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Hockenheim 2005

ARRC on tour in 2005, Hockenheim Nitrolympxx

In 2005 we once again attended the Nitrolympxx at Hockenheim. The opportunity to race at such a famous location is almost irresistible although the track can be tricky since it's only used once a year.
That year was our first with the blown engine so we had methanol-meister Dave Wilson with us as a consultant.
Here we are somewhere on the road in Belgium.
Everybody joins the same queue for tech inspection. The bad news for Luke and Tom was that they had to push the car round as our crew car hadn't arrived.
The team checks out the track. You can see from the shine that it had been "glued" but we were not so sure about the amount of underlying rubber.
After the inspection we decided to change the first ratio in the gear box. Luke and Tom have the box in bits prior to changing the gear set.
New for that year was Hockenheim promoter Rico Anthes top fuel taxi. He had been using this to give German auto journalists passenger rides, a stunt which ensured plenty of column inches for him, the meeting and the sport.
We were pitted on the main start/finish straight and here we are towing down for our first practice run on Friday. Many teams were pitted in the F1 garages on the left, luxurious accommodation indeed.

Unfortunately when we got to the start line the car wouldn't fire so we had to tow back.
There were two problems, possibly connected.

Firstly the batteries wouldn't hold sufficient charge to start the car. In course of investigating this we found a second intermittent electrical problem.

Dave, Bowser, Andy and Gerry ponder the suspect section of wiring.

The solution was to install two new batteries and remake a section of the loom.
All was well for our first competitive run on Saturday morning.

Bowser, Luke and Tom look on as Andy burns out.

We were in a cannonball type competition with the best three of four runs to count and the two fastest cars to run in a final.

We ran a 6.4, which was 3/10ths ahead of the rest of the field. 
Between rounds we pulled off the blower to re-torque the heads.

Andy and Bowser get ready to pass it over to Tom and Gerry so that all four can lower it back into place.
This is the view from the top of the grandstand while Andy burns out in the second round on Saturday afternoon.

The Grand Prix track cuts away from the strip at about the 1000 foot mark which you can see from the change in colour.

We ran a 6.6, this time only 2/10ths clear of the field.
Sadly Sunday morning dawned wet and windy as you can see from the shiny track
Things had dried up a bit by 2:00 pm so a number of cars were asked to do a burn out and launch to reward the spectators who had waited patiently in the rain.

The burnout was as wild as you would expect on a dampish track as you can see from the wavy black stripes.
Although this was show time we followed the normal start line procedure and you can see Bowser bringing Andy up to the line.

Danny Cockerill's ARRC built 57 Chevy in the other lane.
One of the unusual things about the Nitrolympxx is that dinner is provided for the racers at the awards ceremony after the end of racing.
Although there had been no racing Rico decided to award the trophies anyway. Because we had the two fastest times we were given the Pro Mod Thunder trophy.
Tom, Stephani, Kate, Andy, Luke, Dave and Bob were on hand for the photograph. Gerry and Bowser were already on their way home.

This picture by Andy Willsheer
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