Machine is ready to fire
DRAG RACING: Paul Winkel is just about ready to start his new engine.
A step up in class means that the owner-operator at PTWAuto Electrical has had to engineer a new engine to be tested at Ironbark Raceway this weekend in the supercharge outlaw class.
Running on a small block, the new supercharged engine with a BDS 6-71 blower, mechanical fuel injection and carrying around 1000 horsepower, the mean machine should be a force to be reckoned with come race day.
Putting the engine together was a massive operation for Paul, who has worked tirelessly to see it fully developed.
"The whole engine has been going on for several years, but we really got serious in the last 12 months to finally get it done,” he said.
"I finished racing around this time last year to rip the old engine out and start on it but we didn't really expect it to take this long - we were hoping it would only take a few months.”
With every new machine comes a large step into the unknown and with this machine carrying almost double the horsepower, Paul will be taking it slow on its maiden drive.
"We've put all the good bits in it so I'm not too worried about it holding together but it'll just be down to me and whether I can nerve it,” he laughs.
"A lot of work gone has gone into it to ensure it is as safe as possible.
"Everything is about safety - if it's not safe
then there's no point jumping in.”
Even for someone like Paul, who has been racing for years, nerves are still very much a part of flying down a straight at hundreds of kilometres an hour.
"It's usually just those first few passes,” he said.
"Once you get those out of the road, you feel comfortable again and it's usually not too bad from that point on.”