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Outlaws to take centre stage

John Shepherd’s ‘Nasty Bug’. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

MOTORSPORT

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

The new Outlaw 71 class will take centre stage at the season’s first drag race meeting at the Masterton Motorplex this weekend.

Now in its second season, Outlaw 71 features only supercharged cars and is based on traditional black belt supercharged cars, typically known as the ‘71’ series of superchargers.

There are tight time constraints around the Outlaw 71 class.

The cars must run quicker than eight seconds, but slower than 6.5 seconds for the quarter mile.

Qualifying is based on reaction time, and the racing is Dial Your Own time format, where drivers nominate a time and try and get as close as possible to it.

Outlaw 71 is also racer return, so all vehicles in the group come out and race in each round, win or lose.

Masterton Motorplex chairman Bob Wilton said about 20 cars will line up in the Outlaw 71 class.

“The class is becoming quite popular as it’s a bit more affordable than other classes like alcohol and top fuel.”

He predicted some thrilling racing for the crowds as the cars are often quite difficult to control.

“John ‘JD’ Shepherd has a brand-new car, the ‘Nasty Bug’, a VW out of Australia. It was here last month, and he got a bit out of shape in it, but it’s very quick.”

Wilton said other leading contenders are likely to include Peter Schimanski from Palmerston North in his supercharged Fiat Topolino and Brent Whittingham from Feilding in a 1969 Chev Camaro.

Steve Milliken’s ’36 Chev sedan. PHOTO/IAN MOSS

Steve Milliken from Auckland is expected to be among the frontrunners in his 1936 Chevrolet, also imported from Australia.

Vanessa Lilly from Tauranga will not only be the only woman but the youngest competitor in her ’23 T Altered, imported from Australia in July.

Racing is sure to be hotly contested with valuable points in the national series up for grabs.

As well as the feature Outlaw 71 class, Wilton said there will be racing in several other classes.

“Super Sedan is our biggest class and we could get over 60 cars in that. We’ll also have junior dragsters, modified bikes, and other classes. In total we’ll have about 180 cars.”

The meeting is the first of four competition meetings to be held at the Masterton Motorplex this season.

Dragstalgia, featuring the return of the Wild Bunch cars will be held on January 4-5, the Auckland Invasion will be on February 15-16, and the national championship finals will be raced on March 21-22.

Racing in this weekend’s meeting will start at 10am Saturday and 9am Sunday.

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