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Mark Hadfield

Driver Profile

 

Mustang taking shape

The hot topic at the Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) meeting on the 8th July will be "do we run two tracks Bonneville style"? With the growth of the sport in Australia (DLRA now has 692 members) it's probably the smart way to go. We will be able to double the number of passes during SpeedWeek. Rod Hadfield and I are off to Bonneville in a couple of weeks so we will check out how their system operates.

 

This month we introduce to you Mark Hadfield. Mark is a member of Castlemaine Rods. He competed at the lake for the first time in 1991 and he has been to every meet since. The first car he ran was a 66 Mustang Coupe. He managed 152 mph with his street motor (street motor! 152 mph with his street motor!). He was doing top speed when the bonnet took off ripping the hinges clean out of engine bay and bending the Mussy's roof far enough to hit Mark's helmet.

 

Mark said the best things in the early years of SpeedWeek were Eddie Ford clowning around at the race camp, and watching the Yank's faces when a group of kangaroos bounced across the lake.

 

But he also remembers his worst year with his Mustang. In 1999, the first run destroyed his new Supra gearbox. CRS sent out a replacement overnight to Adelaide. Because Adelaide is a 7 hour drive from the lake, Mark borrowed a ute so that we would not have to take his truck. The day got much worse when Mark also blew up the borrowed ute's gearbox on the outskirts of Adelaide. He then had to hire a car, pick up the replacement Supra gearbox and get back to the Lake! That's dedication!

 

Mark got serious about the salt and, with the help of Ray Charlton, purpose built a 67 Mustang. Still running Mark's so called 'street' motor and box the mustang ran a record 165.61 mph.

 

In 2001 Gary Myers in his Blown 302 Mustang ran 170.003 mph. A good effort first time out. Mark's naturally aspirated 'street' motor ran 167 mph at the same meet. Only 3 mph slower than a Blown 302. Some good advise - don't race Mark at the lights!

 

Wally James offered Mark the use of his 302 Boss motor which lead to another class record in 2002 of 179.104 mph. Wally and Mark tried out an aerodynamic nose on the Mussy and ran 13 mph faster.

 

On the down side, Mark was present at both of his brother's major salt lake racing accidents. The cause of Rod's first accident was the snapping of the front axle in a rail while going full speed. The second, a NOS bottle exploded taking out the front of the car. Mark talks of the deep sick feeling he felt on both occasions before he knew that his brother was going to be alright.

 

Mark is a gentleman. He is a very active member of the DLRA and helps to run SpeedWeek. Mark would specially like to thank Ray Charlton and Wally James for all their help.

 

See you at the Lake.

 

Mark, Georgie and Wally

Mark lines up with Gary Myres

One bent bonnet

Mustang gets pointy nose to go fast!

 

Last modified: June 08, 2006