Event Coverage: Nostalgia Trans Tasman rivalry

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 The touring Kiwi Nostalgia racers headlined the Cruzin’ Magazine Nostalgia drags in a match race billed as the Trans Tasman Challenge. 

For the record the challenge was won by the Aussies 8 wins to 7. A moderate field of 162 racers were pre-entered for the two day event in which both days were completed under perfect weather conditions, though race day on Sunday saw a number of delays due to fluids left on the track by the racers.


Mark Vincent drives the “Freight train”, a car he co owns with Ken Hopper.  The twin engine car is quite simply an amazing piece of engineering and Mark drives the wheels off it with high revving half track burnouts and mid 6 second quarters.

For the Trans Tasman challenge Mark was paired up against John Fleming’s “The Rattler II” FED.  Their first and third match up was won by the New Zealand car of Vincent with 6.87 and 6.62 second passes respectively, the latter at 201 MPH.


Getting a win in their second match up was John Fleming. The “Rattler II” rattling off a 7.66 second solo pass when Vincent could not front.


Darren Otto was matched up against Kiwi racer Alex Hogg for three rounds of racing.  Darren was victorious on the first two occasions by running closer to his dial in of 9.25 second in round one and thanks to a foul start from his competitor in round two.


Alex Hogg was another of the tourists driving a Cammer Ford powered FED.  Hogg won the third round of his match races over Otto thanks to a sharper reaction time and running 8.72 on an 8.60 dial in time.




Richard McCarthy is plain crazy driving his short wheelbase roadster to 7.2 second elapsed times.  Richard paired up 3 times against Greg Ward and was lucky to get the round one win on a breakout pass when Greg Ward red lighted.  Round two saw another win for the New Zealander running a 0.090 reacted 7.438 on a 7.28 dial in.  A red light in round 3 meant there was no possibility of a clean sweep.


Greg Ward regrouped in the third match race against McCarthy with a tough 7.28 second pass giving the Aussie team a much needed point in the Trans Tasman battle.


Michael Reeves Jr was an asset to the Aussie team gaining a clean sweep of three wins over his opponent Craig Mullin.  Reeves ran a 9.03, a 9.08 and a 9.05 in his rounds of racing, all on a 9.00 dial in.



Craig Mullin’s “Nitro Ape” altered is a beautiful car with a lot of history however Craig unfortunately struggled for consistency in the first 2 rounds running well off his dial in before breaking out in the 3rd round with a 8.895 on a 9.00 dial in.



The nitro burning 1974 Vega Funny Car of Karl Boniface was scheduled for three match racers against Aussie Peter Leahy however both cars struck gremlins and they were limited to two paired passes resulting with a win each.  Boniface struck first for New Zealand when Leahy red lighted and Boniface backed off to a 7.4 second pass.  In the second pairing it was the Kiwi’s turn to leave too early wasting a 9.94 second pass to hand Peter Leahy and team Aussie the win.


Peter Leahy ran a 6.49 on his 6.43 in his second matchup against a red lighting Karl Boniface.


Bill Goonan was testing in the Camaro Top Dooslammer improving tremendously with a best of 6.09 at 220 MPH.


Louis Galea ran a solo pass in the final of Top Eliminator when Trevor Smedley could not front up for the final, the ’37 Chev running 7.219 at 191 MPH on the pass.


The beautiful black Camaro of Trevor Smedley was a crowd favourite all day with big long burnouts and wild antics.  Unfortunately Trevor was relegated to runner up when he couldn’t make the starters call for the final.


An all Roadster final of Quick Eliminator was a corker of a race with Leonie Bailey coming from behind to defeat Chris Reid.


Chris Reid left first in the final of Quick Eliminator with a 0.036 reaction to the 0.038 of Bailey but was beaten across the stripe meaning the runners up trophy was Reid’s.




The final of Mid Eliminator was also a hard fought affair with both drivers clocking identical 0.200 reaction times.  Stew Walsh came out the other end victorious with his Nova running an 8.77 second ET.


Runner up in Mid Eliminator was Jason Bottin and his Chev Vega. 




The Super Eliminator was another solo with Nick Rayner left to take the spoils by running 10.83 in the final round in his Chev powered UC Torana.


Steve Oliver was unable to front for the final of Super Eliminator in his blown Valiant.


Getting the win light in Retro Bikes was Brett Ingram riding a 1979 Suzuki.  Brett was out reacted in the final but was able to fight his way to the winners circle against Adam Smith.


Adam Smith was runner up in Retro Bikes after wheel standing his way through the earlier rounds.


Justin Simpson drilled the tree in the final of Nostalgia Super Stock with a handy 0.008 reaction which along with his 8.284 second ET was enough to cover fellow finalist Mark Sugars.


The high stepping Cortina of Mark Sugars was runner up in Nostalgia Super Stock.


Damien Kemp won Vintge Gas in his Gasser Fairlane.


Ricardo Hovat was the runner up in Vintage Gas in this street driven Falcon.


Prolific bracket racer Guy Henry grabbed another trophy with victory in Nostalgia DYO 1.


Roy Bryson was runner up in Nostalgia DYO1 in this Holden ute.


Mitchell Bauer came up trumps in Nostalgia DYO2.


Charly Cameron was runner up in the Beautiful ’46 Dodge in Nostalgia DYO2.


 Article and Photos by Mal Burgess/Blacktrack.com.au


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