It’s pretty much what we all love about drag racing – creativity!
And that notion bar has been moved up yet another notch recently during the season opening event for Australia’s 400 Thunder Aeroflow Drag Racing Series, courtesy of Pro Alcohol class veteran participant Russell Mills.
To say that Russell’s debut with his newest car was a success would be a major understatement – as not only did he drop the jaws for all attending race fans — he also put the car into victory lane — in what was its first ever competitive outing!
“Going into Sydney, our car was very early within it’s history — only had about 7-8 launches,” said Russell Mills. “In testing it had shown a lot of promise – but for us to end up winning our first event isn’t something we really expected.”
We can safely say that Russell’s machine is very very unique to drag racing as well as a refreshing experiment – exactly what the sport is screaming for.
It is basically a very extended Funny Car configuration chassis with a 225-inch wheelbase. The body is a self-designed and team in-house creation resembling much like what you might see racing in time trails on the Bonneville salt flats in Utah USA.
“This body is a one piece all Australia design and build,” he affirmed. “I drew it up and Peter Lamb built a mould. Terry Jackson then did the carbon fibre body from that mould. It weighed about 80 kilos (before the tin work) which is actually heavier than a typical Funny Car body — but the body is also about 50% longer.”
“Because the chassis is more of a FC design I do sit a bit higher and the motor is positioned lower and that gives me good visibility looking down the track,” he explained. “Seeing out the side of the car, because the body is so up and around you, can be problematic – but that’s something I really shouldn’t need to do (he laughed).”
Russell revealed that he did take on a lot of understudy while moving his idea to reality.
“Before drag racing I was deep into the drag boat racing scene,” he continued. “I also studied books about Bonneville as well as fast trains and big long haul trucks as to how they cheat the wind. I gots some ideas from all that, with my main objectives being to keep the car straight with a small frontal area. The car is very flat sided and as a driver it feels really remarkably stable at speed.”
Russell who had already developed a reputation for being an “out of the box” thinker within drag racing over the last couple decades prior, resides in the Sydney area (Lilli Pilli NSW) but does fund his racing operation from his Queensland located Torquay Hotel at Hervey Bay.
Racing fans can look forward to additional appearances for this 5.4 secs 270 mph capable car within the 400 Thunder Aeroflow Drag Racing Series and beyond this racing season.
By Bruce Biegler
©Drag News Magazine