VINTAGE IN DRAGS
MOTORSPORT: The passion for old cars is what attracted Laurie Kyte to drag racing and if you see his home in Gladstone, you see why.
The toolmaker-by-trade moved to Australia from New Zealand as a 30-year-old, has three old-style cars plus a caravan and his dragster.
"What got me interested, is from a young age I always have had old cars and stuff and then as I got older with my business, I needed a hobby that was close to town. So, we thought that this would be a good thing to do," Kyte said.
"The strip is only 20km from home and I like old things so I thought we would build this using an old engine."
Kyte's pride and joy is a home-made front end dragster that he will drive in the modified dragster class.
"We thought that we'll build this using an old engine and the whole thing is home-made," he said.
The engine is out of a 1948 Ford.
The time-frame to build the car was close to three months and the cost near $20K.
"All inside the engine are all brand new bits and the bearings are all brand new - so that's where all the dollars went," Kyte said.
As for tomorrow's race, Kyte said his dragster was well-equipped for competition.
"We've run it for quite a few years in this configuration and it consistently runs at 138, 139 mile an hour and the best we've been is 9.3sec for dial-in," Kyte said.
"You have to be really on the money with the weather and the mixture to make it go that fast and it's fast for an old engine."
Kyte has been racing in Gladstone since 2006.
"We used the same sort of engine, but with a lot less horsepower and we used that for probably four or five years and as with everything you always want to go faster," he said.
Kyte's front end dragster is a well-travelled machine.
"We used to go to Willowbank with it down there and we/ve been to New Zealand with it and went to four race meetings there," Kyte said.
Championships details are at www.benarabyraceway.com