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RIPS MGAWOT III's very first outing at Dragmasters

MGAWOT III, developed by Robbie Ward from RIPS and running a i88, was unleashed on the world for the very first time at Dragmasters on the 4th January, 2014. Although things didn't go completely to plan, it was an interesting day of competition.
RIPS MGAWOT III's very first outing at Dragmasters

Photo by Popeye Pic's

We arrived at Dragmasters at the Fram Autolite Dragway last weekend to some cloudy skies but it soon cleared and became a very hot day.

Qualifying was set to start at 12 midday. We set up, warmed up and were ready for our first ever test pass in MGAWOT III.

I had set a reasonable target of an 8 on its first pass but as soon as I pressed the NOS button to initiate the burnout I heard a pop and had no response from the NOS.

After the burnout and now lined up for the run, I had no choice but to try and build a little boost on the transbrake then just let it go gently, I idled away from the line then she came into life a couple of seconds later and cruzed down the strip for a mid 9 at around 150mph.

Although gutted we had a silly problem I was happy with how the car drove and it was clear it was going to be very quick when sorted.

We checked out the broken part and were unable to do anything to repair it so had to accept today would not be the day we set a good time and change our plan to that of running very slow but consistent to give us the best shot of winning our 3 races against the V8 team.

I was paired with a V8 Valiant than ran mid to low 9s and I was pretty confident we could beat him if I could get him to fully stage first, build a little boost in pre-stage, bump into full stage, go soft off the line then lay into it a little harder during the run.

The first run went to plan with a 9.2 and a win and the second run went to plan with an 8.6 @ 165mph and a win but as we were about to find out, they were onto us and knew our weakness and our strategy.

The Import team was well ahead by the time the finals came around and on the last run I came into pre-stage as per usual and so did the V8 guy.

I waited for him to go into full stage but he wouldn't. Within 5-10 seconds I knew he was onto us so I just waited, he just sat there and I just sat there, a classic staging duel was unfolding, not often seen in NZ, they can last for several seconds or even into minutes or until one person gives in, the car runs out of fuel or the transmission over heats.

We sat there for over a minute, both as stubborn as each other and then the starter ordered us into stage, we both held our ground but I made a mistake. Trying to keep heat out of the trans I took my finger off the transbrake not remembering this would start the timers for the torque split controller to take the trans out of AWD and put it into 2wd.

Once we were then on no uncertain terms ordered into stage by the starter I put my finger back on the transbrake, built a little boost and bumped into stage, the V8 guy also came into full stage, the lights came down, I cruzed away from the line then as the power came in it just smoked the rear tyres due to being in 2wd and the V8 guy drove off into the distance....... bugger.

The import team still won the event by a great margin and all in all we had a great day with no issues other than the NOS fitting and my silly mistake.


We will sort out the NOS, give the car a quick check over and we will be ready to roll for the Nitro Shootout meeting at Meremere on the 11th of Jan where we will be chasing a 7 second time slip.

Big thanks to Vi-PEC and my other sponsors / friends / family for their continued support. All we can do is keep in mind - if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!!

Onwards and upwards.....
Robbie Ward

Video links:

Watch the full video of the "Drag Racing 2014 Masters" here (MGAWOT III first appears in this video at 3:08 minutes).

This is a video of MGAWOT III smoking the tyres at 1/2 track.

The good news is that the car is sorted!

More information:

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