Night drags gaining traction

Posted in News, Motorsport

Chris Browning pushed his street-legal 1994 Mitsubishi Evo to a blistering 10.87-second quarter-mile pass during the second round of the Night Speed Drag Wars series at Meremere Dragway on November 21. This was the first time the Panmure-based competitor had made it into the ten-second bracket.

The Friday night meeting for street-legal vehicles saw a good crowd enjoying a large field of competitors battling for class supremacy, as well as a dazzling fireworks display.

A quicker start line reaction time in the Turbo Four-Wheel-Drive class saw the Nissan Skyline GTR of Ashnil Kumar and Vic Ram beat the Mitsubishi Evo III of Papamoa-based Ants Gray in a very close and thrilling final, taking the win at 11.07 seconds at 127.41mph (205.50kph).

The Turbo Two-Wheel-Drive final was won by Pukekohe’s Carl Robertson, who drove his amazingly quick Ford Laser TX3 to victory over Karl Mossong from Rotorua in his Nissan Skyline, with an 11.58 clocking versus Mossong’s 12.65.

Honours in the All Motor/Rotary Naturally Aspirated class went to Mauku’s Willy Green in his 1978 Mazda 323, his 12.88 elapsed time beating the classic Mazda 808 of Te Atatu’s Adam Moss in an all-rotary final.

Gavin Anderson, from Auckland’s Green Bay, piloted his ground-pounding Z28 Chev Camaro to win the Quick V8s class against the Toyota V8-powered Mazda MX5 of Dairy Flat’s Donovan Brook, the big Chev running a time of 11.77 at 117.79mph (189.98kph).

A strong field in the DYO Motorbike class saw Morrinsville’s Tony Gray take out the finals on his Suzuki Hayabusa. His quick reaction times gave him the win over Derek Crocker’s Kawasaki ZX12R, with Gray turning a 10.961 versus Crocker’s extremely close 10.966 elapsed time.

The always-popular Car DYO class drew a massive field of competitors in this grassroots ‘run-what-you-brung’ class. Ultimately, it was Oratia’s Martin Reichs’ wild Ford T-Bucket that took out the final in a handicap start against Waihi-based Peter Cooper in his factory-standard Suzuki Swift Sport. While both seasoned competitors broke out (went faster than their dial-in times), Reichs took the win on the basis that his time differential was closer than Cooper’s.

The next round of the Night Speed Drag Wars will be held on Friday, December 5 at Meremere Dragway with gates opening at 5pm and racing starting at 6.30pm — gate entry just $15, but kids under 12 can go along for free, and racing entry $30.

Todd Wylie

Todd Wylie has been involved with NZV8 magazine since before the first issue was printed, and has been the editor for the last eight years. Growing up in the heyday of the Jap-import scene, he's not adverse to Japanese vehicles, having worked for NZ Performance Car previously, as well as owning a few well-known examples. These days he cruises at a slower pace in a 1956 Cadillac Coupe and dreams of building a Model A tudor.