Hydraulink Jim Read Racing have been proud to play an important part in the weekend’s Spring Nationals, which not only was the grand-opening for the brand-new Dragway at The Bend, but also the first Top Fuel/group one event of the new National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC).
The opening round of the NDRC Australian Top Fuel Championship for the 2023/2024 season as part of the Spring Nationals was attended by more than 35,000 spectators across the Saturday and Sunday, as South Australia welcomed back drag racing thanks to the new facility for the first time in years.
Six Top Fuel dragsters lined up for the event, with Damien Harris ultimately taking the win over his team-mate, Wayne Newby.
While the weekend may not have panned out in regard to results for the Hydraulink Jim Read Racing crew, the team was still incredibly proud to be a part of what was a milestone event for the sport of drag racing.
“To have drag racing, and group one drag racing at that, back in action in South Australia is exceptionally exciting,” Hydraulink Jim Read Racing driver and three-time champion, Phil Read, said.
“The appetite for our sport here in SA was demonstrated loud and clear over the weekend, with a sell-out crowd on Saturday of more than 20,000 and a total of 35,000+ race fans streaming through the gates across the two days.
“To be able to race in front of a crowd of this size, and such an enthusiastic one at that, was truly great, and we are so proud that we could play our part in not only opening this fantastic new facility, but also opening the new NDRC Top Fuel Championship.
“The weather may have been challenging, and it had impacts on our racing program on Saturday in particular, but those fans were going nowhere, and we were so appreciative of their commitment to supporting each and every one of the 350 plus competitors who had travelled from all over the country for this event.
“Things might not have gone our way this weekend, but we still have a lot of great memories to take away with us and we can’t wait to get back here and do it all over again – just hopefully with some better results for us!” he grinned.
Hydraulink Jim Read Racing crew chief, Bruce Read, explained the challenges the team had faced across the event.
“It was certainly not the weekend we were hoping for when it comes to runs on the board, but still as Phil says, what an incredible event and what a showing from the South Aussie race fans – that was truly something special,” Bruce Read said.
“We missed two test runs due to the impacts of the weather and when you are coming up against quality opposition like we do, you just can’t afford to give an inch.
“We missed one pass due to a brake malfunction and another with a broken valve retainer during the warm-up – after which we pulled the engine out as we couldn’t find the piece that broke off, and so we missed the call to head out.
“That meant that we headed into Sunday’s race-day well and truly behind the eight ball, and you can’t do that with a brand new combination under you while going up against a field like we were. More testing would have been ideal, but we didn’t have that opportunity and we were fighting the car the whole time.
“It was just one of those weekends really, but we never give up and we were happy to at least finish the weekend off with a C-Final win.
“Having said all of that – this venue is amazing. The weather was no good, and I felt very sorry for the event organisers having to work around that, but the facilities here are fantastic, the crowd was awesome, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Dragway at The Bend.”
Hydraulink Jim Read Racing will next be on-track on December 1 and 2, for the next round of the NDRC Australian Top Fuel Championship at Willowbank Raceway. For event information, visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au and www.ndrc.tv
Hydraulink Jim Read Racing is supported on track by Hydraulink, Valvoline, Snap-On, McDonalds, FXD Workwear, PremiAir Hire, Odyssey Batteries, PMP Motorsport Products, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance Wrist Pins, Oasis Aquatics, Oasis Heat Pumps, Speed Gas, Spa Electric Pool Lighting and Pacific Pools. The team also thanks Richard Smith for his assistance with photography services. To learn more about Hydraulink Jim Read Racing, visit https://www.facebook.com/JimReadRacing
Hydraulink Jim Read Racing 2023/2024 racing calendar:
• 21-22 October 2023 – The Bend
• 1-2 December 2023 – Willowbank Raceway
• 26-27 January 2024 – Sydney Dragway
• 2-3 March 2024 – Perth Motorplex (Westernationals)
• 6-7 April 2024 – The Bend
• 3-4 May 2024 – Sydney Dragway (Nitro Champs)
• 6-9 June 2024 – Willowbank Raceway (Winternationals/Grand Final)