The BME WA Nitro Championship is home to an exotic group of nitro-fuelled machines, including one that has become Australia’s quickest nitro front engine dragster.
Shannon Taylor drove Aussie Digger to a 5.861 second time, putting the Michael Brooks-owned rail at the front of the pack. Brooks himself made the fastest run for the breed on the same night with a blazing 248.58mph pass.
Taylor is the nephew of Rory Taylor, the owner of Nitro Thunder and Thumper. 42-year-old Shannon grew up working on the cars that came out of his uncle’s workshop and spent much time crewing for Mark Sheehan.
“I’ve been around nitro for a long time,” he said.
Rory invited Shannon to drive a Top Alcohol Altered for a time – “A handful to drive,” said Shannon – before Brooks asked him to take the seat of ‘Aussie Digger’.
The team’s work to break into the fives paid off in a big way on December 12 when Shannon smashed the Australian record.
“I knew it was pretty good as soon as it left the line,” he said. “At about half track I could feel it was pulling and it was going to be a solid pass.”
The adrenaline thrill of a nitro dragster at top speed is part of an extreme life for Taylor, who also enjoys downhill mountain biking and hot rodding.
“Mountain biking probably more dangerous than drag racing, it certainly makes you keep your wits about,” he said.
The January 2 Nitro Slam marks the second round of the BME WA Nitro Championship, where Taylor hopes he or the bossman Brooks can reset the record once again.
“We are aiming for consistent 5.8s, and I’d like to see the car perhaps go into the 5.7s,” he said. “I know Brooksy would like to take the record with his car and by the looks of it the weather conditions will be good, so fingers crossed!”
You can catch Shannon Taylor in Aussie Digger and Michael Brooks in Nitro Mayhem, plus Andrew Katavatis in Beach Bomb, Matt Abel in Nitro Thunder, Nathan Coles in Thumper and Anthony Begley in Dark Knight, this weekend at Perth Motorplex.
The BME WA Nitro Championship is a new three-round series dedicated to nitro burning dragsters, funny cars and altereds in Western Australia. The series is open to a wide range of nitro burning vehicles. Want to see if your vehicle is eligible? Send us a message and we will get you in touch with the right people.
Words: Luke Nieuwhof
Pic: Jay Treasure