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RIPS MGAWOT III wins at the Masterton Motorplex grand opening meet

Once again, the i88 controlled, RIPS built, MGAWOT III has had an awesome outing at a drag meeting.
RIPS MGAWOT III wins at the Masterton Motorplex grand opening meet

Jason from Infomotive gets things ready

Robbie talks us through the Grand Opening at the Masterton Motorplex, 15-16 February, 2014.

We headed for Masterton at around 9.30am on Friday, settled in for the 6 hour drive then arrived at Solway where a few of us had arranged to put our cars on display outside the hotel to promote the meeting the following day.


After a quiet night at a local motel we headed for the track at 9am on Saturday, made our way to our pit space, set up ready for qualifying then did the paperwork to enter Super Sedan, a very competitive DYO bracket made up of V8 vehicles.

It was very hot, the track was brand new, “green” with very little rubber down and we were told there was no VHT to help make the track sticky. Based on this, we knew we would have to do our first ever pass down this strip with quite a mild tune to feel things out.

From RIPS on Facebook: For the data geeks. Instant wheel spin leaving with 11psi boost. Black line is rear wheel speed.

Qualifying Passes

1st qualifying pass, left lane, 60ft pretty slow at 1.31 but it felt OK after that, ran through for a 7.84 @ 176mph.

2nd qualifying pass we decided to try the right lane, got massive wheel spin and all out of shape off the line, 60ft 1.37 then headed for the wall, backed out, then back into it and rolled through with a 8.386 @ 164mph.

Although a 7.84 @ 176mph “wasn’t bad” under the circumstances we had set a goal to run quicker and faster than that so we knew we would have to come up with something for race day.

After having a wonderful dinner with about 100 other people on tables set up down the middle of the ¼ mile strip, we returned to the motel for a quiet evening. Talking the usual car stuff over a few beers, a plan of attack was agreed on and it was then time for bed.


Up early on Sunday, at the track by 8am, set up and ready for our one and only practice run before eliminations would begin.


We received the news that we had qualified No1 in the full 32 car field so we would get lane choice. Decided to go back to the left lane and hit it a little harder and see how it went.

The track had been swept and prepped, it was only 10.20am and not too hot so we lined up and let her rip and reeled of a 7.73 @ 183mph off a much improved 1.26 60ft. Not too bad at all, a new PB for the car!!

Due to being a DYO class we then had to nominate a time we would not go quicker than but at the same time we still had to beat the other car to the finish line. It’s actually a very complex decision to make with a lot of variables to take into consideration. So based on who we were up against, and the times they had done in qualifying, we decided to dial in at 7.68 and tickle the tune a little off the line and see how the track would hold.


Round 1: We found we didn’t have the grip we were hoping for, got out of shape but still got the win with a 7.9 @ 178mph.

We made a few small changes to the boost delivery curve and dialed in at 7.68 again.

Round 2: Reaction time of 0.027, good off the line with a 1,26 60ft, nice and strong to 1/2 track, caught the guy at about ¾ track so eased out to take the win with a 7.82 @ 174mph. 

Round 3: Dialed in at 7.75, I saw my opponent red light so cruzed down to take the win with a 11.3 @ 98mph.

Round 4: Dialed in at 7.75, got away reasonably well with a 1.29 60ft then the chase was on to catch my opponent who had a 3.23 second head start based on their dial in. It was very close at the finish line with them slightly ahead but my opponent went faster than their dial in so broke out and we took the win with a 7.80 @ 182mph.


We were through to the final, but it was against my friendly rival Phil Webber who is known for being extremely good on the lights and able to run right on his dial in so the pressure was on!

After a quick turnaround it was time for the final. It was very hot, we were all very tired but we had to pull it together for this one.

We lined up, came into full stage, got straight on the launch limit and let her rip. We got away nice and strong and set about running down Phil who had a 1.49 second head start. MGAWOT III was running great and we were pulling him in fast but at the finish line he was about 1/2 a car length ahead.

Bugger I thought, not quite enough for the win but then I started to wonder what had gone wrong. It felt like we would have been right on our dial in and I was pretty confident I had cut a real good light so what had happened? I then remembered who we were up against and knew he would have done his side of things right on the money so I just rolled around, packed up and waited for my crew to get there. They both looked just about as gutted as me so not much was said, we hooked the car up and towed to the caravan to get the time slip, the whole time thinking we’d lost.

I grabbed the time slip and went to look for the information that would tell me what went wrong and saw WINNER under my row of data. That gutted feeling turned to joy and sheer relief. It turned out Phil had red lit by 0.00358 which means instant disqualification and we had run under our dial in by 0.00294 - now THAT is close racing!!

As we towed back to the pits Phil walked beside the car and said “awesome race mate, looks like we were both under pressure” and we had a real good laugh about it.

In Summary

So all in all a fantastic trip, great people, great times, great racing. MGAWOT III didn’t miss a beat and did us proud 8 times in a row over the 2 days and it was time to relax and have a well earned beer.

After an hour or so, we packed up, went to prize giving, caught up with, and said good bye to all our friends then headed back to the motel to relax and let the weekend’s events all soak in over a few more cold ones and some awesome Thai food. 

Once again I need to thank Vi-PEC, Jason from Infomotive for his knack of hitting the tune right on the money when we need it most, Turbosmart, Nitto, Kelfords, Ross Dampers, Te Poi TavernRegal Automotive, Autotrans, Repco, Custom Shirts NZ, NZ Performance, Trufold, Scotty’s bar, GSS, The Hay family and all of their crew who helped out all weekend . . . we couldn’t have done it without all of you.

The next meeting for us is back at Meremere on the 2nd of March for the final round of the comp series.

Robbie Ward 
RIPS Racing

Want to see some video clips?

RIPS has uploaded some video clips from the weekend's racing at Masterton.

Winning run video

Masterton 251 run

Video of run from a spectator's viewpoint 

More information:

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