He may be young, but with the WA mining boom in full swing and a strong Australian dollar, new drag cars have become accessible to drivers such as Kyle Putland and he is ready to stamp his name on the A/Altered class.
Always a keen fan of racing, Putland has fond memories of Ravenswood Racing and soon progressed to crewing for Peter Gardner in Super Sedan. Crewing was fun to pass the time, but Putland really wanted to be in the hot seat.
The opportunity soon came up when current ANDRA CEO Mal Bulley started to sell bits and pieces from his altered, so Putland added an imported 572ci engine from the USA to the combo and promptly carded mid seven second times in Modified with a 7.40/186mph personal best.
"Then I decided I wanted to go faster," Putland confessed.
He had been looking around the USA for a car suitable for A/AA but was not having a lot of success, so he posted on a forum to see if anyone had done something similar. Soon a man by the name of Bob Rossi replied, explaining he had done this for 15 years and would be more than happy to help.
"That was the start of a great relationship and the start of the machine I have now," Putland said.
The new car gradually took shape in New Jersey. It featured a Kurt Pro Start Race Cars chassis with a 499ci NHRA Pro Stock DRCE II donk. Bob Ingles supplied a tune to get the team on track quickly.
"At first I was nervous, I needed to get used to the clutch and generally driving a new car," Putland said. "I knew my first full pass was going to be fast but I was ecstatic when I got to the end of the track and my girlfriend told me I had just gone 6.85 which is underneath the national record.
"So as you can imagine I was just absolutely stoked with the result."
The goal setting has since begun as Putland puts more and more events under his belt. He has since improved to a personal best of 6.80 and reached one final.
"I think it's everyones goal to win to which I am no exception," he said. "I would love to set new records and have the fastest naturally aspirated car in Australia."
Putland wished to pass on his thanks to sponsors Hitachi Construction Machinery, Donaldson Filtration, the Professionals Sterling Clark, Supafit Seat Covers, EPG Engines and Western Machines as well as his hard working team.