This weekend’s Desert Nationals at Alice Springs Dragway will have plenty to entertain the fans of all things on two-wheels, including racing from Modified Bike and nitro-fuelled exhibition action from Top Fuel Motorcycle defending champion Chris Porter.
For Modified Bike racer and NT local Colin ‘Baldy’ Sainsbury, who has been racing since 1997, the Alice Springs venture follows quickly on from what he votes as a very pleasing adventure in Darwin.
“I had a fantastic weekend – we came out in Friday qualifying and ran a 9.219 second pass and we were happy with that straight off the trailer. We had done a lot of changes and prep work in the lead-up to the event, so to run so strong early was very pleasing,” said Sainsbury, who thanks supporters Hutchinson Builders, Alicross Motorcycle Engineering, Alice Poultry Supplies, Darwin River Diggers, Rogues SMC Darwin, The Footy Tips Mob and Centreforce Drag Racing.
“In the second run we laid down another 9.2, and we thought – well this is good, we are on the money, we are consistent, and things are going well. This was important as at my last event, which was my first event of the season, it wasn’t really that good of a day as I got dehydrated and ended up in the ambulance, so it was good to get back to where I should be.
“In the third qualifying session I actually stalled it coming back from the burnout so I wasn’t able to run, as I use a remote starter and you have to start under your own power. But even so, after the two ‘9.2s’ I was happy, and I decided to use that as my dial-in.
“In the first round, I came out against Gordon Crawford, who I raced in the event last year and actually beat, so he came up to me and said ‘oh no, I have got you again,’” laughed Sainsbury, who has a number of Hidden Valley Modified Bike track championships and runner-up results to his name. “I think he got anxious and he red-lit, and I ended up having a fantastic run with a 9.209s pass on a 9.20s dial-in – I was on target and we were going really well.
“In round two I faced up against local Mark Tattingham who is very hard to beat. We did a lot of work to prepare and we dialled in at a 9.2s, but we should have changed it to 9.0s. Long story short, I broke out (crossed the line faster than the dial-in). But the good side of it is that I ran a personal best – 9.053 seconds at 151 miles per hour, and one of my best times to the 60 foot mark.
“I could have backed off at the end but no, I kept going, and it was fantastic. It was just a perfect run and exactly what I was asking for – I am actually aiming for the eight second zone. While we might not have taken the win, we are on target and when I get to Alice Springs I am going to try and crack that eight second marker!
“When it comes to drag racing – I just love it. It is very addictive. I am very keen to get to Alice Springs, especially now they are running the quarter-mile distance again.”