Kiwi racer Barry Plumpton heads over the ditch to compete with Camaro
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Reigning Kiwi Thunder Series Top Doorslammer champion Barry Plumpton (Massey) will contest his fourth major Australian drag racing event of the winter this Saturday.
Plumpton’s racing campaign across the Tasman has already seen his thumping 959-cubic inch (15.7-litre) nitrous oxide-boosted ‘68 Chevrolet Camaro make a surge into the 5-second performance range.
He’s clocked a career-best quarter-mile pass of 5.885secs at Sydney Dragway while a 5.886secs run at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway in early June propelled him into new realms of finish-line speeds at 245.98mph (395km/h).
That’s ranked Plumpton as the quickest and fastest nitrous-assisted car in both Australia and New Zealand and he says the Camaro — aptly named ‘‘The Bullett’’ — has gained a popular following with Australian fans as he has raced against mainly turbocharged cars in the Pro Extreme category.
Saturday’s racing at the Grudge Kings special event at Sydney Dragway will feature an even wider range of machinery.
Rather being a Pro Extreme field, the one-off meet is running a ProMod contest that also includes some of the top supercharged door slammer cars from Australia’s 400 Thunder Pro Slammer category.
It’s a chance for the Kiwi champ to race against some of the biggest names in Australian drag racing, but Plumpton says the Grudge Kings event will be a learning experience.
‘‘Drag racing in Australia has just switched over to unleaded fuels and it will be our first experience using them,’’ says Plumpton.
‘‘I have really appreciated the welcome we’ve had over in Australia so I’m keen to work with the fuel supplier to help test the new unleaded fuel and learn more about it.
‘‘We’re actually the only team affected by the change this weekend because the turbo and supercharged car use methanol.
‘‘So we’re not going out to break any records but the shootout format means we should get a few runs and a good opportunity to learn about unleaded.’’
The Grudge Kings ProMod shootout promises a triple treat of 5-second and 400km/h-capable ‘‘door cars’’ with blown alcohol, turbocharged and nitrous brewed horsepower — a contrast to the Australia’s Pro Slammer class which only caters for supercharged cars.
Back-to-back Australian Pro Slammer champion Paul Mouhayet (Ford Mustang) and recent Winternationals winner Steven Ham (Camaro) have both entered the Grudge Kings ProMod shootout in their Pro Slammer cars.
The turbo ranks are headed by the Team Mauler Mustang of Greg Tsakiridis and the field also includes 2017-18 season Australian Top Fuel dragster champion Kelly Bettes, who continues her varied quarter-mile career with a second outing at the wheel of the Jett Racing twin turbo Ford Mustang.
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