Records smashed at national drag race meeting

Eight class records were obliterated at the recent IHRA NZ Nationals, held at Meremere Dragway.

A wide range of vehicles thrilled the huge crowd in attendance, from hot street-legal cars and motorbikes through to Fish Family Racing’s Top Fuel Dragster, Althol Williams’ Top Fuel Bike and a strong field of Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammers, as well as NZ’s only jet-powered funny car.

New Pro Import record elapsed time and top speed records were set by Cory Abbott, who set a blistering pace all weekend in his bright orange Mazda RX7, clocking at 6.968 seconds at a 195.99 mph (316.11 kph).

With some new chassis modifications in her Big Block Chev-powered Evil II Model T roadster, Tauranga’s Karen Hay, NZ’s fastest female drag racer, overcame the gremlins that have been troubling her all season to set both BB/AI E.T. record, running a 6.446 second pass at 217.04 mph (350.06 kph).

Perfect weather conditions over the weekend helped the Mahon Brothers yet again break both their own elapsed time and top speed records in A/MS, their Camaro scorching the quarter mile course at 7.858 seconds and 181.54 mph (292.81 kph).

In the Top Alcohol ranks, Chris Johnston clocked up a new top speed record, diving his rear-engined dragster at 256.60 mph (413.87 kph), while Whangarei’s Charlie Bates took out both elapsed time and top speed records for the RRR/D class, turning a 6.76 second, 202.27 mph (326.24 kph) pass in his rotary-powered, rear-engined dragster.

Over in the motorcycle ranks, Ian Hilder from West Harbour in Auckland rode his Rice Rocket II Pro Stock Bike to new AA1/DB records of 7.778 seconds and 165.11 mph (266.31 kph), respectively.

Spike Allen set a new elapsed time record for AA2/DB with a 7.928 second clocking on his Suzuki Hayabusa, and ultimately beating Hilder in the final of the Competition Bike class.

Another Suzuki Hayabusa, this one ridden by Steve van Pelt, whose machine flew through the lights at 148.43 mph (239.40 kph). The Christchurch-based rider also took home the winner’s trophy in the hotly contested Modified Bike Class.

Words by Peter S. Cooper