After careful consideration, the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) Board in consultation with the venues have made the decision to move the ANDRA Drag Racing Grand Finals from Calder Park in Melbourne to the Australian Nationals on October 31 – November 2 in Sydney.
“The finals being one of the biggest events on the racing calendar, is both prestigious and a must attend date on the racing calendar,” said ANDRA CEO Malcolm Bulley.
“While it will be problematic to a few due to cutting the season down by one event, it’s a decision which hasn’t been taken lightly or without due consideration.
“The good news is we are currently in the process of obtaining all the final details for upgrading the Calder Park track surface and return road. The redevelopment of Calder Park Raceway will be staged over a long period however this latest evolution is absolutely paramount to Victorian ANDRA Drag Racing. We are very pleased with the development and look to work closely with Calder Park Raceway in the upgrade.
“Details are still to be finalised however the primary condition agreed to by both parties is that it will be a world class racing surface and remain in place for the long haul.”
Calder Park Promoter and Drag Racer Peter Pisalidis said he was ecstatic with the upgrade believing it will re-establish Calder Park to the level it deserves.
“The hard work and heartache sometimes does pay off,” added Pisalidis. “It’s a great outcome for Drag Racing locally and Nationally.
“This will cement Calder again to the status it had in in the 90’s and as the promoter and a Drag Racer I am extremely happy about it.
“We have already seen a consistent increase in local support and think this just proves how serious all parties are about Drag racing in Melbourne finally putting any critics to rest.”
ANDRA has been committed to a healthy long-term future for Drag Racing in Victoria since the successful return of Top Fuel to the venue in October 2013.
This news for Calder Park Raceway comes as the construction of both the Chisholm Reserve Motor Sports Complex near Swan Hill and the Bairnsdale Dragway near Gippsland, ensures there has never been a better time of growth for the sport in Victoria.
“We are very excited by this development,” added Bulley. “By ensuring the Calder Park surface is second to none we can continue to build a bright future in Victoria and we can’t wait to see our members battle it out for Championship points on a surface worthy of our premier categories at this legendary venue.”
As additional venues and upgrades continue to grow, ANDRA is preparing to meet future demand by developing entry levels and creating awareness in these new and existing markets while working on it’s premium product to ensure the sport is sustained into the future.
“Whilst change and development of drag racing over the past 12 months has been hectic at times, we still must look at where we will be in future years,” continued Bullley.
“Some believe change can’t come quick enough, but there is still a level of change resistance with respect to individual classes and brackets. ANDRA, while committing to engagement and discussion with all stakeholders, are also committed to evolving the sport to meet our vision of becoming; ‘The most respected and successful Motorsport in the country.’
“As we continue to evolve and discuss options with all stakeholders will we achieve this vision. It’s only when we look back on where we were and where we are now over a 1-3 year period do we see progress. The ups and downs along the way – similar to the stock market – are challenges to be met and it will take an immense and unified effort to get through those issues while we attain this vision.
“Any final decisions will not be perfect to everyone but as long as we keep an eye on the bigger picture of growth we will see more spectators, more venues, more competitors and more sponsors.”
Further details on the Calder Park development will be released as they become available.