Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Series to tour New Zealand in 2020
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Australia’s Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Series will make an ‘‘unfinished business’’ drag racing tour of New Zealand early next year.
The crowd pleasing funny car series — which made a rain-thwarted attempt to race in New Zealand in February 2018 — will visit both Meremere Dragway and the Masterton Motorplex on a double-header 2020 Kiwi campaign.
The series has announced it’s shipping eight of its 5secs/400km/h supercharged nitro-methane burning cars from its Sydney base for the Meremere event on February 22 and a follow-up fixture at Masterton on March 21.
There will be an additional drawcard with the Nitro Sheriff wheelstander — a rear-engine Camaro that can run the full quarter-mile track on its rear wheels — also being shipped to New Zealand.
The New Zealand tour is latest move in an expanding calendar for the series that has recently taken its nitro spectacle to crowds at Perth, Cairns, Swan Hill and Darwin in addition to racing at Australia’s main drag strips in Sydney and Ipswich, near Brisbane.
The funny car series puts its main focus on spectator entertainment with side-by-side 400km/h racing and race programme that sees all cars in action in each round of competition rather than an eliminator format. There’s also a number of pitside activities that encourage fan engagement.
Former New Zealand Top Alcohol champion Morice McMillin is the series manager as well as driving and tuning the One Bad Kiwi Pontiac Trans-am.
He says each event begins with a pre-race Pit Party that offers a chance to see the cars and drivers up close before racing begins.
‘‘It’s such a fun concept with giveaways and activities like bouncy castles and face painting for the kids,’’ McMillin says.
‘‘We give race fans the chance to get up close to their favourite cars and talk to the drivers. Then we go straight from interacting with crowd at the Pit Party and onto the track for the first round of racing.’’
The series operates a fleet of about 12 nitro funny cars and will bring two race transporters, eight funny cars, the wheelstander and support equipment for the NZ tour.
Meremere Dragway track manager Gary Bogaart is looking forward to showcasing the Australia series to Kiwi motorsport fans.
‘‘Having the Aeroflow teams at Meremere Dragway is very exciting. These guys know how to entertain and we can’t wait to work with them to bring both new and old fans to the track.’’
The funny car series will also take racing at the relatively new Masterton track to a new level. The permanent drag racing facility was established in 2014 with strong Wairarapa community support and has hosted well-supported national meetings in recent seasons and produced some record-setting performances.
‘‘We don’t gave this many nitro cars in New Zealand let alone eight of them all racing at once,’’ said track manager Bob Wilton.
‘‘These guys are famous for putting on side-by-side racing and we can’t wait for it to happen at Masterton Motorplex.’’
The Meremere event will be supported by round four of the track’s 2019-20 Competition Series while the Masterton date combines with the final round of the new national drag racing series.