Unfortunately bad weather meant the cancellation of the Nitro Champs prevented Sydneysider Carl ‘Chevy’ Taylor from making his Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series debut in Super Sedan.
The former Super Street champion will instead focus his attention on the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway June 4-7.
Known as ‘Chevy’ Taylor for over 20 years having bought his first four door 340hp 409 ci 1965 Chevrolet Impala in 1990, fans at Willowbank Raceway will get to see the charismatic driver in his signature red 1962 Chevy Bubbletop, first purchased in 1994, making it’s first competitive pass in Super Sedan at the national level.
“It runs a stroked 409 engine punched out to 476 cubes, conservative 10.3:1 compression, conservative .590 lift flat tappet cam with a rare 1964 Mickey Thompson Cross Ram up top and produces about 525hp aspirated on pump 98 fuel. The gearbox is a stout Turbo 400 with a 9” and 4.11 gears out back,” said Taylor passionately.
“My mentor and good mate is Graeme ‘Brickie’ Cooper. I am greatly inspired by Graeme’s achievements and he has taught me a great deal. The Fowler family and the Hartill-Law family are also an inspiration and I admire their ability to win, a great bunch of people indeed.
“The Nitrous system is from Robbie Madden at OZNOS. The ANDRA approved and teched cage was done by Shane at Shane’s Chassis and Fabrication. None of this would have happened without my very supportive wife Kimbo and kids.”
carltaylor-australiannationals2013Taking tips from ‘The Bricklayer’, Taylor had always planned to step up from Super Street to Super Sedan however the reshuffle of both brackets and the introduction of Top Sportsman accelerated those plans at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
“I began to prepare the car for SS/AA the same week after the Nationals last November and basically had the car ready to go by end of December,” he said.
“As you can see I was pretty keen to make the move once the decision was made (to adjust Super Street and Super Sedan). It takes a lot of time to make a car a winner and my thoughts were to try and get the car sorted ASAP.
“It’s the same car, drive train and 409 engine with the addition of a 100 shot of N2O and will still be driven to and from the track. I didn’t want to lean on this particular engine too hard so realistically mid to high tens will do for now.
“The race weight in Super Street, the Bubbletop was 3800lb and ran 11.00’s – 11.30’s at 119 – 120mph aspirated depending on air. In SS/AA the car weighs 3900lb and has gone 10.50s at 126+mph on the gas. I know it’s not very quick for SS/AA but if I can find some consistency and a little bit of luck we should go a few rounds here and there.”
The adjustments made to both Super Street and Super Sedan are still in an assessment period for at least another 12 months to the end of the 2015/2016 ANDRA Championship season. No decision on amalgamation, if that indeed is even a possibility, will take place before then.
‘Chevy’ Taylor loves Super Street and feels it is a great entry-level bracket. Although he doesn’t want to price newcomers out of the sport from entering he says it is a tough situation an ultimately a question of safety.
“To its credit, Super Sedan has always been a popular bracket with good entry numbers. The economy hasn’t helped in recent times but I think it will continue to grow.
“I also think a lot of the Super Street guys might have a think about stepping up into Super Sedan but I don’t think we can have basically un-teched street cars run against fully teched Super Sedans as once was suggested.
“I know this is a touchy subject, but for example, at the moment the rule book allows any super charging you like in Super Street, blower, turbo or nitrous and no fire suit or roll over protection required and in my opinion this is dangerous.
“On the other hand, if you run 10.90’s in Super Sedan with or without super charging then it’s a whole different ball game as far as safety requirements go and rightly so.
“On page 226 of the current rule book ANDRA are definitely looking at these issues. The word “homologated” is used and I think this is a move in the right direction as far as safety is concerned in Super Street.
“The introduction of Top Sportsman in my opinion was a good idea and the numbers are already showing that it is a viable bracket for sure. The safety issue with six-second cars running against ten second cars was addressed by ANDRA and both Super Sedan and Top Sportsman will no doubt grow into the future.”