We are still licking our wounds after the SpeedWeek 2007 non racing event. Heavy rans lead to flooding and the cancellation of SpeedWeek. Keith Turk and Gail Philips have gone back to the USA. Keith took his Camaro back to the States to race at Bonneville in August. He says he will return next year. This year I have managed to organise a trip to SpeedWeek USA 2007. So I will catch up with Keith Turk then and report all of the USA Salt News back to you - Stay tuned to Cruzin the Salt.
While Gail Philips has returned to the States, her streamliner has stayed in Australia and is on display at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood South Australia. Gail will be back for the Australian SpeedWeek next March. It's a really trick racer so if you get the chance, drop in and check it out.
Now we turn our attention to DLRA's Vice President, Steve Charlton - also fondly referred to as Animal! Steve runs the unofficial race headquarters for SpeedWeek from his Club Animal Bus, and no one is going to argue!
Dressed only in his jocks, Animal runs the DLRA auction. One night of SpeedWeek is dedicated to gathering around the campsite and watching Animal use his wit and humour (and jocks) to raise funds for DLRA. At one of the always memorable auctions, Animal coerced one of our members to bid for a box of demolished timing equipment - the same timing equipment that the member had taken out with his race car the previous day!
The DLRA campsite is a few kms from the Lake. No one is allowed to camp on the Lake unless they are supplying security services. DLRA has pronounced Club Animal as their official security service - we are happy to do this as it means that we can all get some sleep back at the race camp!
At SpeedWeek there must be a doctor on the ground before racing commences. One day we were all standing around waiting to race. The doctor was in a Cessna circling the Lake. Steve asked if anyone had a shotgun so we could get him on the ground faster and start racing!
To say the least, Steve Charlton has a presence.
On a more serious note, Animal is a very active DLRA member. He is present at all the meetings and spends most of SpeedWeek helping out anyway he can.
In 1996 Steve ran the Club Animal XA GT Falcon to a new record of 142 mph. He retired the XA GT in 2001 after 5 years with the best speed being 165.6 mph. Since then, he has run an EF Ford at 184 mph. Steve will race anything he can lay his hands on. He got his dad's (Ray Charlton) 32 roadster pumping at 140 mph and has even raced the Club Animal Bus at 66 mph - taking the land speed record for the fastest DLRA Security Bus.
Steve Charlton is a legend at the lake and we need more like him.
See you at the Lake, Norm Hardinge.