Despite doing its best, the weather could not dampen Day of the Drags 2013 edition, persistence by Sydney Dragway and event organisers ensured the event was completed as best it could and everyone in attendance still had a rockabilly draggin’ good time.
With the Saturday on track program washed out after completely drying the track a number of times in the teasing weather breaks before being cruelly rained on again, the night was still danced away with live bands along with plenty of pit cruising and a bit of cackle with hope that Sunday would have better fortune with the weather.
The rain system which was suppose to have buggered off a day early still lingered and intermittent showers disrupted Sunday but the program was completed in the end. Saturdays program was for cars 11 seconds and slower and also for the HAMBSTER and Flat Head or Sidevalve challenge, those who could return would be slotted into the Sunday schedule.
Outlaws Nitro was the feature exhibition of the event, the Nostalgia Fuel cars are growing in popularity and numbers across the country. Cowin Family Racing had two from their now stable of six cars on site, Rick Gauci was steering the Nitro Express ’57 and Shane Olive behind the butterflies of the new Fast Company Arrow, joining them was the Dodge Charger funny car from the Schultz family. Dave Armstrong had his crazy Donovan powered nitro FED, unfortunately the entered Black Widow and WW3 FED’s did not make a appearance.
The field was reduced by one after the first round when the Schultz team experienced perils of nitro punching rods out in the burnout. Armstrong sent the FED down on a single for a squirrelly 6.69 217MPH in typical FED style. Olive and Gauci paired off in the other pairing, the Arrow went anything but straight for a aborted 7.17 while Gauci powered straight down the middle of the lane for a 5.94 256MPH.
In the round two the funny cars paired up again, Gauci went quicker with a 5.91 246MPH while Olive again could not get the Plymouth hooked up for a 7.16. Armstrong ran a solo for another wild six second pass using up all the track from centreline to wall for a 6.87 at 205MPH.
In the final round Olive went into a spectacular power wheelstand going wildly out for shape and Gauci continued with the bracket like consistency running 5.91 at 257MPH.
A number of vehicles were offered the chance for some exhibition runs.
Stephen Dupond’s new Mustang Top Doorslammer popped the blower on the hit of the two step and did not attempt another pass.
Geoff Blake debuted a sensational looking FED imported from the US but rebuilt and restyled in Blake racing colours. After solving a initial gremlin, Blake blasted a 6.69/188MPH pass before unleashing 6.43 at 217MPH, you can say they were mildly happy with the result!.
While not strictly fitting into the nostalgic theme of the event, Paul Mouhayet and Sam Fenech were invited to test new Outlaw 10.5 cars.
Wild Bunch is making a comeback with the Nostalgia scene in attempt to relive the tyre smoking doorslamming days of the 80’s and 90’s. In first round of the round robin format Wild Bunch icon Ben Gatt brokeout 7.29 (7.35) out to Alan Smith’s Cortina 8.49 (7.90).
Victoria’s Bruno Matijasevic came back from a startline backfire in the qualifying round to have a troubled win over Matt Long’s Mustang and another Victorian John Brunner had a bye when John Babington broke in qualifying.
Round two saw Alan Smith pick a cherry against Matijasevic and Gatt hiking the wheels on the shifts shot to a 7.17 (7.15) win over Long, Brunner’s beautiful HK never fronted.
The final round featured Long defeating Smith who broke and Matijasevic picked up his third straight win in the gorgeous HG over Gatt who was off it early. Matijasevic’s clean sweep of all rounds assured overall victory.
There was a number of ET brackets featuring any combination of vehicles, the 7.00-8.99 ET limited bracket had everything from Norm McCormacks blown FED to Chad Taylors mountain motor Landrover. In the semi’s Greg Tsakiridis nitrous RX4 normally racing the Pro Street scene was gifted with a red lighting altered of Chris Manks and Mitch Sammut 555ci Corvette went on a solo with a tight 8.18 (8.18) package.
The final was also decided on the tree with the Corvette going red handing the victory to Tsakiridis.
In the 9.00-10.99 Bracket it was the ever consistent Sean Maher and his matt black HB Torana on its way to another final following a red light from Brett McNiff’s Valiant in the semis. A solo for Gordan Taylor’s Mustang in the other semi set up a Holden vs Ford final battle.
A sharp .009 light from the Mustang bookended with a 9.07 (9.06) was too tough for Maher’s 9.66 (9.63) and Taylor was one ecstatic Ford driver for claiming his first win at a Nostalgia event.
The 11.00 to 12.99 bracket was populated by classic muscle, hot rods and vintage gassers. By semi finals time it as Adrian Kemp moving along to the final with his Mustang after Harry “Big H” Plessas picked a cherry in a customer’s XR GT. The other semi was a encounter between two locals with no shortage of finals experience on identical 11.14 dial ins. With near identical reactions Luke Griffiths big Plymouth Satelite and Stan Nikitaras Capri pressed each other to breakouts, Griffith by just one thousandths of second under the dial in would advance.
The final was another tight tussle, a .015 light from Griffith was matched with a .006 by Kemp and again another double breakout result. But this time Kemp was the benefactor with a 11.068 (11.07) to Griffiths 11.120 (11.13) in a doorhandle to doorhandle race.
The 13.00 plus bracket was held from the previous days washout, Shane Corr’s Humpy Gasser was way cool on debut and reached the final. He would be joined by Casey Johnson’s XR gasser after defeating another Corr in Stephen and his Chev Pick Up. The “X-Rated” XR was too strong in the final with a 13.12 (13.07) downing the “Hump This” FX’s 14.90(14.80).
The HAMBsters fought it out with a round robin format, the final with three round wins each was between Allan Doorman and Ezio Cacciotti. A double breakout was the result with Doorman by the least amount claiming the victory.
Finally we have the Classic Bike class, only 3 bikes contested the bracket which was won by Bob Prior.
Lets hope next years event will be looked upon by the weather gods more kindly, also Judgement Day the offspring of Day Of The Drags for pre 1978 muscle cars and chrome bumper classics will be held later in the year at Sydney Dragway.
Photos by Grant Stephens/Cacklingpipes.com