Meremere gets hot and sticky
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
The quarter-mile action at Meremere Dragway ran all the way into the darkness at the second round of the 2016-17 Competition Series on Saturday.
Hot conditions and a sticky track enabled some impressive performances with new cars delivering some of the highlights.
On its second outing since being rebodied and upgraded to Top Alcohol Altered specification, the 27 T-Altered of the Christchurch-based Alsop brothers bettered half of a long-standing national class record.
Johnny Alsop gunned the small-block Chev engine car to consecutive 6.159s and 6.195s passes, bettering the TA/Altered ET record of 6.270s but a top speed of 225.56mph still remains slightly shy of the record held by Neil Robinson at 229.58mph.
The first Meremere appearance of the recently imported Ford Falcon Top Doorslammer campaigned by Cambridge racer Nigel Dixon produced a 6.422s pass at 199.14mph. The impressive ET and relatively low top-end speed hints at more performance to come and suggests Ross Taylor’s four-year-old national record of 6.413s may soon be under threat from Dixon’s new machine.
Dixon went out when he rolled through the start lights in the semi-final and the winner of the Top Doorslammer Shootout was Camaro racer Mark Bardsley (Auckland) with a 7.907s run into the darkness to beat the 55 Chev Coupe campaigned by Papakura’s Craig Brown and Murray Smith.
Another new car making its race debut was the Pro Import division twin-turbo Nissan 350Z of the Heat Treatments team with Reece McGregor (Auckland) getting the campaign started with a promising 7.425s/155.15mph qualifying pass.
Johnny Alsop on his 6.159s Top Alcohol Altered record-breaking run.
At the IHRA Spring Nationals in November, East Tamaki’s Anthony Marsh made a string of 267mph passes in the Marsh Motorsport A/Fuel dragster. He again set the performance benchmark at the latest meet with a 268.12mph top-end speed during the eight-car Top Alcohol Challenge.
But the most spectacular pass was a rare wheel-standing rear-engine dragster display from Pukekohe’s Chris Johnston. The blown big-block Chev dragster launched hard on the sticky track and Johnston kept the throttle pinned with the front wheels pointing skyward into the twilight till almost half-track on a 5.730s winning run against Alsop.
Ryan Sheldon (Henderson) continued a winning run this summer taking out the Top Comp eliminations in his 9.8-litre Camaro while in Pro Comp it was Chev Nova driver Glen Oldfield (Tauranga) who edged out the Lexus V8 dragster of Paul McLeod (Te Puke).
Super Comp was won by Drury’s Paul Hammond (69 Mopar) in a close final against the Fontana four-cylinder rear-engine dragster of Ian West-Stevens (Auckland).
The eliminations in Modified Bike, Competition Bike, Screaming Eagle, Super Street, Super Sedan and Junior Dragster were still in progress when darkness stopped play and will be decided on February 5.