Rich Brown: “..scares the crap out of any sane person”

This is Rich Brown (the former owner of the Dualin’7) on John Waylands nifty iBook G4. Last night was the first NEDRA event I have been to since 2003. I arived early and saw all the EV folks arrive and re- introduced myself to many. It was good to see many old friends.

Now let’s talk about the Zombie, the little white Datsun that scares the crap out any sane person. On the first run we all made our way to the stands in anticipation of a now “routine” 11 second or so run.  They had just gone to a lower numerical ratio differential gear set.  I thought it would take them a while to get it dialed in.  The Zombie rolls into the bleach box…sets the line lock and lights up those fat drag radials like a Hollywood smoke machine on steroids…billowing clouds of smoke that that creep up and envelope the Zombie like an evil fog.  When the Zombie fired off the start the tires spun as if the bleach box was filled with oil. Tires yelled “mercy” and Fearless Tim had to let up then pound the throttle again…the powerful Dow Kokam batteries still had more power than the tires could handle. Tim went sideways and fishtailed and there was a simultaneous gasp from the crowd. As bad as the traction was he had an E.T. of 11.0x seconds!

We all rerturned to the pits to see if Tim needed a change of shorts, but he was cool as ever. John is lucky to have a cool hand like Tim driving his Zombie.

Curious about this high powered Dow Kokam Li-polymer pack, I thought I would take a look at the trunk area. You walk up to the Zombie in the pits and there is a team of people around the car two people pouring over battery data on a laptop, another pluging in the charger, another handling the charger and spider box, there is a dedicated videographer and dedicated still photographer. There is of course, the master builder and promoter, John and a cadre of on lookers. But I digress…it was getting dark and as I peered into the trunk at the pack of batteries that turn this little Datsun with attitude into a fire breathing monster (literally), I saw little blue lights and some little red lights and little flashing green lights, commincation cables  and lots of Lexan.

Stolen Alien Propulsion System

This confirmed  my thoughts that John had actually stolen this power system from a crashed alien space craft.

When John first saw his new battery management system, designed by Bruce Sherry, he must have…well you can just imagine what went on in his shorts.

Ok, run two was not as scary as the first, but again the Zombie had trouble controlling the massive power being fed to it by the mighty Zilla and Dow Kokam batteries. When the tires did finally hook up to the track, it was like the Zombie was shot out of a cannon – or they had a secret nitrous button. It passed the gas car it was racing like a cartoon and left it spinning behind, at least the gasser guy’s  head was spinning. This run was 10.8 at 124.xx mph.

It was time for the last run of the night. Everybody headed for the stands to get a good seat for this much anticipated spectacle.  The two previous runs had been exciting, but we had no idea what was about to happen. Tim made the Zombie put up probably the largest cloud of smoke I’ve ever seen from a tire burn out. He was determined to make those tires warm and sticky.  This time Tim himself fanned his door to try to relieve the interior of smoke…the crowd laughed, I think to relieve some of the tension. Tim was racing another gasser that made some smoke of his own.  The the two cars were staged and the tree lights were counting down. The gasser took off, but the Zombie couldn’t get traction. About 80ft out and 80 mph suddenly those sorely abused drag radials caught hold of pavement and the Zombie transformed from a little tire burner to a fire breathing monster. The front tires lifted almost a foot off the ground from the massive application of horsepower, breathing fire from the motors. As the Zombie shot forward it gently settled to ground  and passed the gasser again leaving him in the dust to wonder what just happened to him.

That was the most exciting EV drag run I have ever seen. It is all on video and I am sure will be posted somewhere soon, but it can not do justice to being there at that moment, at that time to witness history.

Heart Still Pounding,

Rich Brown
SC/E Record holder

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