BREAKING NEWS – IHRA sanction announced for 400 Thunder Series

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The 400 Thunder Series will be sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) for future events, starting with next month’s Home Group WA Nitro Slam at Perth Motorplex, according to a statement released today from the group.

 The move to the IHRA comes after the debut of the 400 Thunder series at the East Coast Nationals, held at Sydney Dragway. 

The East Coast Nationals was sanctioned by the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA), which last week notified Perth Motorplex it will not sanction future 400 Thunder events.

400 Thunder spokesperson Gerald McDornan said the move to IHRA was a decision not taken lightly.

“400 Thunder has attempted to work with ANDRA and had every intention of continuing with its sanctioning, but ANDRA’s actions last Tuesday left us with no alternative but to seek a new regulatory body to continue building what has been begun,” he said.

IHRA President Scott Gardner welcomed 400 Thunder to the organisation and said all the facilities at which the series will visit had already been inspected and signed off.

“The International Hot Rod Association is proud to welcome 400 Thunder, running at Willowbank, Sydney and Perth, to the IHRA family,” Gardner said.

“We take great pride in being an organisation that reaches beyond the borders of our country in an effort to promote drag racing on an international scale throughout Canada, Aruba, the Bahamas, New Zealand, and now Australia.

“We are honoured to be chosen as the sanctioning body for this great series, running at these world class facilities, and we look forward to working with the tracks to expand the opportunities for Australian racers.”

McDornan said the IHRA would recognise the existing rules, technical regulations and licences in Australia in the interim to ensure a seamless transition for competitors.

“Through our event staff 400 Thunder will take every step to ensure the switch to the IHRA is a smooth changeover,” McDornan said.

“Australia’s governing body has made its decision not to sanction 400 Thunder on what we see as commercial grounds rather than safety and regulations.

“We’ve had enough of the politics over the past six months; the distractions are behind us.

“Now we are looking forward and focussing on the core goal of promoting top-level, professional drag racing in Australia – 400 Thunder style.”

The ANDRA-run Summit Sportsman Series looks like it may fall victim to the split – though IHRA also has an involvement with Summit at a sportsman level.
The 400 Thunder management said sportsman racers would be included in the 400 Thunder IHRA switch with local rules, regulations and licenses recognised as per the professional categories to ensure competitors incur no additional costs.

“Sportsman racing continues to be a vital part of the sport and with 400 Thunder Sportsman competitors will race at the biggest events in front of the largest crowds,” McDornan said.

“400 Thunder’s arrangements also open up a new world of opportunities for Sportsman competitors, including the opportunity to represent Australia at the IHRA World Finals.

“We will make more announcements over time, but we are already excited by the opportunities.”


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