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This is how you finish the season

Robbie from RIPS, in his Vi-PEC MGAWOT III, triumphs with a world record beating record on the very last run at the very last meeting for the year

Wow, what a season of highs and lows, ups and downs and trials and tribulations but whatever doesn’t break you makes you stronger right?

Robbie relaxing in carWe sure had our share of problems this season, far more than we have ever had previously but we were trying to push our combinations much harder than ever before so I suppose it was to be expected. 

At the end of the day, we worked through it, never gave up and on the very last run of the very last meeting of the year we finally did it.....the world record for the quickest ever AWD GTR was ours!!

Off Season Prep

We had been chasing 7.41 for 2 years and at the end of last season we were getting very close with a best of 7.48 but knew we would need to make some changes if we were to get the world record.

In the off season we refreshed the previous years’ engine, changed the exhaust manifold and turbo and completely reworked the fuel system so we could run the engine on Methanol, this was not without its challenges and we really struggled to get on top of mixing methanol with Nitrous oxide. Initially we had all sorts of issues and there was a lot of head scratching and trials going on but eventually we worked out what was happening and luckily it was a very simple change required to get it all sorted.

From there we immediately started to make good gains and the car was getting quicker and quicker each time out and we really thought we would have a good shot at getting the world record this season.

2 weeks to go & needed help

At the second to last meeting we were getting really close and were really starting to lean on things pretty hard, unfortunately a rod decided to fail and cause a huge amount of damage. With just 2 weeks until the final meeting we really thought it was all over for us, we didn’t have a spare engine, we didn’t have a budget for a new engine, we didn’t have any spare parts to build a spare engine and the entire process of building a new engine like ours is usually a 5-6 week process.

Jason Cutelli tweaking setup on MGAWOT III

I got onto everyone I needed help from and there were ALOT of people, I told them where we were at and that if we all pulled together it might be possible to be ready for the Nationals. Every single person I needed went out of their way to help in any way they could, we even had one sponsor working at midnight on a Sunday doing machining work for us. I had to co-ordinate 8-10 different people and/or workshops to make everything happen as quickly and smoothly as possible then once I had everything I needed it was 4  x 15-16 hour days in a row to get the engine built and back in the car ready to fire up.  

All or nothing at the Nationals

Proof of record winning run Mar 2015Luckily everything went smoothly and the new engine fired straight up and sounded great. We knew we’d only have one last shot at the world record this season so went to the Nationals (14-15 March) knowing we’d have to just go for it and either get the job done, blow up or smoke the tyres trying.

We ran a 7.49, then a 7.45, then a 7.417 just 5 thousandths of a second off the world record then knowing our next run would be our last, Jason loaded in a tune up that would either stick and be “the one” or we’d smoke the tyres.

Within about 1.5 seconds of leaving the line I knew this was indeed “the one” just so long as it would all hold together for about another 6 seconds. I was literally screaming at the car “hold together, come on you can do it” all the way down the track. I went through the finish line, pulled the chute and took longer to stop than normal, this was a good sign. I came to a stop the chute packers came running over with their thumbs up, they had obviously got word from the control tower, my door flew open and one of them yelled “You F*#%n ripper!   7.32!!”  Then I saw the boys in the tow truck coming over the hill on the return road, lights flashing, arms out the window, horn beeping, I was so relieved we’d finally done it.

Watch RIPS' in-car video here.

Video screenshot of record breaking run

This video from Cal Thorley shows the run from a spectator's point of view

Cal Thorley video screenshot

Representing NZ in Australia

We have now just received the news that we have been selected to represent NZ as part of a 4 car drag team to race in Australia in August at one of the biggest import events anywhere called the Jamboree. It is an honour to be selected and we will be stripping the car and rebuilding as required in preparation for this massive event.

We will be looking for sponsors to help make this happen so anyone who wants to be on board with a new paint scheme or wrap etc please let me know. 

There are so many people to thank the list would be longer than my story but special thanks, as always goes to Vi-PEC, they have stuck with us through thick and thin and I put a lot of pressure on myself and my team to make sure we deliver. Thanks to Jason from Infomotive, all my crew, Dangerous Dave, Machine skins, family, friends and supporters, thanks also go out to the haters who really do keep me motivated, Thanks to Turbosmart, Nitto, Sinco, Air services UK, Aqua park,  Repco, Regal Automotive, Marsh Motorsport, CNC solutions, Kelford cams, Driveline automotive, ROSS balancers, Te Poi Tavern, Scotty’s bar, Ambrosia, Autotrans, Chuck Mann, Prowear and Motul Oil.

The hardworking RIPS team

i88More Information


 MGAWOT III out on the track

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