BLOG 2008

Previous year happenings!

2008 Season

During the entire 2008 season, the #2111 White Goose Bar Racing VW Truck raced in the 2.0L / Production Mid-Mini Pickup (G/PMP) class. 

November 2008 - El Mirage

The WGBR Team decided to return to the smaller tires and shift similar to what we did in Bonneville.  Our Saturday morning pass was in wonderful weather (no wind causing the course to be extremely dusty).  Keith Pedersen was driver.  The truck did not build the RPMs expected in 5th gear and Keith again missed third gear so the run was a disappointing 119.858mph.  The wind started really blowing and not many more vehicles were able to make a pass.  Late Sunday morning, with the wind building again, the second round started.  Keith again drove the truck down the course, but this time made all shifts correctly.  However, the truck faced a 10 to 15mph head wind and could only achieve 116.546mph.  We left the lake bed disappointed in the last two meet results, but happy with the great accomplishments that were made this season.

October 2008 - El Mirage

Prior to the October meet, the WGBR team pulled the engine and made several changes, looking for more speed.  The truck seemed like it would go fast and we were excited.  We decided to use the larger tires and shift at lower RPMs hoping to shift closer to the power curve.  The first pass ended up with Keith Pedersen turning out almost after the start line.  The serpentine belt jumped two teeth due to the cam-jack gear bolt coming loose.  Fortunately we could not detect any major engine damage and we put the truck back in line for the second round.  Keith shifted at the planned RPMs but missed 3rd gear and did not yield the speed we were hoping.  The pass was clocked at 115.882mph.

September 2008 - El Mirage

September was something very unusual as Mike and Pam were on a cruise in Alaska.  None the less, WGBR truck was at the dry lake bed with Rick Yacoucci and Keith Pedersen ready to drive.  Sunday started with Rick driving his Streamliner in class XF/FS against a 182.370mph record and he stepped up the recorded to 209.471mph. John Romero picked Rick up from the end of the course and brought him back to the starting line while the Streamliner crew took the vehicle to impound. Rick jumped into the WGBR truck and stepped up our current record from 117.426mph to 123.007mph. Rick remarked that the truck was a fun to drive and he enjoyed setting two records within an hour of each other.  For Keith's rookie run, we changed to the next larger size tires as an experiment. When they called for second round, Keith was off.  Keith’s run was 120.177mph with only using the first four gears (did not shift into 5th gear).

August 2008 - Bonneville

The salt this year at Bonneville was fantastic, so much so that there were three courses, two short courses and one long. The second short course or call the "special short course" had exceptionally smooth salt and was located a little further way from the other two courses.

On Monday afternoon, shortly after the courses were declared open for racing, the WGBR truck was placed in line on the special short course running in class G / PMP on a 126.088mph record with Keith Pedersen as the driver. The record was held by Tom Burch, set in August 2000, and considered a credible record. Thus the White Goose truck would have to really be on our game to bump up the record. The rookies were fishing their orientation and the rest of the racers had not found the special short course yet, so surprisingly the wait to start was not long. The salt was real smooth and the truck was fast, but not fast enough to get it to impound (124.339mph).  On the bright side, the truck was accelerating the entire time down the course and provided much optimism. The team pulled the truck back to camp, down-loaded the data log, and made some minor changes to the engine fuel-air map. We continued to run the AEM system in closed loop mode (as we had success with this mode we never changed out of this mode the entire time at Bonneville).  Excited racers anxious to get their first run in were now lined up on all courses and we agreed to wait until Tuesday for another try, perhaps early in the morning when the lines are shorter.


On Tuesday morning we made another attempt on the special short course and again we fell just short of the record (125.837mph). Just before the run, the rest of the WGBR crew, Kerry Hart and his son and other helpers from Salt Lake City arrived. We had brought to the starting line the taller tires so we decided to put those on.  Off the line, Keith spun the tires in first gear and then as the RPMs were building in second gear, the truck quit pulling and Keith turned off the course immediately, almost within shouting distance of the start line. The crew towed the vehicle back to camp and started the diagnostics. After checking the compression, it was determined that the compression in cylinder two and three were bad and the crew guessed that we had a blown head gasket. Kerry and the SLC crew were instrumental in the disassembly of the engine. Sure enough, the head gasket had a significant hole in it, between the two cylinders. Keith headed into town to get parts.

The WGBR pit (notice the White Goose Bar in the background) with the 2111 machine being worked on.  It is jacked up to remove the header to replace the head gasket.  In the foreground is Rick Yacoucci #788 Nebulous Theorem III, a WGBR Pit Mate.

On Thursday afternoon, we received the parts and started the rebuild process. Kerry and the SLC crew were instrumental in the reassembly process. By late afternoon the truck was ready to go but the lines were long and it was hot, so all decided to run the truck on Friday morning.


Friday morning was the morning that the WGBR team had been waiting for. We again put the truck in line on the special course and the truck showed its true performance with an impressive pass at 130.453mph – the fastest the truck had ever gone. A huge relief and sense of accomplishment was felt as the truck was pulled to impound.


Saturday morning was what we all were looking forward too, the accomplishment of one of the week's elusive goals. The short course return runs were accomplished on the traditional short course (not on the special short course where we had been racing). Keith drove the truck down the course and it just did not seem to make the last extra horsepower, but still did great. The pass was at 128.935mph which meant that the average and the new record was set at 129.694mph, about 3.5mph faster than the previous record. The WGBR team was very happy and proud of their accomplishments as the record they beat was a respectable record and the team really had to work to beat the record.

July 2008 - El Mirage

July was a bust; a rain storm came through the weekend before the event and dumped water on the lakebed. The canceling of the meet caused issues for September; Keith Pedersen was going to make his rookie run at the July meet. Since Mike Manghelli won't be at the September meet Keith was going to drive the truck. According to the El Mirage procedures one can not set a record from the rookie lane.  The WGBR Team had to resort to plan B and have Rick Yacoucci drive the truck for the record and then Keith drive for his rookie pass.

June 2008 - El Mirage

The WGBR truck received some transmission work between the meets.  Actually, it was outfitted with a Techtonics short shifter kit with new shift rods and bushings.  This made the shifting much easier and 4th gear was found without missing a shift this time.  Mike Manghelli piloted the truck without pushing it yet with a pass that squeaked by at 117.426 mph on a 117.215 mph record, good enough so we put it in impound.  Our record was bumped up and the excitement of the season continued.  To see a video of this run please refer this page.

May 2008 - El Mirage

The WGBR Team had our challenges reading the G / PMP engine for the event, including unanticipated delays in getting parts.  With John Romero's help on the lake bed, the truck fired for the first time in less than an hour prior to running it down the course.  And the engine sounded like a real race motor with the new Web Cam installed.  Some how during the installation, the transmission linkage was not installed correctly or became out of alignment, and Mike Manghelli could not find 4th gear in the truck when trying to shift so he dropped it into 5th and ran it through the lights. The WGBR truck ran 117.215 mph on a 110.00 mph minimum record (set a record), so it was off to impound (for record certification inspection) and a feeling of joy for overcoming all the issues to get there.

Pre-Season 2008

The 2008 season started with something special. After wishing for years, a Manghelli vehicle made the poster - the White Goose Bar truck.  The WGBR Team made major engine changes and enhancements during the off season.