Bouncing Back

MAZFIX 6.99sec@201mph still the leading run in Australia

24 Aug 2005 - by Fast Fours Magazine

MAZFIX 6.99sec @ 201mph continues to be the leading run in Australia, still unbeaten! The run also maintains 2nd spot in the WORLD. By now everyone is familiar with Archie’s spectacular smash at the Syndey Drag Combat in May. Check out the latest Fast Fours & Rotary Mag Interview for an indepth discussion on this topic.

 

Following are some excerpts from the interview in Fast Fours August 2005 edition. More details can be found in the magazine.

 

Since suffering a wild 198km/h crash at Western Sydney International Dragway (WSID) in his 6-second 20B-powered Chevy Beretta, Mazfix Proprietor Archie Kajewski has been recouperating at his home. We caught up with Archie and his wife Maryann to learn what impact the crash has had on his drag racing career.

 

Thanks for inviting us into your home to have a chat to you since the incident in Sydney. How are you feeling now?

AK: I’m still very sore but getting better all the time. I’ve been going into work to do a few dyno runs here and there but resting after that.

 

Can you describe what injuries you suffered?

AK: I’m badly bruised pretty well all over, mainly from the harnesses. I’ve got two broken ribs, and some stitches in my groin!

 

Can you walk us through it: you did a nice burnout, came back to stage, then what happened? 

AK: I took off and found that halfway through first gear it had no traction and was down to half throttle with massive wheelspin. I shifted through first, second and third but only part throttle when wheelspin. It popped out of gear and I was just coasting. I put it into fifth just to drive it home and test the track at that end. I gradually put the throttle down and then I felt it flick, then a big bump. I thought I’d hit the wall on the left, but we can’t find anything that was broken as yet. When it flicked to the right, I didn’t have time to pull the chute so I just tried to slow down and turn gently, but it was just in a huge slide. I hit the right wall, and after that must’ve blacked out as the next I remember the safety crew were right there.

 

You were taken from the track to hospital, how long did you spend there?

AK: I had four days in hospital and all sorts of drips and contraptions hanging from me because of the severity of the impact.

 

MK: They did a lot of tests and MRI and ultrasounds, and so many X-rays.

 

AK: I’m still walking because of the ANDRA safety gear that ANDRA makes us wear. If I didn’t have the neck brace on, if I didn’t have the harness, or if I didn’t have the race cage, I wouldn’t be here now. From the impact the door was blown off so I had no door, no window net, just my arm restraints that kept my arms inside.

 

Since returning to Queensland, you’ve obviously had a chance to have a brief look at the car. Can you describe what you can currently see?

AK: The main frame seems alright, it’s just all the accessories that are broken. The engine seemed to be okay, but the gearbox split from the engine. The tailshaft split in half, the turbos were wrecked, the inlet manifold, the exhaust manifold – all the little suspension pieces were wrecked. I haven’t really been underneath the car yet.

 

Who originally built the car?

AK: Don Ness built the car. It was a really good chassis; great to drive. I don’t think I’d drive anything else than one from those guys (Ness, Bickel, Hass, McAmis) from a safety perspective.

 

You were kind enough to contact us on the Monday from Hospital to let us know you were okay. You seemed very keen to get back on the track and were very happy with your crew.

 

AK: We have the best crew that we’ve ever had and that’s part of our success. Without them donating their time, energy and enthusiasm, what we’ve achieved just wouldn’t be possible. My special thanks to Ray, Sam, Brad, Colin, Phil, and Regan.

 

Twelve months ago you recorded Australia’s first 6-second rotary pass and the first 200mph pass in the world. Can you walk us through that event?

AK: I knew the run was quick due to the amount of revs we pulled across the line. With the little kick I wasn’t sure if we’d washed off a bit of ET but it certainly felt fast. To do the two in the one go it was just a great feeling.

 

Did the pass remove some of your motivation for returning to the dragstrip at the time?

AK: We’d been pushing fairly hard before then. We had a goal, a quiet goal, and we achieved it and we all just wanted a rest after that.

 

MK: Not just for our family, but all our crew’s families. It is a big commitment at this level not just money-wise but time-wise as well.

 

There have been a few rumours/doubts about your 6-second pass. Can you explain the changes or differences with the 6.996/201.52mph run?

AK: As everyone saw, we ran the 7.27/192 and then 7.22/195. I’m happy to show you the runs on the MoTeC datalogger. For the six-second pass there was more overall boost, there was more aggressive boost early on because we knew the track could hold it. We also took some fuel away at certain points. The air was brilliant that weekend and the track was awesome.

 

Footnote: I (Angus MacMaster) have use MoTeC ECUs and dataloggers on numerous racecars. I inspected the logs from numerous runs, including the six-second pass, and I’m happy that the pass is authentic and the rpm and speed sensors all match with the track timing.

 

AK: People say, ‘But you haven’t run a six again’, but we haven’t really been racing again! We did the Jamboree, which we won although we found problems with a broken intercooler that was leaking boost. We raced Adelaide where we ran 7.2 but the track wasn’t there for an ultra quick pass and we did Compak Attak. We also found some other issues from Compak Attak on the dyno on Thursday night and knew it would be quick at Drag Combat. When you race the V8 events, like the Winternationals, there are no real classes for us so we are stuck in Super Sedan. But we do it because we get great track conditions. When we go to the Sport Compact events we are treated like we’re Top Fuel, but we just don’t get the track. There are so many street-tyred cars and we have to race just after that, so there’s just not enough rubber down. We really need more rubber, more traction compound and just a better-prepared track. As races we have fuel testing and safety testing etc. so perhaps there could be testing of the track? If not, there will be more incidents.

 

Have you thought much about future plans?

AK: I’m still motivated, but we really need a sponsor to continue. We just had to get floating rear axles, a new spare clutch, etc. All that used up our spare money and now we don’t have a car. So we need a lot of money to start again. We still have a good engine package. If I had somebody who wanted to just use our engine package and I could help them, just do the work for them, and they could drive it, I’d be happy with that. That’s the main reason I drive – to keep our package out there. I’d do it myself once I have a sponsor.

 

Maryann, what’s your view on Archie’s drag racing future?

MK: When Colin rang me from the hospital in Sydney to tell me what happened and I asked if Archie was alright, Colin said ‘I think he’s alright because he is asking what his 60-foot time was!’

 

AK: My mind was right at it! It might have been the drugs! (laughs)

 

MK: People have said to me, ‘Is he allowed to race again?’ but that’s Archie’s decision. You do what you love in life. You could walk out in the street and get run over tomorrow. I know that it is dangerous at the drag strip but there’s controlled risk on the race track. You’ve got to do what you love otherwise what is life about?