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Outlaws rev up for first meeting

The engines are revving, the tyres are ready to smoke, and the Outlaws are riding into town for the first drag meeting of the season at the Masterton Motorplex.

Manager Bob Wilton is expecting about 20 of the crowd-pleasing Outlaw 71s for Saturday and Sunday, which is their first competition outing of the summer but is primarily a test-and-tune meeting for the other classes.

The Outlaw 71s generally produce thrilling close racing.

The exclusively supercharged cars cannot be carburetted or alcohol-powered and race under tight time constraints.

The cars must run quicker than eight seconds but slower than 6.5 seconds for the quarter mile, and qualifying is based on reaction time and raced under the Dial-Your-Own time format, where drivers nominate a time and try and get as close as possible to it.

The class is also racer return, so all cars come out and race in each round, win or lose.

The Outlaw 71s have taken centre stage at the November meeting for several seasons now so the public can enjoy some meaningful racing instead of turning up for just a test and tune meeting,

Wilton expects about 160 cars and motorbikes over the two days, with most fine-tuning their cars for the competition meetings ahead on the calender.

“Most of those will be testing because the next meeting in December is the Group One meeting, so they have to make sure everything is right after all the work they’ve been doing on the cars over the winter,” he said.

Among the local drivers likely to fire up their engines are Featherston’s Gavin Green in his ‘Angry Bird’ 1968 Pontiac Firebird, although Wilton is uncertain whether Masterton’s 2022–23 National Top Doorslammer champion Dwane Garrett will front in his ‘Torquing Heads’ Chev Camaro.

Another intriguing entrant is popular Upper Hutt racer Paul Davison, who will have his first run in an alcohol-powered rail, which he has been developing since he bought it in the USA four years ago.

Davison will be hoping for better luck than he experienced in 2019 at the Motorplex when his dragster was written off after its twin parachutes failed to open and it crashed at the end of the dragstrip.

Racing will get underway at 10am Saturday and 9am Sunday.

The meeting is the first of five at the Masterton Motorplex over the summer. It will be followed by a championship meeting in December, the popular Dragstalgia-Wild Bunch cars in January, the Mayhem meeting in February, and culminating with a national championship meeting in mid-March.

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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