veteran’s 164.48mph effort in his Pedders Nissan 200SX which he fields in the Super Comp bracket also equalling the current Australian C/GA ET record.
Costello has some big plans ahead following the weekend’s results.
“The records were certainly a happy accident; it wasn’t the plan to run any records. We have been having some issues with vibration in the car so we were focusing on getting the car to drive smoothly and we were able to do that which meant I could keep the power on the whole way and that was it basically,” mused Costello, from Darch in WA.
“The car has more in it, heaps more, so I will be changing my licence so we can keep chipping away at it bit by bit.
“I am still a learner driver, but I have very good direction and I am loving it so far. When it goes like it did on the weekend it is both amazing and terrifying (in a good way) and it is just beautiful to drive.
“My thanks goes to Rory Taylor of Speed Torque – he is the main person who makes this all happen, he built the car, and he tunes it, so without his help it wouldn’t go there. I would also like to thank my crew – Shinead, Jason, Shaun, Brandon, Elise, Rod and ‘Wakey’ – for always being there; my partner Denise for all of the support she gives me; my two little boys Jack and Tom who are already talking about going drag racing themselves; and my sponsors Autodan, Safety Tech, All Type Autos, Dean’s Auto Glass, Speed Torque and D&D Racing.”
For Gaikhorst, his record-setting effort was made possible by a completely home-built package.
“Our S15 Nissan C-Gas Automatic is a home-built car – it has a Jerry Bickel chassis design, and we built the whole car ourselves in the workshop at home. The engine is all home-built as well, I developed the cylinder heads and the rest of the engine, and I also make our own manifolds,” explained the racer from Banjup in WA.
“It has two throttle bodies on it, and 16 injectors, and I think it is the only Super Stock car in the class with electronics on it.
“My son Jason Gaikhorst does all the tuning on the car, and we are pretty happy that we have been able to set the new track record and equal the Australian record in mile per hour with a home-built car.
“We have built everything in our backyard, so we are pretty happy with that, especially when you consider that we did it in reasonably difficult weather and on a slippery track too.
“My thanks goes to my family for helping the whole time, and also to Pedders Suspension who have come on board as the sponsor for the car. “Hopefully we can go a little bit quicker in the future – we are only one and a half tenths away from the Australian ET record for the C/GA class and we are matching the MPH, so we are hoping we can better the car a little bit more in the future.”
For more information about the Night of Thunder event, please click here.
For more from the Perth Motorplex, visit www.motorplex.com.au
Pics: High Octane Photos