Victorian Top Doorslammer racer Rob ‘the Mad Professor’ Taylor will travel from one end of the country to the other next week to participate in back-to-back ANDRA events in Darwin and Alice Springs.
The bio chemist – who runs the Melbourne Sports Science and Anti-Aging Clinic – will take part in next weekend’s Nitro Up North event (Hidden Valley Raceway, July 8 and 9) before racing in the Desert Nationals (Alice Springs Dragway, July 16 and 17) the very next weekend.
“Our trucks are in Queensland at the moment, so we will fly our driver up to Queensland on the 1st of July and he will drive up to arrive in Darwin by the following Wednesday, which is when we will fly in,” said Taylor.
“We will set-up and then take a few days to regroup and put some ideas together. We are going there to run at the pointy end of the field, not to muck around, so we will be putting in some serious preparation upon arrival.
“We know the track will be there – the Darwin track is just phenomenal, it is one of the best in the country, and we are pretty much running consistent ‘fives’ these days so we know what we are doing now, at least we think so!
“As long as the weather permits as far as the humidity goes and so forth, we want to and expect to run some really good numbers in Darwin, and start off our Championship chase.
“It (the title chase) is definitely already on my mind – realistically we can be at the pointy end of the field, and I will be having more and more seat time this year as we are introducing a Funny Car as well which will be set-up identically as far as their operation, so I believe that will be beneficial for our program as well.
“We are certainly going to be putting a lot of pressure on our crew this year – Anthony Rodriguez (tuner), Ali Saed (engine builder) and Con Maritas (clutch) – with the two cars but I am sure they are up to it. I am very appreciate to all of them and also to my wife Georgie and my family for their support, I know we can put together a great effort this season.”
When it comes to the Alice Springs event the following weekend, the venue is something of an unknown for the team despite previous experience at the track.
“Alice Springs is going to be an unknown quantity for us as although I was fortunate enough to race there last year in the Red Centre Nationals in my street car, it has been upgraded since then,” said Taylor.
“I had a lot of fun there, it is a nice and wide and flat track and with the upgrade I am expecting it to be great. With running during the day I am not sure how the numbers will fare with the heat, but we are definitely looking to do well and it will be very interesting to see who can get on top of the tune-up amidst the weather conditions.”
Aside from the logistical challenge of moving cars and crew and equipment from one end of the country to the other for the upcoming racing, there is another large ‘shift’ for the team in heading up North.
“I am definitely looking forward to the warmer weather up there in Darwin!” laughed Taylor.
“It is very cold here in Victoria at the moment, and Scotty (MacLean – Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association President and Top Alcohol Funny Car driver) keeps sending me photos of what the weather is like up there which is making me very keen to get up there!
“I absolutely love it up North. At both Darwin and Alice Springs events you find really good events and good people who go out of their way to help you, and it is a community-based feel up there which I really like.”