For 33 year old Benaraby mechanic Rob Nunn, the chance to shoe a 7 second race car down the quarter has been a burning ambition since he was 19.
Nunn began learning his craft as a teenager and has been around the sport ever since. He has been involved with the sport as a crew member, racer and even spent time on the Central Queensland Drag Racing Association as a committee member.
Nunn’s most recent race car was a RX-3 that he campaigned in the Sports Compact Oz Mod class to a best of 8.73. This wild little Mazda fuelled his ambition to run quicker and faster but Nunn knew he needed further knowledge before taking it a step further.
A few years ago Nunn took up the opportunity to work as a crew member on one of the country’s leading Pro Stock teams. Tremaniac Racing became a home to him and enabled Nunn to get a handle on these high horsepower, naturally aspirated group one hot rods.
“It’s been a great opportunity for me to work with the Tremaynes and understand how these cars work,” said Nunn.
“I just love being around these cars. I have not missed a meeting in three years since getting a spot on the crew.”
The car Nunn will pilot is of course the ex-Tyronne Tremayne Chevy Cobalt which was campaigned successfully by Tremaniac Racing in recent years.
“The deal on the car was sorted after the 2011 Winternationals and I originally planned to re nose the car and put a rotary engine in her with the intention of racing sport compact,” said Nunn.
“However, to run a car as quick and consistent as the Tremaynes did appeal to me.”
Tremaniac Racing in the meantime had progressed nicely on their engine development programme. This would see some engines retired and being offered up for sale.
“When the Tremaynes new billet heads were tested and started making their way onto new engines, I had an opportunity to purchase a spare.”
Working on the Tremaniac Racing team along with his own work commitments and budget, limited Nunn’s time and ability to bring his new car together.
“It took over 18 months before I decided to bolt the engine into the car and take it for a skid,” Nunn admitted.
When Nunn did eventually get the car out on track he was able to confirm that his decision to purchase the Cobalt and subsequent go fast components were correct. Not only did he have the 7 second car that he longed for, but advice and support from one of the country’s premier Pro Stock knowledge centres, Tremaniac Racing.
“I recently took the car out to Willowbank to do some testing. The weather conditions were not ideal for a high revving carburetted car. The humidity levels, air and track temperatures were high.” Nunn said.
“For the first time I had my full local crew with me learning the do’s and don’ts from four times Australian Pro Stock champion Aaron Tremayne and his crew chief Kerry Tremayne.
“The crew and I were able to get a good rhythm for the between run maintenance and the sequence of things that will have to be completed in quick succession.
“This will help us when it comes to racing at some of the smaller one day events next year, one of which will be Benaraby’s national round in July of 2013."
Testing a new car will always throw a few spanners at most teams and the same was expected for Nunn’s new outfit.
“We got four runs on the day and they all progressively got better and better as we were able to get on top of the track conditions,” explained Nunn.
“As I became more comfortable in the car, the runs got cleaner which resulted in us running quicker than the B/AP class ET and speed records (7.259sec, 188.78mph).
“I came away from that test session with a further positive note, which was that Aaron (Tremayne) still has the car set up “safe” for a beginner, so there is more potential yet.”
So what is on the agenda for the coming season's racing? Nunn certainly has the go fast car and parts, but is the expectation to compete in arguably Group One’s most cut throat class a reality?
“I plan to race in Super Stock this season, using the time to get comfortable in the car then begin racing at selected events until I have all the spares and equipment I'll need to run a season,” said Nunn.
“If all is ready we will have a proper go at the national series in 2014 calendar season. Pending that year’s results and where we stand at that time with power and chassis set up, I would like to make the step up to Pro Stock.”
Rob Nunn’s next workout for car and crew will be at Willowbank Raceway's Super Sportsman event on February 16, 2013.