2001 – Summernats 14 – My First Summernats as an Entrant

Summernats 14 was the 5th summernats I have been to, but it was my first as an entrant.The car we entered was a 1978 TE cortina, with a injected 4.1L out of a XE Falcon. Full custom interior, loud sports exhaust and 16″ ROH ZS’s.We only finished the car the day we went to canberra (Wed Jan 3rd). We where still running around getting things done that morning, before we could get it registered.Mick wanted to drive the car to canberra, but I insisted we tow it there..

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We had to make a stop off at a mates place on the way to canberra to get a tail shaft loop fitted.What should have been a 1 hour job, turned into a 5 hour job, and we where a little late to scruiteneering.We turned up at about 7pm (4 hours past our designated time) but everything was OK.

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Thursday the 4th of Jan was the first day the Summernats gates where open to the public.
It was nice and quiet – not too many people. We cruised around a bit, and checked out a lot of the traders stands.On our way back to the hotel we had a bit of a “hic up”. Driving along Northbourne Ave, the engine just stopped. We pulled over on to the side of the road, and tried to get the car going again.
Mick was checking the relays, and when he went to pull one of them out, it snapped in half.!!

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Just as that happened, a couple of guys in a Turbo Gemini pulled in behind us. Their car was overheating and they wanted it to cool down for a few mins.I asked them to give us a lift back to our hotel, and they said no problems.So we went to the hotel, got the Fairmont and the trailer and went back to get the corty.We then spent the rest of the day driving around Canberra looking for a place that had a relay for the corty.

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We did find a wrecker that had one, and they wanted $250 for it!!! Repco had brand new ones for cheaper than that – but they had none in stock.
It was at this point that Mick remembered he had 2 spare relays in his garage at home, so he called a mate who was going to Summernats the next day and asked him to stop by the house and get the relays for him.Karl (Micks mate) came to save the day the next morning. They had the relay in, in no time, and it was at this point they discovered the reason why the car had died the previous day. The fuel pump had seized.

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We went back down to Summernats, and were looking around trying to find a new fuel pump. It was a bit hard, cos we didn’t know what type of pump it was (an EFI pump that fits a Corty Tank ?). We were just comparing the ones we saw, with what we had with us.We where almost at the point if giving up, when a trader asked us “why have you got a Commodore fuel pump mate?” Turns out this guy really knows his commodores – and recognised the pump as one from a VK.So it was off to the local Holden wrecker, where we found the pump, and 30 mins later, the cortina was back on the road.!!

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The next couple of days went ok. We did the grass events, and at the time we did it, we where ranked 2nd in the motokhana. But we got beaten in the 2nd day of competition.Had fun in the “Flag Grab” – the replacement to the “Spear the Spud”. Although I am sure we would have done heaps better if the car hadn’t stalled half way through.

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Saturday night was a bit scary. There where people everywhere and it was really hard to drive around. People where just walking out in front of the car without looking, they wouldn’t move off the road to let the cars go past, they where yelling abuse, and some people where even throwing things at the cars.We decided to leave early that night.On the Sunday we went down to watch the Go to Whoa finals and the Burnout’s, but by 3pm, we where exhausted, and sun burnt, so we packed up and started heading home.Even though there was a few drama’s I really enjoyed myself, and I am defiantly gonna enter my car in next Summernats.

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