Sixty year old Ian Ham knows a thing or two about drag racing – the father of Top Alcohol competitor Steven Ham, he has been around drag racing for decades and finally stepped into the drivers’ seat himself 10 years ago when he bought himself a Sean Mullins built Modified dragster for his fiftieth birthday.
This weekend, the Beaudesert resident will head to his home-track of Warwick Dragway with that same racing machine to compete in round three of the 2012 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series, expected to host more than 100 competitors.
“All I do is race the eighth mile series, I haven’t raced the more well-known ‘quarter-mile’ format for years,” said Ham, whose business RD Williams Excavator Parts sponsors the Modified bracket of the Series.
“As a competitor, a race bracket sponsor, a father and just a guy looking to have fun, the JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series is just a fantastic thing and I absolutely love it.
“It has a relaxed atmosphere, everyone that comes along is looking to just do lots of racing.
“I come with the motto of just having a thoroughly good time, and if I have a win while I am going rounds then that is great, but I am here to have fun – you are a long time dead as they say, so you’ve just got to enjoy it while you can!”
This approach has been standing Ham in good stead, with the company director of RD William Excavator Parts – which along with TSP (Tin Shed Performance) Racing and BMI Engineering sponsors his racing efforts – currently tied in third for the points of the Modified bracket with Warwick young gun Andrew Ah Loy.
“I love this kind of racing, I absolutely love it to death,” said Ham.
“I really have to thank John Winterburn, Sue Syrmis and Tracey Fletcher and everyone else that is behind this Series – to run something like this and get it happening at the regional tracks is something that was long overdue and I really appreciate what they have done.
“There is no question that I will keep sponsoring it that is for sure, it is a great thing.”
The Series attracts a wide array of competitors from all across Queensland.
“There are guys like myself and then people like Kelly Bettes and Andrew Ah Loy – young guns that are out there cutting great lights,” laughed Ham.
“Guys like me we don’t do that so much, but we get out there and we have a laugh and we really enjoy ourselves.
“It is really great that so many people can come together for this Series and we can take it to the regional tracks, I think it is just going to keep growing.
“Thanks needs to not only go to the organisers but to all the staff and volunteers of the regional tracks, the racers who come out and make the atmosphere and who are always willing to give you a hand, and all of the sponsors who support us and who support the Series and the tracks.
“I should also thank my wife Jodanna for sticking with me, she is always there looking after me and supporting me and I am really appreciative for that.”
Round three of the JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series was originally scheduled to be held at Roma’s Ironbark Raceway, with track upgrades necessitating the move to Warwick.
“Warwick is normally pretty good to me, so it is nice to be heading there this weekend,” said Ham.
“We headed up to Roma the year before last and it was a nice little track, we missed the 2011 event there because of work commitments, but I remember it was a really great weekend. I look forward to heading back there once they have finished their upgrades.
“It is good to see more tracks involved in these kinds of events, and I don’t mind travelling to support the regional tracks at all, the more the merrier I say!”
Time Trials start at 10.00am till 2.00pm with racing commencing at 2.30pm till around 6.00pm
The 2012 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series is in its third year and will play host to Diamond T Products Junior Dragster, Queensland Nameplate Group Modified Bike, John Williams Auto Sales Super Street, Ice Slushee Super Sedan, RD Williams Excavator Parts Modified and the new FG Loy and Sons Earthmoving Old School bracket .
The Series kicked off at Willowbank Raceway on 21 April, before heading to Benaraby Dragway for round two on 21 July. Following this weekend’s event at Warwick Dragway, the Series will again return to Warwick for the final round on 10 November 2012.
For more information on the 2012 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series, including information on rules, how to enter and the points system, please visit to www.willowbankraceway.com.au
2012 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series
• Round One – Willowbank Raceway – 21 April 2012
• Round Two – Benaraby Dragway – 21 July 2012
• Round Three – Warwick Dragway – 25 August 2012
• Final Round – Warwick Dragway – 10 November 2012
• Diamond T Products Junior Dragster
• Queensland Nameplate Group Modified Bike
• John Williams Auto Sales Super Street
• Ice Slushee Super Sedan
• RD Williams Excavator Parts Modified
• FG Loy and Sons Earthmoving Old School
Pic by Mal Burgess