Kiwi racer Rod Harvey set to line up with the world's fastest in Sydney
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UPDATE: Due to a heavy rain forecast for Sydney this weekend, the Santo's Summer Thunder event has been postponed one week to January 24-25.
Kiwi international drag racer Rod Harvey gets his 2020 campaign underway this weekend in Sydney.
Harvey lines up his turbocharged 2JZ six-cylinder powered Toyota Camry in a 12-car IHRA Pro Mod class for the Santos Summer Thunder event at Sydney International Dragway.
It’s an opportunity for Harvey to improve his ranking among the world’s fastest Sport Compact drag racers as he trades performance increments against the leading US, Puerto Rican and Middle East "import" racers.
At his most recent outing at Sydney in early November Harvey clocked new personal bests of 5.690secs in the quarter mile with his Yuasa Batteries Camry flashing through the finish line beams at 259.11mph (417km/h).
That performance ranks the Aucklander with the world’s fourth quickest and third fastest six-cylinder Sport Compact quarter-mile drag car.
In his ongoing development of the Camry, Harvey will now combine recent rear suspension changes with new gear ratios he’ll be trying for the first time.
Harvey is hopeful of fast conditions at the Sydney track.
"At first, I thought we would be racing during the heat of the day and I would treat it as a test session," said Harvey.
"But the schedule has come out and the Pro Mod class is running in the evenings. Our first qualifying session is at 5.15pm on Friday and the elimination rounds start just after 4pm on Saturday.
"As it cools off a little the conditions should be good and it’s a chance to really get after it," he said.
Harvey’s daughter Shavaun is also competing this weekend in a Junior Dragster class that boasts 37 entries.
The Sydney meeting is round three of Australia’s 400 Thunder Pro Series and is headlined by the Top Fuel and Pro Slammer categories.
US racer Dom Lagana is an addition to the Top Fuel field this weekend piloting a fourth car from the Rapisarda Autosport team. The Scarsdale, New York racer made several visits to New Zealand to advise the Marsh Motorsport team during its record-breaking Top Fuel campaign.