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Winternationals 4th to 7th June 2009 - Brisbane

Well, here we are at the “Grand Finale′”.  The Winternationals  - our last ANDRA meeting in Australia.  The team cannot afford to carry on.  We knew this was the last time that we would all be together and we wanted to go out on a high!  The team had set some goals – very, very high goals and the planning was in place.  Bruce was deserving of being the crew chief for this meeting and Roger took a back seat.

 
KARCHER Nitro Champs Sydney 1st - 3rd May 2009

This was the meeting that the team was really looking forward to – we weren’t saying it, but we all knew it could be the one where we claimed the ANDRA championship title.  We were crossing our fingers that the meeting wasn’t going to be destroyed by bad weather, which had been the case with the two previous meetings (Australian Nationals and Summer Nationals).  For those of you who don’t know what a “Christmas Tree” is in dragracing terms, it is the golden trophy, depicting the startline lights that ANDRA gives to winners at only three meetings a season, and it is highly sought after by racers.  We wanted to get the whole series  .......

 
Westernationals Perth Feb 28th & March 1st

 

 

Getting to this meeting was a big worry.  It was only eight days beforehand that transport was arranged for the container/trailer.  The cost of moving across Australia was getting prohibitive and trying to get affordable transport wasn't easy.  Once again Athol made the four day drive from teh East Coast, a very wearying task,..........

 

 
New Year Series 2

 

 

First meeting for Top Bike in the New Year and the team arrived at the track to the well setup pit area with lunch already waiting.  Roger and Athol had arrived two days previously and setup the container.  Steve and Margie Paris flew in from Darwin on race morning prior to the rest of the Stud Racing team getting there and Margie did the catering.  It was a very welcoming area and the team were keen to start the days racing.

 

 
Goldenstates Perth 14th & 15th Nov. 2008

The Stud Racing team gathered in Perth via many roads.  Athol drove across Australia for four days towing the trailer.  The New Zealand crew met in Sydney to meet up with their crew chief arriving from America, to travel onto Perth.

 

 

 

After the disappointment of the last meeting the main objective was just to qualify and to get their 2008/09 season back on track

 
Spring Top Fuel Championships Sept 08

 

Spring Top Fuel Championships

Willowbank

26th & 27th September 2008

 

Well, this is one racing event that the team will refer to as CUSTARD. 

 

We felt really well prepared for the first round of qualifying and what did we get dealt with,  

 

 
Aussie Nats Sept 08

 

AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS

12th to 14th September 2008

Western Sydney International Dragway

 

After a frustrating week of trying to get our trailer and container cleared, off the wharf, to the track, setup and fully operational, Friday the 12th arrived and the Stud Racing team felt well prepared and eager to get the first qualifying round of the Australian Nationals out of the way.  The team were determined to go out and set a good time and mph right from the start! 

 

 

 
June to Aug 2008

Between winning the Winternationals in June and the end of August, we have managed to completely strip our container and refit it all out again into what we hope is a more managable and user friendly workspace.  Unlike other teams we do not have a truck with separate compartments for the various functions of the team, e.g. bike compartment, spares compartment, mechanical and tool department, sleeping quarters and kitchen.....for us its just one room 40ft long and 8ft wide.  

 

2007 - 2008 ANDRA Top Bike Championship

 Download news here
View our Winternationals Winning Run
 

The Stud Racing team came away from attending the 2008 Nitro Champs in Sydney not despondent about the semi-final loss to Leonard Azzopardi. In fact it was quite the opposite. Running over five personal best’s the team are overwhelmed by the constancies.

 
March 08

I don’t know what we have to do to make the New Zealand public aware of our achievements, seems that if you aren’t an All Black or a V8 driver then any major international achievement is not to be recognised.

We live in Pokeno, New Zealand, but race in Australia, making the frequent fly across the ditch to race.  Our machine is in a 40ft container which is transported from track to track in OZ.

What is our machine you ask……….it is a TOPFUEL dragbike…………..there is nothing like it in New Zealand.  See the scanned poster attached for all the details.  1500 cc, with a possible 1500 horse power – ON TWO WHEELS.

 

News Archive

 

The Summer Nationals at Western Sydney International Dragway on the 15th and 16th of February saw yet another New Zealander in the winning seat. Athol Williams and crew, won the first ever “Christmas Tree” for New Zealand, when they defeated the Australian Harley rider, Brett Stevens in a close final round.

 

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ENGINES
ENGINES

We now have 3 engines, 2 long motors and 1 short motor.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS 07
AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS 07

#4 Qualifier

We were in unknown territory, with the corrected altitude between 2400 and 3000ft above sea level, but by tipping the can, soon got onto the tune up, but continued to play around in the clutch department to try and sort out the 60ft times, which have always been poor.

Redlit in the first round of eliminations against Dennis Grant.

THANKS TO THE SAINTY FAMILY
THANKS TO THE SAINTY FAMILY

BIG THANKS TO STAN, MARG and NORM SAINTY FOR ALL THERE SUPPORT

EAST COAST NATIONALS 07
EAST COAST NATIONALS 07

#1 Qualifier

Crossed the centre line in the first round of eliminations against Leonard Appazdazdi who also cross the centre line. It was determined that Athol had crossed first in front of Leonard, and was disqualified.

19/06/06 - WINTERNATS 07
19/06/06 - WINTERNATS 07

#2 Qualifier with a 6.59 second pass @ 213.98

Snapped a conrod and wasn't able to contest the elimination rounds.

NEW SPONSOR: GATES RACING
NEW SPONSOR: GATES RACING

THE STUD RACING CREW WOULD LIKE TO OFFICIALLY WELCOME NEW SPONSOR GATES RACING NZ TO THE TEAM

BUSY
BUSY

The rebuild is going well.

Roger was seen in the USA in November at the Gainsville World Finals wearing a Team Blue uniform

Roger was also spotted back in the USA attending a New Years Eve party hosted at a NHRA Top Fuel Dragsters crew chiefs house.

WHAT A BUSY BOY!!!

BOOM!!!!
BOOM!!!!

The bike went BOOM at the Australian Nationals only hours ago. Check out the photos in the gallery, Word from Athol is that he is ok, he's got a "Bit of a sore leg", as for the bike....  

WSID
WSID

Red Lit in round-one of eliminations due to brake failure.... STORY TO COME SOON

TRANS-TASMAN CHALLENGE
TRANS-TASMAN CHALLENGE

Athol was runner-up to Brett Stevens at Darwin... MORE TO COME SOON 

ATHOL COLLECTS BOTH WILLOWBANK BEST RUN AWARDS FOR 2006
ATHOL COLLECTS BOTH WILLOWBANK BEST RUN AWARDS FOR 2006

Athol recently returned to Brisbane to collect both of the Willowbank Raceway best run trophies for the 2006 season.

Best Paired Run 2006 - Involving a local or local racers - Athol Williams and Brett Stevens, Top Bike Final, Castrol EDGE Winternationals, June 11, 2006

Best Paired Run 2006 - Involving out-of-division racers - Athol Williams and Jay Upton, Top Bike Round-one Eliminations, Castrol EDGE Winternationals, June 11, 2006

WOO!! and all in his International Debut.

WINTERNATIONALS SUCCESS!
WINTERNATIONALS SUCCESS!

Well the Winternationals in Brisbane have been and gone, a week ago, 9th, 10th and 11th June 2006.  What a success we had!  Athol and Roger went across on the 28th May to clear the container, get it to the track and set up, plus do some testing and tuning.  Athol put the cat amongst the pidgeons in his first couple of test runs - creating a PB and into his first 6 second pass just like that!  Got the Aussies stirred up rather quickly.  We Kiwi's kept the wild card playing all throughout the Winternationals meeting..........

Friday - Qualifying, came up against Jay Upton who blipped, blipped, blipped down the track with problems and Athol ended up with a 6.77 second pass at 213mph against Jay's 8.26 at 193mph.  That ended up being the only qualifying run for top bike, as Saturday, which had two qualifying runs scheduled, was rained out.

Sunday - Quarter finals and we are up against Jay again!  Not what we wanted, nor what Jay wanted either - we thought that would be the end of us for the day, but believe it or not, Athol bet Jay off the start line and although Jay did a faster time of 6.75 compared with Athol's 6.77, Athol got to the finish line first and won!  Unbelievable.

Semi-finals, and up against Phil Parker.  Had a bit of maintenance to do between rounds and cut getting to the start line so fine, that the crew literally ran with the bike and stand the full 1/4 mile from our pit area (which was next to the finish line) through the cheering crowd, (GO KIWI's, GO KIWI's - their coming, their coming!) yelling for people to get out of the way to the startline staging area. Fortunately Brett and Troy had not started their machines, so the round had not commenced and we were in!  Phil Parker must have thought he had it easy for a time there.  We ran a 7.3 with Parker not even leaving the start line, he had an obvious breakage we assume he thought he might be in for some easy money, if we did not show.  So we were into the final.

Final and Brett Stevens (the Boss) was our competition in the left lane.  What a crowd wowser of a race!  Brett successfully won with a PB of 6.50 at 344kph and Athol did another PB of 6.62 at 338kph, Athol was .06 of a second slower off the line and basically maintained that time difference all the way down the track until the 1000ft mark when he lost a cylinder, so it was a really close race!  WOW what a start.

17/05/06 - NEWS FLASH - ROGER OFF TO THE USA
17/05/06 - NEWS FLASH - ROGER OFF TO THE USA

Roger has just purchased a new milling machine and lathe, both with digital readouts, and is going to be making Top Fuel crank cases, crankshafts, heads, etc from scratch. Also Complete race bikes. What you want is what you will get.

He is also off to work in Larry McBrides shop for 6 weeks after the Winter Nationals at Willowbank.

Enquiries regarding Rogers products to RBP@vodafone.net.nz

12/05/06 - THE CONTAINER HAS LEFT
12/05/06 - THE CONTAINER HAS LEFT

The Stud Racing bike, along with five other NZ bikes are now on their way to OZ to race at the Winter Nationals, then racing at Mackay and Darwin on the 12th and 19th August respectively.  Wish us all luck.

22/01/06 - ATHOL CRASHES IN LAST RUN
22/01/06 - ATHOL CRASHES IN LAST RUN

Athol escapes injury when he put his bike though a fence at Champion today.

In the last round of grudge matches against Jay Upton of Australia, Athol crashed his Top Fuel Dragbike in the breaking area. Jay Upton posted a 200+ MPH run to end the meet.

Athol is well, and the bike will be back to race another day.

07/01/06 - NEW ZEALAND RECORD BROKEN
07/01/06 - NEW ZEALAND RECORD BROKEN

A 7.51 and 7.61 ( In the dark) makes us the fastest ever dragbike team in New Zealand and the fastest ever time run here by any Dragbike.

02/01/06 - LAKESIDE OPENING
02/01/06 - LAKESIDE OPENING

Rained out. Everytime Jay and Athol stepped up to the line it would rain. Zero Passes for either bike.

??? - JAY UPTON TO RACE IN NZ
??? - JAY UPTON TO RACE IN NZ

We can confirm Jay Upton, the fastest bike in OZ will be crossing the ditch to race Athol at the Lakeside opening, and at Champion on the 22 January.

27/11/05 - MASTERTON RAINED OUT
27/11/05 - MASTERTON RAINED OUT
23/10/05 - RUAPUNA
23/10/05 - RUAPUNA

This was our first real race meeting and everyone was really keen and looking forward to the day. The weather was fabulous and Christchurch turned out a good crowd. There was huge interest in the bike and we were pleased to see people consistently milling around our pit area.

Our crew look very professional in their new black and fluro orange uniforms, with check caps. Athol looks very impressive in his orange, black, white and silver leathers. The bike and rider's lines all match and are very striking.

Athol did four runs, still not to full power all the way down the track, but did achieve a 60ft time of 1.136sec, on his second pass, which exceeded Chris Hannah's ( Previous owner) personal best card of 1.169sec at the same mark. If he had kept it at full throttle, he would have been under the 7sec 1/4 mile time.

His strength was tested in the 3rd and 4th runs, when the bike veered severely to the right, but he kept it determinedly upright.  

15/10/05 - CHAMPION TEST AND TUNE
15/10/05 - CHAMPION TEST AND TUNE

First runs on the new bike, day ended with many breakages - Drive chain, drive and blower belts, sprag, sprockets, piston head meltdown, broken cam shaft...

06/08/05 - ARRIVAL DAY
06/08/05 - ARRIVAL DAY

The Bike has arrived in the country!!

12/07/05 - Athol Williams, Top Fuel
12/07/05 - Athol Williams, Top Fuel

My name is Athol Williams and my wife is Sharon.  As you know we have just bought Chris "Cannon" Hannam's top fuel drag bike.  Firstly, Ian King, "what a web site" you run, especially "Pit Lane Gossip".  I know it is visited WORLD WIDE.  That is where I first saw Chris's plea for pit crew or sale of his Nitro scooter.  I am sure all of your readers would congratulate you on such a site.

Well now, I am 50 years young, born and breed in New Zealand with Scottish ancestry.  I joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1972 and in May 1975 went to Rosyth, Scotland for 9 months to finish my training.  During this time in Scotland, I was named a motorbike nut as I had a Richman Fairing, Read Titan rear sets, Yoshimura cams, pistons, 4 into one and carbs, S&W shocks and a frame kit for a Kawasaki Z1 900 in my cabin, but at the time I owned a K1 Honda 750.  The day after I arrived home a Z1 was purchased and most of the gear installed the same day.

Then in 1977 I went back to the UK for the Spithead review on HMNZS Canterbury.  This time I bought more Yoshimura cams, springs and carburettors, a different Yoshimura 4 into 1 and then started dragracing.

Next came RC gear - RC400 cam and springs, 1200cc 14 to 1 compression pistons, sidewinder megaphone, drop sump struts, Kosman outrigger swing arm, different wheelie bars, fibreglass fuel tank cover, air shifter, Vertex mag etc.  I was HOOKED, hook line and sinker. 

Then came the dreaded hollow oilie sound - the motor was totalled - exhaust cam in three pieces, valve in piston, crank broke, cases cracked - you know - EXPENSIVE!  So, I went and crewed on Mike Gearing's top fuel dragster for 8 to 10 years, then got back into scuba diving.  Dragracing in New Zealand was on a bit of a down hill spiral, so lobsters and scallops sounded good for a while.

Then, in 2003, Brett Stevens "Jack Daniels Racing" came to New Zealand on tour with 2 top doorslammers, 1 skid car, 2 fuel Harleys and 2 ex Kiwi hangers on from Darwin - Margie Hoggard and Steve Paris.  So off to the local track I went to sniff Nitro, but Margie decided to climb off her bike at 1/3 track while in full motion.  I collected her bike, the following morning and got it up and running for the following meeting, which she won.  Then Steve and Margie asked me to crew for the last meeting at the local track.  Bugger, hooked again!

I went to the 2004 NHRA Las Vegas meeting, then onto the "Worlds" and saw Larry McBride run his first 5 second pass at Gainsville.

In January 2005 Ian King's Pit Lane Gossip had "Cannon - Crew up or sell up".  I was keen!  Then a couple of months on in Pit Lane Gossip Neil was going to buy it.  S**T, S**T, S**t!, but no, that did not happen.

 In March 2005, Steve and Margie arrived in New Zealand with a 20ft container and 7 drag bikes from Darwin and Alice Springs, Australia. Our place was their base. I towed most of them back down the return road, and moved their container around the country to three meetings. "The TransTasman Challenge" was back on. We then started arranging a trip to Australia for next year - a 40ft container of bikes to do three meetings - MacKay, Darwin and Alice Springs.

I then bought "Cannons" bike and now we plan to include the Winternationals at Willowbank.

There is going to be 5 televised meetings in New Zealand, which I intend to participate in, then we are off to Australia once I get to grips with this awesome Bike (which Chris and a few of the boys are going to show me how to ride and look after). I guess 44 amp mags and billet heads will definitely be on the shopping list.

I intend to set up our operation in a 40ft highcube container on a new 41ft Ultra-lo Skel tri-axle trailer with a 2 ton tail lift, which will be towed behind our 2553 Mercedes Benz 6x4 tractor unit. I do things 100% or not at all.

Our company can be viewed on www.studnz.co.nz and is also linked from www.dragbikenz.com

The New Zealand drag racing scene is really hotting up with Martin Pecks (UK) bike, Roger Bloore's self built Funny bike, Doug Hayes nitro Harley, Richard Maunder's Pro mod (come on Richard, come out to play....) and a number of others that can be seen on the www.dragbikenz.com site which is starting to get regular hits from the USA, Europe and Australia."

Gossip comment:- Welcome to the world of Top Fuel Bike ownership Athol, and thank's for your kind words. We look forward to hearing of your exploits and make sure you kick Martin's a**..........!!

09/07/05 - CANNON AND PUMA GO DOWNUNDER
09/07/05 - CANNON AND PUMA GO DOWNUNDER

Following an email we received in January from one of our New Zealand based readers regarding bikes for sale in Europe, we can now confirm that UK Top Fuel Bike racer Chris Hannam has sold his Top Fuel Bike to Athol Williams of Pokeno, Franklin District NZ. 

"Athol and I spoke some time ago after reading the Gossip page on King Racing said Cannon.  "At the time Athol was crewing on a Top Fuel Dragster and could not commit, then out of the blue came the call and a deal was done. After speaking with Neil Midgley I decided to let it go although with sadness as I feel like it's unfinished business. I never back out on a deal, I have stood by my word, so I would appreciate all the budding Crew Chiefs not to come out of the woodwork as it's gone.

"Athol is also a good friend of Martin Peck and will be traveling around with him. He plans to race in Australia and the USA, he has ordered a new double deck trailer and plans to do the job right. As we all know Top Fuel ain't easy, the plan is for myself and Neil to get the bike ready to run, which we will do and we will then take it to Elvington to run it up and make sure that every thing is OK so that when it gets down south its ready to run. 

Athol has requested that Midgo and I go out to New Zealand and show him and the team the way round the bike, although I think the best man would be Frank Brachtvogel as he built the bike - so there you go, fancy a free holiday Frank? We will see." 

Cannon says that he does not know where he goes from here. "As some of you know I have been doing track days in my Mitsubishi and have just ordered a new Evo9 GT from Japan, and I intend to build a monster track car for now as it's easy and fits in with the big work load I have with the new factory", he says. "In time I'm sure things will level out and I may start another project, maybe even a Pro Mod the same as Danny Cockerill's as its an awesome piece of kit, who knows? "

Support and help will still be there when required for Midgo, Martin Bishop and Steve Venables and I will get to the track as and when I can. Lastly I would like to thank everybody who has helped and been involved with the Fuel bike and for helping me to achieve my goal. I wish Athol good luck with his new bike."

03/01/05 - CREW UP OR SHIP UP FOR CANNON
03/01/05 - CREW UP OR SHIP UP FOR CANNON

Cannon announces his intentions to sell his Top Fuel Dragbike.

Chris Hannam has been in contact regarding his racing plans or the Fuel Bike this season and it is almost a case of black and white.  The bottom line is that unless a new crew volunteers for his team the bike will continue to be on sale.  Chris went on to explain;-

"Well we are into the new year at last and may I wish everybody all the best for 2005.  As many of your will know after racing in the USA and achieving my goal of a six second pass in March 2004 my fuel bike had to take a back seat as work had to come 1st.  After investing in new purpose built premises and new state of the art CNC machinery racing was the last thing I needed to worry about although I was twitching all year to come out and play.  Eventually we did so at the Euro finals in September totally unprepared but broke a sprocket and now it would seem the sprague on the 1st pass.  This is not how I want to race and after some serious thinking over the last week of doing nothing I have made a decision.  I now feel that Cannon Engineering is now settling down in it's new building and in November I spoke at length with Tony Lang of MTC, Larry and Steve McBride and of course the big stinker Jay Regan about working and racing and the way forward, all with different opinions but all veterans with a wealth of experience.  Being over there smelling the nitro and watching the 1st 5 second pass at Gainesville certainly revs you up.  I even spoke about new Vance and Hines heads and a new Opcon blower with Larry - all very attainable and along with a new spare gearbox we would have at least 2 of everything which is what you need when you are learning if you are to go rounds.

As most will know fuel motors are not easy to tune especially with my big butt on which makes our achievement all the more impressive and I would relish the challenge to go faster and once again get out there and race.  But this is where it gets hard as I now know what is involved to go fast.  Money alone cannot make this happen you need a good crew, although I feel that in the USA we did have a super crew of Neil Midgley, Al Cook, Andy Richards with help and advice from Tony and Gina Lang and Larry McBride.  However this does not prepare the bike back home which is where the between meeting work is done.  I would love all the boys to say lets do it as they are a great bunch of guys who deserve every accolade for the 6 too but it?s not to be as Neil has a 4th Funnybike title to chase, Al has options in the car world and Andy is working hard at his electrical business.  All will help out where they can but this is not how a Fuel bike should be run.  I still have Paul Beaumont and Junior who are good crew but we need that special person who can take the pressure from me, someone who knows how to build a motor and organize when under pressure and be able to work within a team for the team.

So there you go if you think that this might be your thing and you are interested in Fuel bike racing then please let me know as I cannot and will not make a half baked attempt to race.  I know I can race and I have what I believe to be one of the best chassis and setups in the world it just needs that team to gel and start working together to bring that out and with time I'm sure that results will come.

However there is always a catch, if no one suitable can be found then I will still be selling the operation.  So if you fancy going Fuel bike here's your chance, and at a bargain price too especially as the bike is only 2 years old and built by Frank Brachtvogel and Pete Davis."

Winternationals 4th to 7th June 2009 - Brisbane

Well, here we are at the “Grand Finale′”.  The Winternationals  - our last ANDRA meeting in Australia.  The team cannot afford to carry on.  We knew this was the last time that we would all be together and we wanted to go out on a high!  The team had set some goals – very, very high goals and the planning was in place.  Bruce was deserving of being the crew chief for this meeting and Roger took a back seat.