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Bumper turnout expected for speed festival

By Gary Caffell

Masterton Motorplex Drag Racing Club officials have every reason to expect boomer crowds for their Auckland Invasion meeting this weekend.

Last year’s corresponding event was one of the most popular ever held by the club and if the line-up for the 2017 edition is anything to go by it should whet the appetite even more.

As the naming would suggest this is a two-day event aimed at attracting drivers from the country’s biggest city to Masterton to test their skills on a drag strip of world-class quality.

And with at least 20 Aucklanders likely to strut their stuff tomorrow and Sunday the competition is certain to be of the highest quality, especially if the weather man plays his part as well.

There is no question which of the visitors will attract the most attention.

Tony Marsh holds the track record of 5.37secs (271.62kph), which is low flying by any standards, and has indicated that he will be all out to go even faster this time round.

In fact, Marsh has already managed that up north where he became the first person in this country to record a speed of 300mph , breaking the 5secs barrier in the process.

Marsh is not bringing that particular dragster to Masterton but could do so in the not-too-distant future.

Chris Johnson is another Aucklander sure to have tongues wagging.

He has clocked speeds of up to 262mph in the Top Alcohol category and those that know about these sorts of things reckon the Masterton strip will absolutely suit his style of driving.

This weekend ‘s meet will also see the appearance of a brand new V8 twin turbo dragster which should reach speeds of over 200mph.

There is a Top Street Car entry expected to crack the 7secs barrier, which is lightning fast for that type of vehicle, and a Dodge Avenger Funny Car from Christchurch which will also have the 7sec barrier in its sights.

MMDRC president Bob Wilton is “really excited” about what the next two days have to offer.

He said spectators would have the chance to see many of the country’s top drag racers going head to head and “it doesn’t get any better than that.”

The programme gets under way at 10am on both days.

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