A joint press release from Sydney Dragway, Willowbank Raceway and Perth Motorplex has been issued detailing a new National Championship between the three. There are few details on how the break away competition will be achieved at this point and if it will be supported by racers, but now we are faced with a major split in the sport.
• New track-promoted professional National Championship to commence with the upcoming 2015/16 drag racing season
• Venues are Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex
• Events to be run under ANDRA sanctioning
Australia’s three major drag racing venues have united to announce they will promote a new National Championship Series headlined by the professional Group 1 categories and designed to revitalise the sport in this country.
As a result, the group has notified the governing body that the venues will not be taking part in its proposed 2015/16 ANDRA Championship Drag Racing Series.
Sportsman brackets will support the new series, with all events continuing to be run under ANDRA sanctioning.
Willowbank Raceway president and group spokesman, Tony Wedlock said the decision had not been taken lightly and came after many months of discussions with the ANDRA board.
Those talks centred around the role of ANDRA, issues with its performance and the conduct of certain office holders, and the board’s attitude towards the venues, which bear the full financial risk of promoting events.
The health of the premier professional categories and the issue of the future direction of the sport were also major areas of discussion and contributed to today’s announcement.
“Drag racing is the world’s fastest, most exciting and fan friendly motorsport, and our venues – Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex – are committed to its future,” Wedlock said.
“We intend to initially provide a better schedule of events through a revitalised National Championship, improve the health of the professional categories, and return confidence to the sport.
“Our announcement is in the best interests of Australian drag racing and will take the sport back to the top where it belongs.”
Wedlock said misinformation about recent meetings between the tracks and the ANDRA board had been circulated, and he stressed the tracks would continue to work with ANDRA.
“It is important to understand that all venues want to continue to work with ANDRA as the sport’s regulatory body in Australia,” Wedlock said.
“The tracks and racers have nearly half a century of investment in ANDRA however it has become obvious that changes are required for the sport to move forward.”