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Numbers down, speeds up

Outlaw 71 winner Gary Sinkinson. PHOTO/GRAHAM MEIKLEJOHN.

MOTORSPORT

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Masterton’s Steve Carlsen bettered 200mph for the first time. PHOTO/GRAHAM MEIKLEJOHN

Numbers were down, but there was still some thrilling racing at the Masterton Motorplex dragstrip over the weekend.

The meeting, featuring the crowd-pleasing Outlaw 71 class, was hastily organised after organisers cancelled the second day of racing at the December 11-12 meeting because of rain.

Motorplex manager Bob Wilton said 110 competitors turned up, well down on the 155 at the December meeting.

However, he added that was still way off the usual 180-plus competitors who regularly compete at the drag strip. The covid-19 traffic light system also had an impact on the number of Auckland-based racers attending the two-day event.

Crowd numbers were also down on previous meetings, and Wilton said the drop off had a lot to do with restrictions around crowds because of the covid-19 double vaccination requirements. Possibly the novelty of the Outlaw 71 class was also wearing off.

Twelve cars lined up in the feature Outlaw 71 class, and there were some spectacular times and speeds the supercharged non-carburetted cars chalked up.

Gary Sinkinson of Palmerston North finished first under the Dial-Your-Own time format, where drivers nominate a time and try and get as close as possible to it. He won with a time of 7.513 seconds at 160.32mph, ahead of Adrian Rivers from Whanganui.

Adrian Rivers had the lowest ET of 6.584sec and fastest MPH at 215.07mph, and was second in the feature Outlaw 71s. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

Rivers, however, came away with the fastest time and highest speed of the meeting with 6.584sec at 215.07mph for the quarter-mile in his ‘Blues Bros’ rear-engine dragster.

Whanganui’s Dave Tunnell was third in his rear-engine dragster, just failing to break 200mph with two runs at 197mph.

However, Masterton’s Steve Carlsen and Dion Crook from Lower Hutt achieved firsts by breaking into the six-second bracket and exceeding 200mph.

Carlsen recorded a 6.859sec run at 202.81mph, and Crook stopped the clock at 6.9sec [201mph] in the ‘Siren’ dragster.

“Neither had done it before because both of them have newish cars,” said Wilton.

“It’s a bit of a milestone in drag racing when you do your first 200, you get a red cap, which is something many in drag racing strive for.”

Dallas Graham had his first win in the Super Sedan class in his 1978 Toyota Corolla.

Dallas Graham [Horowhenua] took the major honours in the biggest class, the Super Sedans, with a time of 9.792sec at 140.93mph in his 1978 Toyota Corolla, and Te Puke’s Paul McLeod won the Modified Class in his ‘Exterminator Racing’ rear-engine dragster in 8.895sec at 151.31mph.

Other class wins went to Dave Fishwick in Super Street, Jackson Wilton in Modified Bikes, Colin Johnson in Competition Bikes, and Victoria Steiner in the Junior Dragsters.

Twenty-eight personal bests were set over the two days of racing.

Petrolheads don’t need to wait long for the next event at the Motorplex.

A large contingent of car enthusiasts is expected at the burnout competition on Saturday, which is part of the Hardpack car meeting being held in the Wellington regions. The action will run from midday to 5pm.

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