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Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Masterton

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Drags meet the need for speed

The ideal track conditions and warm temperatures made for a hot weekend of drag racing and fast times at the Masterton Motorplex.

One hundred and fifty-nine cars and motorbikes faced the starter, and Masterton Motorplex manager Bob Wilton said the drivers didn’t disappoint with a lot of personal bests [PB] and six national records set over the two days of racing.

New Zealand’s fastest woman, Tamara Silk from Paraparaumu, led the way with the fastest time of 5.853 seconds over the quarter-mile and the fastest speed of 242.80mph for the weekend. However, that wasn’t good enough to take first place in the Top Alcohol class, bowing to Auckland’s Shane Lodge, who won the final in 6.359 seconds at 221.33mph.

Featherston’s Gavin Green gave the home fans something to cheer about in winning the highly competitive Top Doorslammer class. Green won the final in his ‘Angry Bird’ 1968 Pontiac Firebird in 6.532 seconds at 188.41mph. Kane Douche from Papamoa was well beaten in the final but had earlier set a PB with a 6.33-second run at 225.55mph.

New Zealand drag racing legend Tony Marsh was also on fire in his 1971 Ford Maverick, setting a PB of 6.383 seconds at 211.49mph in one of his first competitive outings in the newly developed car.

Other locals to impress were Carterton’s Kurt Goodin, who finished second behind Gerald Smith [Feilding] in the Supercharged Outlaws. He had earlier hit a PB of 7.98 seconds at 170.5mph in his 1970 Chevy Nova ‘Novadose’.

Shane Williams [Featherston] achieved a PB of 10.10 seconds at 128.75mph in his 1970 Chev Chevelle, while on two wheels, Colin Johnson, also from Featherston, was second in the Competition Bike class and hit a PB of 8.208 seconds at 162.85mph on his Suzuki Hayabusa.

Another driver with local connections, Roger Binnema, who spends his time between Balclutha and Masterton, took out the Top Street class with a time of 8.813 seconds at 148.51mph in his 2018 Chev Camaro.

Wilton was rapt with how Saturday and Sunday went, although he said the spectator numbers were down on what was hoped for, with several other local events on over the weekend having an impact.

The next meeting at the Masterton Motorplex is the popular Dragstalgia and Wild Bunch Challenge on January 2-3.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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