Eight Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars, a wheelstander and two transporters are in New Zealand awaiting the arrival of their teams and drivers for the first of two series races in New Zealand on February 22 at Meremere Dragway.
They are hopeful the trip will be dryer than the last, which was forced to be cancelled two years ago due to a drought-ending rain storm. But this hasn’t dampened the spirits of the teams who are excited to head back across the ditch.
Driver of 'Terminator' Justin Walshe will be using the overseas event as an opportunity to spend some recreational time with his team.
“I can’t wait to get back to New Zealand, we are shooting over a couple of days early to hit the luge in Rotorua for some team bonding,” he said. “We will then head to Meremere to finish what we started a couple of years ago and put on a hell of a nitro show on for the fans. It will be a show full of noise, speed, smoke and plenty of close racing.”
Making his first trip to Meremere Dragway and his competition debut in the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars will be 24-year-old Brandon Gosbell, at the wheel of the 'King Kong' Pontiac.
“I couldn’t be more excited, to make my debut in this great series is awesome but to be able to do it at an international race just adds that little bit extra,” he said. “The hype around the event from the New Zealand public has been unreal, and we will be doing everything we can to put on a show for the Kiwi crowd."
Although new to the Nitro Funny Car ranks, Brandon is no stranger to the drag strip, making a name for himself running over 200mph on no-wheelie bar motorbikes.
“Not much relates between the two classes, but I am absolutely loving this nitro journey in this awesome class.”
One of the main attractions at Meremere will be the Aeroflow Pit Party, an initiative that gives families and fans a chance to get up close to the cars and have a look at the 400kmh rockets before they hurtle down the track. One of the most popular racers during the Pit Party is Chelsea Leahy, who drives the Nitro Sheriff Wheelstander.
“As a driver it gives us time to really engage with the fans before we concentrate on racing,” she said. “There is heaps of free giveaways, face painting, bouncy castle and kids colouring competitions. Honestly, I wish we had this when I was younger.”
The Aeroflow Pit Party takes place from 3pm to 4pm, before the Funny Cars head for the track at 4.30pm.
- Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars Media Release