Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Story Starts Here

The crew arrived back in Calgary this morning obviously very exhausted but extremely happy. We managed to do something that most people just dream about even with the constant challenges and set-backs we had in the last 6 days.

Trillion Racing Team members Chris Taggert, Derek Pauletto, Kurtis Kristianson, Chris Hart.

It's a long story but I managed to shoot a lots of footage that will eventually be made into a mini-doc that should be out around Christmas. Also a lot of still images that will end up here as we update the blog now that we are back.

Stories are always better when there is some kind of drama but I have to say we did not plan the crazy events that unfolded during the last few days in town and while we were on the salt. Constant break-downs, loss of oil pressure, breaking parts, major modifications without tools... ...we did it all. Derek was extremely cool through the whole process and our crew as a whole worked their ass off to think outside of the box and use their experience to make things work. 

Derek Pauletto in the timed mile on the mountain course.

There is no way things are going to run smoothly when you are dyno tuning your build and engine only hours before you leave town. Not too mention the fact that the bike was only 95% complete before we left. No slacking here, just constant hold-ups on parts and building that were out of our hands during the weeks prior. When the bike ran it had wings. After only a few runs the bike had a signature sound that was unmistakable around the pits and Derek quickly dusted off his racing skills from the past, getting to 107.094 MPH (unofficial). 

Unfortunately in the last hours at Bonneville the electrical problems became too much and the bike could not get out for the final return run. The Impound crew was extremely gracious and supportive as we tried desperately to make our return before the 4 mile closed. In the end, all the little nagging problems caught up with us and we had to step back. Derek and the bike would not make the final return run.

Derek takes a break on the hot salt flats between test runs.

Regardless of the way our story ended, we couldn't be happier about what we managed to achieve in our first year. We learned a lot and actually believe we have such a powerful and well engineered bike that we WILL be breaking records next year. With more time and testing we will return with something solid and have more focus on the racing then on the repairs. Stay tuned to the blog, check out our new facebook page ( Trillion Industries ), and continue to follow the story. Give Derek a shout, email, or tweet and let him know your supporting the adventure. 

Cheers!  K~

Monday, August 27, 2012

Uphill All The Way

Well we've been down here for three days now and it seems that as soon as something works, we run into another issue. These are the kind of things that happen when you drive 1500 km to an international event when you have only 90 % of a bike. Not that the team or those involved have been slacking but when you take on a project of this scope with so little time, you need to work hard to overcome all challenges that come your way.

 Derek pulls away from the support truck at  104.63MPH

Today we showed up at the boat-launch early to get in to a line up to get on the track and couldn't even get out to the pits as we were told that operations were postponed for the day. No racing. Just a massive lake with only a few inches of water would kill a day on the salt. After a few minutes of discussion we decided we had too much to do and just drove out to the pit area. Once out there we just got to work, the place was a ghost town but there was too much to do.

Derek taking a break between test rides while Chris Hart checks values on the program map.

By 5 pm we had fixed a torn clutch cable, managed a bad shifting issue, and tried to work through a partially tuned program map. And still after 5 runs down the back line we managed to hit 104.63 MPH so all the hard work and problem solving have been paying off. We are tired, burnt and happy that we are doing the impossible.

The crew at the start line for a tour with Betty

More pictures and updates will be coming in the next few days but for now it's all about capturing what we came for. Not only a bit of adventure but a chance to finish what we all agreed to be a part of; benchmarking a record in an open class with a bike that defies traditional standards.

Derek relaxing on Salt now flooded by an afternoon thunder shower.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

On The Salt

We got into Wendover this afternoon around 3pm and went directly to the Salt Flats where we met up with Roger Goldammer. The boys got straight into finishing the last few items on the bike to get it ready for tech. Unfortunately the day was already getting late so tech has been scheduled for the morning. Everyone is tired but happy that we are here and have a running bike for the track tomorrow.

There is a 7 am start tomorrow morning and Derek has a racers meeting as soon as we get to the race area. We should be running the bike in the morning and if all goes smoothly we should have something to report for early afternoon. Make sure you send Derek a note and catch him on Twitter. Stay tuned.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's On!!!! Salt Flats Here We Come

After days of problem after problem and continual setbacks we finally had forward movement. It has been so frustrating to keep the shop open while working on the bike and last night when we thought all was good, nothing. Again a late night and then this morning Chris and Reg from RCTS had everything ready to go and then signal from the pick-ups on the crank sensor. Turns out the the shaft that the sensor pips run on was bent and would not even come close enough to work... again we are done.

About a half hour of ideas and potential solutions, the shaft was straightened and the sensor moved in to within .015' thousandths of an inch. The starting dolly was fired up and the bike again rolled in gear with our fingers crossed. BANG !!! she fired up and started to run on it's own. 25 minutes later Reg and Chris were tuning this thing to idle on it's own and you could begin to hear the turbo spool up.

By the time I left the shop today at 3pm the bike could turn over easily with one kick and is running (at this time) fine by itself. We still have lots to do before we go but we are in a place we only imagined we could be by now. We are still on!!!

Happy? Yeah we're happy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Make Some Noise | Project Raquel

So there is literally only days left and we are doing what we can to finish the bike. Days are long especially for Derek and even our new technician Chris Hart has been pulling his own hours at the shop with wiring and electronic controls. The stress is on and the trip date is fast approaching.

Strange feeling these days with a lot of people stopping in to check out "Raquel" (the slat flats race bike), seems everyone has positive things to say. "Oh you guys can do it", or "it'll happen, you guys are good at last minute projects". The problem is we are good under pressure and as much as we appreciate everyone's support, we know that we have to pull the rabbit out of the hat and make this thing like a miracle. This time for real, and not only complete the build but run it at least twice across the hot and bare salt.

Right now there are no "what if's", only a target  that we have to hit doing 130 MPH in 10 days. Derek is focused and those who are close to him have stepped back to let him work. There is also no such thing as a problem. Only challenges thrown at us every day which is basically another chance to use our skills and experience to design, build or work-around another road block. No dropping the ball, we are too busy working on success.

So while we are spending late hours at the shop turning ideas into historical reality, we are asking anyone who is following this blog, Derek on Twitter, our friends and everyone who just loves living larger than life, to support us by spreading the word. Keep watching this page for updates and follow Derek at the twitter feed above. Make sure you send him some twitter love and lets get as many people checking this out as we can. We need your momentum to finish this so lets kick it into high-gear.


One Week.

We have one week left and I don't need to say it but we are very busy. Derek has been working around the clock and we are hoping to run the bike this week. So far it still looks good but again, there just is not enough time in the day. Below is a test clip from the work we did last week.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Rolling | Salt Flats Project

The chassis is rolling and filming has begun. We have very little time to do this. Here is a quick clip from one of the time lapses we shot today.