We are all racers, even the crew, we innovate, we overcome, we find solutions to problems we never thought we could, the need to continually go faster is always forefront in our thought process, the need to get the car to handle better and ultimately to win at whatever level we are at, thatís the GOAL, if the adrenaline pumps hard all day you fall asleep real early that night, the elation in standing on the Number 1 platform and receiving that shiny plastic trophy makes all the blood sweat and tears including all the money youíve spent so so worth it!
However with all thatís been said above we are all frightened of change, we have a set up that works, we may change it too much and take another year to get back to where we were, we might disagree as a team to go in the right direction, the racers are however only the drivers and without the team weíre pretty much nothing, the team consists of Arron Springford and Lynn Purvis, and a helping hand from Jedd Guy, we carve a path, we have direction, we have harmony, it can get mad and a tad hectic with last minute adjustments just before we run, but proven performance has put us all in good stead and the biggest part of all of this is FUN!
We have never returned home after a meeting without a huge smile on our faces and great memories, no one can ever take away from us.
Last year was the pinnacle of performance for The Flyin Fyfer team finally finding that tune that took us forward from the bracket car that ran 7.0 something to the magical SIX, the plan was always to back it off, look after parts and generally just have fun in 2023, for some strange this thought process went full circle.
Last year we missed several meetings due to damaged parts and lack of availability from the States. Even with massive effort from all involved to procure these parts we still missed Green Light Nationals and the sore one was missing out on the adventure that is Hockenheim ďNitrolympxĒ, pretty gutted to say the least. A new crank was however found, again thanks to Vinny at Shafiroff for saving the day and for Nick Davies stepping forward in our hour of need, we did think our season was over but with only hours to spare we made it to the Hot Rod Drags and won the event and won the Championship and, as they say, the rest is history!
The Flyin Fyfer has carved itself out to have a pretty iconic brand over time and to clean the slate was a huge decision, this had to be made, the reason why?, well it was time, the car has been pounding the scene without rest for the last 12 years, only ever missing a meeting due to mechanical damage and two weddings! (Did I ever tell you I missed two Dragstalgia meetings, 2016 and 2021, how inconsiderate was my daughter getting married and Lynnís brother getting married, surely now after COVID this sort of thing can all be done on Teams !)
Tentatively I reached out to Peter Walters at PWRD and pretty much gave him the green light, my only comment to Pete was as long as people can still recognise it as The Flyin Fyfer, well Pete you knocked it out of the park, what a delightful experience to work with such a professional young man. As I quickly found out itís not just the design Pete provides but the after service and integration with the company who ended up delivering the wrap and thus the end result, Shore Wraps in Glasgow which in all honesty was chosen by Pete.
Chris from Shore Wraps delivered a fantastic final product that was above and beyond all our expectations, modern cars are pretty flat, an Outlaw Anglia certainly tested Chrisís patience, finding solutions from his 15 yearsí experience of wrapping certainly came in handy when handling those crazy curves, thanks Chris for your patience and endurance, a very pleased wee boy was I when I went and collected the car, Chris did keep me updated with pictures over WhatsApp but actually seeing the car in the flesh for the first time was just out of this world.
In the background the need for change was the image refresh and evolution, but at the same time itís still all about the racing, the new body, number 17 out the mould (there is another one already poured in there awaiting the next OA builder?), it was produced 50% lighter than the old body which is now in its 18th year of life, its done really well from the abuse we have given it over the years, it was made to last, thick and heavy, in fact it got a bit silly with holes being drilled where we can, as Jon Webster always told me there is nothing lighter than a hole.
A new carbon fibre prop-shaft was procured from PST in the states, I dealt with Ron, what a breath of fresh air, never had one before so yes apprehensive but those that have tell me itís all good to go, a new lithium battery from Braillie Batteries saving an incredible 50lbs, thatís nuts, Iíve only juts fitted it in the last few days and generally had my doubts how this tiny wee battery would even turn over my 632 BBC, it was like a rag doll, threw it over like the plugs had been taken out, well impressed and re-charged it in minutes, pioneering technology is being handed to the man in the street.
A new 632 BBC Nitrous motor with an alloy block was procured saving a further 130lbs, thanks to Vinny at Shafiroff, great company and a great service, thatís why I keep going back.
No weight saving this time, but a new high spec Powerglide from Andy Frost at Penn Auto paves the way to have a spare unit, thanks again Andy.
Again no weight saving but a piece of art in the form of a Mark Williams floating rear axle, wow just wow, why stick this under the car, it should be on show for the world to see. Thanks go out to the team at Robinsons Race Cars for supplying it, you may or you may not be aware but back in 2005 Andy and his team were responsible for building this car, a man who always comments on our success and he did say that this car was never meant to go this fast, (going off on a slight tangent The Flyin Fyfer has entered Doorslammers in the Pro-Class and maybe two Robinson Race Cars may be able to run side by side with a bit of luck, Iím hoping Andy will allow me a one second lead but knowing Andy I very much doubt that lol)
As you can imagine there has been a lot of work in the background, a lot of communication with others, the mind was kept very busy from waking in the morning with new ideas to last thing at night before dropping off but still having a pad of paper and a pen at the side of the bed so you could have an idea, make a note of it and be able to get back to sleep.
A lot of time was spent down in the garage wandering around looking at things and then getting on and doing what was required, did I ever mention that I hate fibreglass with a passion, horrible stuff that always gets in your fingers for days before it decides to make an exit, the worst job is hanging the doors four to five nights a door, mind numbing!
The car eventually resembled something we could take to the track and race, due to a once in a lifetime holiday with me and Lynn visiting family in South Africa we are starting the season with the old engine as logistics were going to get silly, so a shake down weekend will be had at The Nostalgia Nationals and fingers crossed it all comes together as there has been so many changes.
We hopefully then can progress to run at Doorslammers where I mentioned we are in the Pro-class and we can spank it somewhat, we have ran many times in the Big Bracket class at Doorslammers but never entered the pro-class, so really excited to run against really fast cars, I want to get 10 out of 10 for at least trying our very best to keep up and be part of the show, time will tell, itís pretty hard to run against cars you are in awe off as really this is the only opportunity we would have at this level, Iím pretty sure young Arron has a special tune in his head for this event lol!
I really do hope you enjoy this little blog and love the next chapter in the life of The Flyin Fyfer team, it may take you some time to get used to the ďnew lookĒ, it certainly took some time for the team to absorb what was in front of us but we absolutely love what has been created with the help of informed individuals, a passion for change and the ability to actually deliver what was in our heads.
We hope to have delivery of the new engine in the next week or so and thanks to Bill Macdermid of Topspeed Automotive for his help in shipping the crate motor, from his warehouse in Texas back to the UK.
After Doorslammers, we have a reasonable period of calm where we can at our leisure fit the new engine and sort any bugs out in the car prior to the Summer Nationals and Dragstalgia where Iím sure we will come up against some pretty stiff opposition from local and far away in the form of Jon Webster, Simon Barlow, Mick Taylor, Rob Stone and all the guys and gals in OA and of course not forgetting John Willard, it is certainly a massive achievement shipping his car all this way to run alongside all the Outlaw Angliaís!
I am hoping to see a full complement if not at both but certainly at Dragstalgia of OA teams, gutted Jedd canít join the battle but you canít do everything you want to do in life, he has time on his side and will come back faster and stronger, my egg timer is the wrong way round so Iím going to keep kicking the arse out of it, one life, live it!
By the time you all read this, fingers crossed I should just about be pitted and might even have a beer in my hand in the pits at Santa Pod, if youíre there come over and say hello and see what you think.
From all The Flyin Fyfer Team, Aaron, Lynn and myself see you all real soon xx