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Fan favourite seeks redemption

By Jake Beleski

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One of the biggest drawcards of this weekend’s Dragstalgia meeting at Masterton Motorplex has vowed to put on a redemption show for the spectators.

Karl Boniface is well known in petrol-head circles for his feats on the track in his ‘Nitro Flashback’ car, and also the way his previous visit to the event unfolded.

“We were here two years ago and unfortunately we had a huge explosion in the car, and it caused quite a lot of damage,” he said.

“A lot of the spectators that were there then will remember it — this is our comeback.”

The car has been rebuilt to the same specifications as before the explosion.

Local spectators and event organisers had been extremely supportive after the incident, he said.

“We had a lot of support from the crowd — they all came up and a lot of people were sympathetic to what had happened.

“We received some donations towards what had happened from local people, and the track were very obliging as well — they’ve done a great deal to get us here this weekend.”

Boniface has been involved in drag racing since his teenage years, and has a long list of achievements including making the 200mph club.

“It’s a prestigious club and takes a fair bit to get into so we’re quite proud of that.”

His current top speed is around 205mph (330 kmh) but there may be a chance to challenge that record this weekend, he said.

“We’re aware the track is probably the best track in the country as far as being able to run the top speeds so if everything goes well for us, later on Sunday we might try and turn the car up a bit and see if we can get a new top speed.”

His main goal was to beat his good friend and intense rival, Dave Gauld.

“Dave is a good friend of ours and he’s very competitive as well so there’s a lot on the line as far as bragging rights go.

“The jibes have already started between the teams, so we’ll be working hard to try and come out on the top of that.”

Event coordinator Bob Wilton said it would be a great weekend for people of all ages.

“The hot rod challenge is on Saturday and the rest of it goes through to the following day for the finals for the rest of the classes.

“We have 12 classes altogether.”

Last year’s event had 150 competitors, and they were hoping to top that this time around, he said.

As well as racing, there would also be other forms of entertainment.

“We also have displays where the public bring their classic cars and hot rods in and we put them in a special area so they can put them on show.”

Racing starts at 10am, and tickets can be bought at the gate for $20.

Children under 14 get in free.

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