National events for new-look dragway

Cars of all type at the Warwick dragway.

By Tania Phillips

Competitors from Cairns to Melbourne took to the newly refurbished Warwick Dragway Quarter Mile track at Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick on Saturday for an event which has launched a busy drag racing season for the region.

Warwick Dragway vice president John Loy said an exciting season was planned for the track, which has been stepped up a level, allowing the club to host national events in the future.

“We had 200 competitors for the official Warwick Dragway Quarter Mile opening, it was great,” he said.

“We had competitors coming from as far away as Melbourne, Sydney and out west. There were some people from St George and the Gold Coast and as far up as Cairns.”

He said the event celebrated the official completion of the work to lengthen the track to cater for faster cars and more events.

“We got a grant for $1.9M and converted our eighth mile strip to a quarter mile,” Loy said.

He said it was a dream come true for the club’s more than 200 members and the realisation of a plan more than 20 years in the making.

“We had our opening meeting here at the raceway in 2000 and prior to that we did off-street drags with Operation Drag to fund the project,” he said.

“We started the project to get kids off the street and give them a safe environment to race.

“The refurbishment has upped us to a level where we can host nitro funny cars, which are some of the fastest cars on the planets.

“It will mean more meetings and we’ll be able to run more national events.

“This competition this week was just a stepping stone.”

He said competitors and spectators alike had been impressed by the weekend event,

“The comments from the competitors and supporters on our Facebook page were just incredible,” Loy explained.

“The spectators – we filled the place – it was awesome to see. Everyone was amazed and loved it and all we’ve got is support, nothing negative.

“It was a record crowd, I can’t quote a number but both our carparks were full and our canteen was run off their feet.”

“We’ve got another event coming up in three weeks and more planned throughout the year.”

The next event, held from 5-7 April, is the Addictive Events Roadtrip.

“Families come in the car and it has a trailer on it,” Loy said.

“They race at the track, they have a change of tyres in their trailer, so then they can go on a road trip.

“They might go to Tenterfield via Stanthorpe, pull up at the Hot Rod Shop or the may have lunch at the Karara and go through to Inglewood.

“There’s checkpoints and they’ve got to take photos of the checkpoints.

“Then they come back and they race at night and have a dinner. The do the same thing the next day. It’s a lot of fun. The last time, they had it here they had 250 entries and some of the coolest cars – old cars and superfast cars.

“Later in the year we’re going to have a Street Magazine run an event and it’s similar to the Road Trip, its great too.”

He said the calendar for the year was up on the group’s facebook with more to be added.

Saturday results: Outlaws: John Bayliss, runner up Dave Knightley; 28s V 275: Simon Graham, Aaron Gregory; Modified: Benita Marchant, Peter Ilsley; Super Sedan: Mark Sugars, Damien Morris; Super Street: David Mahoney, Bud Kelly; Street: Daniel Schaper, Harley Hankin; Modified Bike: Steve Day, Brian Alvisio; Street Bike: Matt Halpin, Mick Mundey; Junior Dragster: Charlie Usher, Tyler Bellert; Junior Bike: Alex Redman, Xavier Mansfield-French; 1/8 Mile Masters: Rob Adams, Phil Halpin; Outlaw Bike: Daniel Rabnott, Vanessa Rodhman; Longest Travelled: Vanessa Rohdmann and Nathan Neilson (from East Mackay – 11 hours 50 mins); Hard Luck award: Trent Roberts; Presidents Choice: Rochelle Strike.