Thursday, 29 August 2019
Our annual Brisbane Jamboree pilgrimage is always a memorable thing for the Pac Performance team, no matter how things go for the team and our customers on track but every now and then we're treated to something extra special that really tops the cake for everyone!
When you looked at the entry list for the Pro Compact class along with all the online hype surrounding the 13B pro cars of late, it was easy to tell that this would be where the majority of the action would be over the 2 day event. This year we had 4 PAC team cars running including Rodney's new RX8 which at the time was the Australian 13B record holder with a 6.56@204 under its belt.
In testing prior to the weekend things were looking very promising for the RX8 with the crew joined by Joe & Johnathan from Profab Motorsport Fabrication who recently joined the team to help with rear end and suspension adjustments to get the car down the track.
With the assistance from these gurus we saw Rodney put down several solid test passes over Thursday and Friday with the car getting out of the hole nicely and shooting down the strip gun barrel straight, hugging the Willowbank track like Winnie The Pooh with his bowl of honey!
Come Friday afternoon though, an issue with the boost control solenoid saw the car see a nasty boost spike out of the hole which had the car turning the tyres violently at the 60-foot. Unfortunately it took some time to diagnose the problem which saw several passes aborted.
Working hard to try and sort the issue, extra pressure was put on the team after an impressive 6.530@202 by Steve Barnett late Friday night in the Blueprint Mazda6 saw him take back the Australian #1 title. As usual though, this only motivated the team even more to get the car on track and better that time once again.
The PACMAN crew were able to make headroom with the car late on Saturday when it counted with a loose 6.80@188 pass to qualify 3rd in the hotly contested class.
Going into Day 2 there was an air of confidence within the team which was only amplified after Rod's 1st pass for the day, a solid 6.539@200 against Sam Kiprios' 3RZ Starlet. Just shy of taking back the record, it was the spark that fired the team up big time heading into the business end of the event.
Keen to push the envelope and go for that six-forty time slip, Rocky gave the RX8 a little bit too much curry off the line which saw it pull the front wheels right off the deck across the sixty-foot. After a big peddle from Rodney, he was able to get back on the throttle thanks to the Microtech Power Shifter and drive the car to a 6.59@210 and another round win.
Unfortunately Rod dropped some bad news as he returned to the pits, thinking that the engine had seized in the breaking area... Prepared for every instance that could be thought of, the crew got to work, pulling the engine out of the car and prepping the spare Billet By PAC 13B block...
It wasn't until the team had the engine block out of the car, swapping accessories over that it was discovered that the block was not seized, in fact everything was in perfect working order... With the engine given a clean bill of health attention turned to the transmission when upon inspection it was revealed that the top gear circlip had snapped in 2, jamming the top gear set and locking the transmission.
With the issue pinpointed, the team slotted the engine back into the car along with the spare air shifted Liberty 5-speed box - All of this taking place over just 45 minutes, between rounds!
After a marathon effort, the RX8 rolled out for round 3 late Sunday afternoon ready to come out swinging... Lining up against Marcus Pepe in his full chassis 13B RX2, the crowd was pumped for a great race and boy did they deliver. Leaving the line like a bullet, the PACMAN RX8 shot down the strip recording a blistering 6.49@210, taking back the Australian 13B record! Adding to this triumph, with the RX2 running a 6.82@191 in the opposite lane, this was the first side-by-side 6-second pass in Australia.
Understandably the whole team was over the moon with the achievement and pumped to get the car back out to back up the record run. Unfortunately, with Rod cutting a red light in the pass against the RX2, this meant that the RX8 would not make it to the finals... Then much to our disappointment, we were unable to run an exhibition or match race, being told by officials that it wasn't possible to slot the car into the already full lineup...
Also racing in the Pro Compact class was Mario Rehayem in his tiny Pepper Money 13B Starlet. A consistent performer on the track Mario and his crew put in work all weekend, doing laps and running low 7s pretty much every pass.
With a very impressive 7.15@185 to 7.18@143 round one win against the 13B RX7 of Cory Abbott, Mario went into round 2 with confidence...
Unfortunately for Mario and his crew, their great run at the event faded at the worst time with Mario not being able to build enough of the line resulting in a poor sixty-foot and a loss in round 2. Moving into round 3 things didn't improve, much to the team's disappointment with the car blazing the tyres off the line. Overall the team were very happy with how the car performed over the weekend and so they should be!
Veteran racer Damien McKern once again brought his angry 20B RX2 out for a run in the ST289 class. After a short break from racing Damien and his crew were eager to run some good numbers and although the first pass on Saturday didn't go to plan, they made up for it with a solid 8.3 run shortly after...
Due to an issue with a faulty injector, the car missed several rounds of racing however, Damian rolled the car out for one more run on Sunday afternoon and ended the weekend on a high with a clean 8.05@169 on the back wheel past the 60-foot!
Anthony Daquino had his RX3 running like a bracket car all weekend with low 7s on every pass... Lined up in a match race against another 13B heavy hitter, Tony Grigich in The Ghost RX3, Anthony ran another solid 7.15@184 to Tony's 7.24@175 to take home the win
Unfortunately for the Daquino Racing crew, disaster struck late Sunday afternoon with the car suffering a catastrophic clutch failure in the deep end causing substantial damage to the cars running gear and ending their weekend prematurely. The boys have assured us though that the car will be back better than ever real soon!
Waving the PAC flag in Modified Compact, Al Rifai was keen to lay down some Hulk Smash in his retina burning green R100.
This was Al's first time racing at Willowbank raceway and although the nerves were there and the fact that the Al was leaving the line off the foot brake with no 2-step for the majority of the weekend, the car top qualified in the class and ran consistent 7-second passes.
Team Sadek were campaigning 2 cars at the event, Jay in his menacing 20B RX3 coupe racing in Pro Turbo and older brother Simon in Modified Compact in the 2 door RX3.
Both cars were sounding strong although a few gremlins held them back early on with Simon's car frying the tyres off the line and Jay's coupe having an electrical issue.
The boys still managed to get a few clean passes and a heap of data over the few days of testing and racing so they didn't go home empty handed.
Factory Xtreme was another hotly contested class this year and with three cars from the Pac stable racing the team was kept busy! Jason Both's 20B, Quick Drive-equipped FD RX7 was one of those cars and as usual ran super consistent all weekend...
Although a bit off the pace ET wise, Jason and his crew battled it out against some stiff competition and still managed to take several wins throughout the event, including honours for Best Burnout which he flaunted proudly to George after receiving the trophy.
In addition to this, if there was an award for the Wildest Ride, Jason would have been a shoe in after riding the wall, peddling and skating the car down the whole quarter mile trying to chase down the $1000 PWR Cash Boost prize.
Another car that ran consistently over the weekend was the Queen St Group BMW with Sam Meindanis behind the wheel.
Sam managed to put down some solid passes including an awesome side-by-side 6-second pass against Jason Both, a clean 6.91@194 which was their best pass of the event. Another car that's showing the consistency that comes from running the Quick Drive transmission setup.
For George and the Mazda6 SP it wasn't the best of weekends with dramas messing with the car through testing and the event itself including an issue with the air shifter double shifting and a broken diff center on Sunday afternoon which saw the car retired for the event.
George did however put down several of his signature half tack burnouts much to the pleasure of the crowd, (not so much Rocky) and a solid 6.58@208 against Tony Wedlock on Saturday night.
George also managed to take the win yet again from fellow racer Ben Bray in their Match Race, making it three wins in a row for the big 20B.
Needless to say George did his best to rub salt in Benny's wounds and although disappointed in his efforts, as always Ben was a good sport and played along with George's antics.
Overall the event was a memorable one for the whole PAC team and there was plenty to celebrate on Sunday night! We would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support us on the track, visit our merch stand and stop by the pits for a chat.
To our sponsors and partners that help make all this possible, Garrett - Advancing Motion, Microtech, Turbosmart, Penrith Mazda, Profab Motorsport Fabrications, Sydney Wrap Shop, Custom Bodyworks, Queen St Group, Connexion Concepts & Gadget Pro Electical, we truly appreciate your continued assistance and confidence in us!
And last but certainly not least, to our team, the crews and extended Pac family, you hard work and dedication never goes unnoticed!