Glenn Wooster: Life at 300km/h is no drag

CHAMPION: Warrnambool-raised racer Glenn Wooster won last year's Australian Pro Stock Motorcycle title. Picture: Rob Gunstone
CHAMPION: Warrnambool-raised racer Glenn Wooster won last year's Australian Pro Stock Motorcycle title. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Glenn, we’ll speak about your achievements in motorsport shortly, but have you played many other sports in your life?

Yes. I played junior footy for St Johns Blue when I was growing up.

We used to play up at Brierly but trained at the ground at Jamieson Street Primary School.

I played there for two years in the under 14s but never won a premiership.

Volleyball was another sport I played when I was young. We had some good players playing in the competition back in that era, including John and Steve Young plus Greg Best.

We won volleyball premierships in 1985, 86 and 87 in the younger grades.

I was also a member of the Warrnambool District Angling Club for six years.

John Considine, Graham Batten and Neville Dance were heavily involved with the club back in the era, which would have been in the late 1980s.

I won the Clarke Shield in 1986 for catching the heaviest bream in the junior section.

I'm back doing some fishing now after a long break.

I've found fishing is a great past time. It's a great way to relax and unwind.

Another sport which I've been involved in is tennis. I used to play tennis at the Indoor Tennis Centre in Mortlake Road.

I liked playing those sports, but I found I wanted to do a bit more and I had always had a bit of an interest in cars and bikes so I went down that path. I just love it.

Glenn, you’re highly respected for your achievements in motorsport. When did your career start?

It would have been back in 1994. It  was on the  street bikes which were staged at Casterton.

The track was on the Casterton to Heywood Road and it was closed for the event.

We raced over 200m and the street was closed for the drag race.

I think I travelled over the 200m in 7.4 seconds.

I thought that was really quick on a Kawasaki road motorcycle.

I think it was in the late 1990s that I started working in the crew for Des Woolstencroft.

Des was a three-time  Australian champion in Group 3 Super Gas. He had a VR Holden.

I travelled all over Australia with Des, gaining as much experience as I could while he competed in races.

Who else did Des have in his crew and what was your role in the set up?

There was Geoff White and Tony Frost.

They were  great blokes to hang around with. 

I used to do general maintenance and small mechanical things. 

We had a great time travelling all over the place. I crewed for Des for three years.

Which path did you take after finishing working with Des?

I started racing street bikes in 1993. It would have been in 2010 when I got involved with Pro Stock motorcycles.

The old saying that time goes really quick is true.

I was into the modified bikes. I used to compete at Calder Park and Adelaide International Raceway.

I took part in 400m events. I was doing the 400m in 9.9 seconds and came third in the championships at Willowbank, near Ipswich in Queensland.

I ended up getting my time down to 8.8 seconds, but now I have a personal best of 7.19 seconds.

I modified the motor on the bike, which allowed me to compete in the Pro Stock motorcycle group 1.

The carburettors are naturally aspired, which makes the bikes go quicker.

I was doing 300km/h from a standing start over 400m. 

I took part in events in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and ended up being the Australian Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion in 2016.

It must be an incredible experience travelling at 300km/h over 400m?

Yeah. It really gets the adrenaline going. It's just all over in a few seconds.

It's hard to describe the feeling you get. I've been lucky that I've never had an accident.

Glenn, I suppose the Australian title for 2017 is something that’s on your radar. Is that right?

Yes. Though we've got to do a bit of work before we get to that stage.

The current motor needs a bit more developing and we've got another spare engine that we've got to do some work on.

The engine we've got now is going good.

But you've always got to stay in front of your maintenance.

Doing maintenance on motorsport vehicles would be an expensive exercise. How do you pay for your sport?

Prize money is a pittance – you might pick up $1000.

The main money comes from your sponsors.

I'm extremely lucky that I’ve got some wonderful sponsors.

The main one would be Gary Barton from Wheelie Waste. He's been with me for a fair few years and so have my other sponsors. 

I've been very lucky to have followed my passion because I've got my own business as a painter and decorator.

I started the business in 1995 after working for Gordon Shepherd for years.

I had up to seven workers at one stage.

But with my motorsport commitments, there are now only two of us.

We've got plenty of work, which is really great.

How long does the racing season go for?

The season kicks off in September and goes through to June.

Motorsport is great to be involved in.

I spent six years as the president of the Warrnambool Drag Racing Club.

I found that to be a rewarding experience.

I'm still a member of the drag racing club. I reckon there are more than 50 members, which is really positive for the sport.