Being educated at the “school of hard knocks” hasn’t deterred 42 year old West Australian Doorslammer racer Simon "GONZO" Travaglini quest for making his presence felt on the local scene. His spectacular last run at the Motorplex season finale certainly got everyone’s attention.
Travaglini’s home built BA Falcon is reputed to be the quickest standard dimension all steel sedan in the world and has run as quick as 6.09 @ 231mph.
Simon position of R&D engineer for AllFast Torque Converters has spurred his desire to develop the car further.
“We are using the car as a test bed to develop Blown Alcohol / Pro Mod Torque Converters.” Travaglini says.
His research and development is certainly paying off having achieved some remarkable results in his first full-fledged season.
“This last season has been awesome, being able to go from a 6.59 first lap on a new car with a new crew to 6.09 in less than 20 passes is just incredible,” he says.
“This is our first season in the car and it is still as I built it back in 2001.
“I didn't get a chance to race it until this season because of marriage, family deaths and a divorce.” Travaglini says.
Travaglini’s crew are all new to the world of blown drag racing too. As with much of his approach to the sport, he wanted a crew that learnt as they went, seat of the pants experience.
“None of the crew has ever run a blown door car or any blown car for that matter,” he said.
“Brenton Baxter tunes the car; it’s his first gig as a crew chief on a blown car.
“We resisted using a hired gun, opting instead to do it the hard way and Brenton makes a good fit.” he added.
Much of the attention focussing on Travaglini has come from a wild run in his final run of the season at the Motorplex.
“We dropped a valve dropped because of a few over-revs earlier during the day,”
“I could have parked it up but as it was the last run of the season and my crew had worked so hard for so long, I just couldn't end the season like that.” Travaglini said.
“So I thought we'd go out with a bang! It dropped the valve at 700' according to the logger and it shook at the top of first and needed a pedal but it still ran 3.9 to 660' and 6.11 @ 220 on fire!.”
“Oh and I won the race too!!!.” he was keen to add.
So now it is back to the workshop to rebuild and focus on the next season.
“We are looking forward to further pushing the boundaries next season and expanding on what we have learnt from the last season.
“We would love to travel and do all the rounds but financially, without a big sponsor, we will just keep racing within our budget.”
“I’d like to thank National tyres, Acme Wheel and Rim, Brad Penn Oil and AllFast Torque Converters for getting me where I am now and look forward to their support next season.” concluded Travaglini.