Competition dragster pilot Craig Geddes was agonisingly close to winning the national championship last November but engine trouble, bad luck and a rampaging Alistair McClure put an end to his hopes.
Geddes is back in 2015 with yet another new dragster and a new sponsor, Lucas Oil, as he attempts to go one-step further beginning with Round 1 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series at Fuchs South Coast Raceway this weekend (Jan 17-18).
The 2014 John Storm Memorial Trophy winner credited car owner Rob Martin and long-term crewman Daryl Hepworth for their ongoing support as he prepares to master yet another car following a successful mid-season switch from altered to dragster last year.
“The car was purchased after Pat Byron contacted us on one of the USA comp websites we frequent offering us the new car for a great deal as he was retiring from Comp,” explained Geddes.
“Once the car was purchased Dennis Young collected the car from Seattle and delivered to Long Beach where Greg Leahy from Geezers Imports took over and shipped the car to Australia for us, these guys’ careful handling and attention to detail has meant the car has arrived in perfect condition.”
The dragster being a clutch/5 speed manual will create some new and exciting learning challenges says Geddes but his team are hoping to remain competitive and claim even more national records along the way.
“The car has been initially setup to run in E/D with the 284 ci engine from the altered. Once sorted we will move across to B/D using the Ridgeway 352 ci which ran 7.10 seconds in the previous automatic dragster.”
Geddes heads into the opening round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series full of confidence following testing at South Coast Raceway last fortnight in very hot conditions.
“Things went very well and we made three passes avoiding the dreaded tyre shake and collected some good data, we are now in the process of refining the ratios and clutch setup with the aim of getting the car off the line with more aggression, the setup is far more sensitive when compared to the auto.”
Geddes Racing welcomes Lucas Oil as major sponsor in 2015 taking over from long-term supporter Red Line Motor Oil. Geddes thanked Red Line for their support as he looks forward to working with Lucas Oil into he future.
“We are very pleased to announce we have signed up with Lucas Oil as a major sponsor supplying some great products for the car,” he said. “We will be using their 0-10wt engine oil, L9 7.5wt gear oil in the Liberty trans to keep resistance to a minimum and the light gear oil in the rear.
“The deal initially came about after our Red Line dealer from WA had lost the sole import for the products and we were working with Lucas using their products in other applications our company, Albins Performance Transmissions, is involved with including Offroad Racing and V8 Supercars.
“It made perfect sense that once our teams great long term support from Red Line finished that we could transition very smoothly across to Lucas with full confidence in the products.”
Racing a new a car with a new major sponsor, Geddes promises to be a force to be reckoned with once again this season but with the shortened six-month season to facilitate a change to a fiscal year racing calendar, he isn’t discounting anyone from the chase.
“This season is shaping up to be very exciting with the six month format, we will be racing at all rounds apart from WA.
“We are hoping to do well from the get go but obviously learning what the new car requires from scratch could be interesting, we will definitely be doing our best and not holding back as usual.
“I suspect competitor numbers could be low for this short season and most events will be Competition and Super Stock combined (Super Comp), its difficult to tell exactly who our main rivals will be at this point as there are so many fast guys out there at present. My tip (this weekend) will be watch out for Daniel Camalleri and Shane Baxter in his new dragster.
Round 1 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series begins with qualifying this Saturday and eliminations on Sunday (Jan 17-18) at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland Victoria.