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Motorplex primed for fast times

Roger Binnema … expected to among the frontrunners in the group one championship. PHOTOS/STEPHEN VIRTUE


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The first round of the group one national championship will be the highlight of the two-day full competition meeting at the Masterton Motorplex dragstrip this weekend.

Fourteen cars are entered for the opening round of the four-round group one series, with two rounds each at Masterton, and Meremere, south of Auckland.

“I’m pretty happy with numbers considering the way things stacked with covid-19,” Masterton Motorplex manager Bob Wilton said.

“There are only two tracks that the group ones can race and that’s Meremere and us, so there should be some really quick times.”

The group one cars include a mix of alcohol cars and top door slammers, and Wilton predicted times in the five- to six-second barrier, and speeds of 230-250mph for the quarter-mile.

“The track prep boys have been out there all last week, scraping, rubbering, and spraying to get the track ready for fast times,” Wilton said.

“On Friday they will do the final touch up and then on Saturday morning they will run the rubber machine over it again to give it that edge.”

Featherston’s Gavin Green … taking on the big guns in group one.

Balclutha’s Roger Binnema, in a 2018 Chevy Camaro, recently imported from the United States, the top alcohol cars of Simon Fowke from Christchurch and Wayne Curry from New Plymouth, and Featherston’s Gavin Green in his Pontiac Firebird are among the favourites in group one.

There will be one crowd favourite missing from the meeting though.

New Zealand drag racing legend Tony Marsh’s top fuel rail was destroyed in a crash while driven by Marsh’s son earlier this year.

Twelve other classes, including super stocks, super sedans, competition bikes, supercharged outlaws, and modifieds will compete over the two days.

Wilton said those classes compete in an eight-meeting series that includes smaller tracks which are not purpose-built, such as Taupo, Tokoroa, Motueka, and Christchurch.

Racing gets under way at the Masterton Motorplex today at 10am and tomorrow at 9am.

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