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The Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) and the Central Australian Drag Racing Association (CADRA) regret to announce the cancellation of the Desert Nationals.

What was the second Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series event of the new season had commenced running earlier today (Saturday July 22) and was scheduled to conclude tomorrow (Sunday July 23).

Following bitterly low temperatures of only one degree overnight, followed by exceptionally cold conditions this morning, the start of on-track action was initially delayed to allow time for ambient temperatures to increase and for extra track preparations to be undertaken.

Qualifying began at 12.30pm local time, but despite all possible efforts having been made by CADRA and its track team, conditions continued to prove tricky with temperatures failing to come up as predicted.

In light of the situation, the CADRA committee together with Desert Nationals Meeting Director, Tim Reidy, held a meeting with all attending racers on-track to discuss the situation.

At this meeting, after consultation with all stakeholders, the decision was made to cancel the event in light of today’s continuing cold conditions and their effects on track conditions, and forecast colder conditions for Sunday.

“The entire CADRA committee is absolutely devastated that this decision has had to be made, but at the end of the day, safety must always come first,” Desert Nationals Meeting Director, Tim Reidy, said.

“The Committee has worked tirelessly for months in preparation for this event, and the team have done absolutely everything they can and exhausted all possible strategies and resources available today in trying to ensure a safe track surface despite the persisting cold temperatures.

“With such low temperatures, we simply cannot get and keep the necessary heat in the track today and with tomorrow’s forecast predicting even colder temperatures, trying again on Sunday is not an option.

“This decision has absolutely not been made lightly, and we thank the racers and all involved in this event for their support in this exceptionally tough situation.”

“No one ever wants to see events cancelled, but unfortunately despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it is unavoidable in this case,” ANDRA Chief Executive Officer, Tim McAvaney, said.

“We would like to thank Tim Reidy and the entire CADRA committee, volunteers and officials for their commitment to this event, their tireless work in the months leading up, and for their utmost dedication and efforts today to try and make this event possible.

“I would also like to thank all of the competitors who have made the trip for this event, and for their support in this difficult decision.”

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