With inclement weather the each day of the week leading up to the first Cruzin’ Magazine Nostalgia Drags for 2013, more than a few prayers were being uttered to the drag racing gods.
Fortunately, those prayers were answered! Unfortunately, the hot, sunny weather, coupled with very high humidity caused by the rain soaked ground meant that conditions bordered on unbearable at times for racers in their race suits and track staff and spectators in the boiling sun, but hey, at least there was none of the dreaded race-killing wet stuff!
Just over 100 racers assembled and come 9am sharp, the on track action began. All brackets were run Round Robin style with the two best performers from each bracket facing off in a sudden death final!
A relatively healthy 12 competitors fronted for the Retro Bike class with Ethan Wright taking the Top Qualifier gong with a 9.92 on his Kawasaki. Once racing began, however, it was the Kawasaki of John Kreis and the Honda of Pedro Smith which made it through to the final. Kreis took the win with a 11.69 over Smith’s 13.97.
A brand new bracket for this weekend, and aiming to relive the glory days of Australian drag racing was the high stepping Nostalgia Super Stockers! Various mishaps with broken cars and/or parts not arriving for some competitors in the days leading up to the event, meant that only 3 cars competed in this exciting “new” class. Despite the low numbers, what a show they put on! With the main instigator of the bracket, Jai Schluter leading the way in his trusty XC Falcon, this bracket will almost certainly become a crowd and racer favourite in time to come. Joining Schluter was the Monaro of Top Qualifier Justin Simpson (8.87) and, making a comeback from a long time away from the track, the famous “Cannonball” XY Falcon of Paul Crossley. The final came down to a Ford Vs Ford battle, but unfortunately, a ring gear that let go in Schluter’s immaculate hardtop and punctured the exhaust meant that Paul Crossley was able to solo to a 11.59 to take the title.
Vintage Gas is a good, fun, relatively budget class and, as always, put on a good show, despite there being just four competitors. Top Qualifier David Gall in the “Mighty Mouse” Chev-powered Toyota 700 took the win with another solo after the 202 Holden 1948 Anglia of Tim Roberts broke a clutch in the last round of racing.
By far the biggest field went to Nostalgia DYO with 56 entries. For racing, three separate brackets were created, based on performance levels of the competitors. In N/DYO1, Jason Cocking’s HG Ute ran 11.113 to take a thrilling win over Jason Carpenter’s red ’33 Chev pickup with a 11.118! Mitchell Bauer’s Torana won with a holeshot over Leigh Boyle’s El Camino Ute in another thriller for N/DYO2 with a slower 13.35 to Boyle’s 11.99. N/DYO3 was the classic Plymouth Barracuda of Wayne Edwards running a 14.86 to take the win over Joseph Danglmaier in the Slant Six Hambster.
With 20 entries, Super Eliminator was also quite well supported. Run off of an index of 9.60, there was a good mix of cars battling to make the final where Kerry Siebuhr in the HB Torana ran 9.73 to take a narrow win over the hard charging HQ Monaro of Steve McKenzie 9.70. McKenzie’s 137.82 Mph compared to the Torana’s 119.98 meant that that Siebuhr ran a very well judged race and wouldn’t have wanted the track to be any longer!
Another index class was that of Middle Eliminator, with 4 entries running on an 8.60 index. The amazing ’65 Honda S600 of Phil Penny certainly turned some heads. Running a Fiat 4 cylinder engine with a turbo the size of a man’s head sitting high above the bonnet line, the little Honda pulled massive smokey burnouts and wheels up launches all day. The final came down to the ’67 Camaro of David Hopper and Stew Walsh’s ’66 Nova with the Nova taking the win with an 8.84.
In the 7.60 indexed Quick Eliminator, only Chris Reid in his ’27 Roadster running a monster 632 cube engine lined up against the ’68 Camaro of Richard Voight with no other competitors in their class. By the time the finals rolled around, it was just Reid, left to solo to an 8.41.
Top of the heap on the day was, of course, Top Eliminator, running off an index of 6.60 and with 5 competitors. The final came down to the gorgeous nostalgia Funnycar of Pete Leahy, who took the title with a very strong 6.89, and Dave Wallace in the “Elenor” Mustang who ran 7.26.
All in all, a great day with lots of very cool cars both on the track and in the show’n’shine, plenty of action on the track and good times had by all.
Report by Phil Burchill
Photos by Phil Burchill and Grant Berry