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Queen of speed’s life in the fast lane

23 March, 2015

Not even a year since rewriting history and becoming New Zealand’s quickest and fastest female, Karen Hay’s quest for speed is still strong.

At the recent IHRA NZ Drag Racing Nationals, held at Meremere Dragway on March 14–15, she won the National title for the second year in a row in the Competition class.

She also set a new AA/Altered record as well as achieving a personal best of 6.41 seconds at 214mph over the quarter-mile. Her purpose-built 1927 Ford Model T roadster is powered by a twin-turbocharged 482ci big block Chev engine, and is the quickest and fastest Warren Brogie–built Model T roadster in the world.

“It was touch and go with the team if we would make the Nationals this year as some damage was done when I ran my 6.59 pass on January 31. The crew chief (Karen’s dad Lindsay) pulled out all the stops for the Nationals — the biggest meeting of the year,” says Karen.

All of that dedication and commitment paid off when Karen ran a 6.47 at 210mph, placing herself as number-one qualifier for the Competition class.

“I had achieved a team goal,” she says.The next run was the National championship winning pass of 6.46 at 210mph.

The season hadn’t started well, but the Nationals sure made up for it. Karen says a huge thank you goes to the Meremere Dragway team for the well-prepped track and smooth running of the 2015 Nationals.

“To my team — no matter how small or big the job is, on the day you all contribute to the success. I’d like to thank our tuner Jason Cutelli. As always he works on two cars at each meet. Running between two teams with different needs, etc. This weekend we won the Nats and his other car he works on, RIPS Racing, broke a world record. Jason is awesome. He respects my input and always tells me what he’s done. He takes the time out to explain what changes have been made and how it could affect my runs which I really appreciate.

“To my crew chief Lindsay, and my mum Shona — wow, what can a daughter say? Thank you will never be enough. The rush I get from driving a car like Evil II is unexplainable. I’ve been given an opportunity to do my passion, and life can’t get much better than that.”

Hay Family Racing would like to thank their competitors, track workers, race fans, and the following who have helped directly with the car: RIPS Racing, Infomotive, Spec Rite Torque Convertors, Segedins of Dominion Road, Moran Motorsports, Chuck Mann, Bill Brinsden, and Link Engine Management.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?