Willowbank Nostalgia – report

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Late February saw just under 120 competitors compete for old school glory at this year’s first Nostalgia event at Willowbank Raceway.

Temperatures had thankfully dropped from those experienced at the previous weekend’s QDRC opener, meaning conditions for both racers and spectators were much more pleasant.  The previous evenings Test and Tune was hampered by an electrical issue with the timing system, officials worked through the night to fix the issue however it reared its head again just as the racers were called to the lanes.  Officials again defeated the issue to get racing underway and complete a thereafter trouble free day of old school racing.


With the cancellation of the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars from the event it was left to the blown madness of Top Eliminator to headline the event.  Unfortunately only three cars made passes on the day, one of which was Chris Van’thof who top qualified with a 6.875 at a whopping 207 mph from the Corvette, Chris went on to gain runner up honours.



Top Eliminator winner was Jake Donnelly driving his exceptional beautifully presented 1957 Chevrolet funny car.  Jake rattled off a 6.94 at 202 mph on the fixed 6.60 second index to defeat a slowing Van’thof in the final.


Mike Bailey was kicked out of the seat of their roadster by better half Leonie for a crack at success at the Nostalgia Drags.  Success did come during Quick Eliminator qualifying where she kept her foot firmly on the floorboards to grab number one with a 7.731 at 172 mph.  Leonie went all the way to the final where a red light followed by a slowing 9 second pass handed the win to opponent Geoff New.


Geoff New earned himself the winner’s trophy for Quick Eliminator with wins over Peter Duffy and Darren Otto before defeating the red lighting Bailey in the final. 


Gas Eiminator for sedans quicker than 10.50 was lead in qualifying by David Hopper who has recently climbed on top of the tune up in his Blown Camaro. The resulting 8.52 second pass at 154 mph was accompanied by a nice wheel stand off the line.


Cameron picked up two wins from three in the shootout rounds of Gas which was enough to qualify he and his ’59 Anglia for the final round match up against Kristy Bridgement. Cameron was gifted a win when Bridgement plucked a cherry but ran the Anglia through for the crowd in 9.684 seconds.


Kristy Bridgement was hitting the tyres hard off the line on the way to a runner up trophy in Gas


The Carpenter family came out in force again for the Nostalgia drags and deservedly featured in the tracks pre-event promotional material.  Success came for two of the three Carpenters when Jason top qualified in Hot Rod with the ’34 Pickup while Grant went on to win the bracket.


Grant Carpenter was victorious in Hot Rod thanks to a quicker reaction and an 11.78 on 11.75 in the final from his ’28 Roadster.


Runner up in Hot Rod went to Charly Cameron driving a stunning ’46 Dodge.  A 12.15 on 12.10 would win a few Nostalgia races but unfortunately for Charly a slow reaction gave the advantage and the win to Carpenter in the final.


Joe Marshall was one of three racers to top qualify in their respective brackets and just fall shy of an event win.  The Retro Bike racer top qualified in 8.939 seconds but after making it to the final round also red lighted away any chance of victory.


The beneficiary of Marshall’s red light was Ethan Wright who took his Kawasaki to the Retro Bike winners circle after clocking a 9.72 in his victorious final round. 


John Kreis sure was entertaining during Retro Bike qualifying.


Nostalgia Super Stock saw Mark Sugars take the double when he top qualified his high revving and high stepping Cortina and went all the way, defeating Paul Crossley for the winners trophy.


Paul Crossley’s big XY was too keen on the start line in the final of Nostalgia Super Stock and fouled, leaving Sugars to take the win.


The mighty mouse was mighty quick in Vintage Gas landing atop the heap in qualifying when the Toyota covered the quarter mile in 10.567 seconds.


Andrew King came from behind in the final to win Vintage Gas over a breaking out Peter Childs.


Peter Childs very cool Malibu ran too quick with an 11.91 second break out to restrict him to runner up in Vintage Gas.


The big Dodge Demon of Bob Mason ran 10.793 at 125mph to top qualify in US Muscle.


Shane Waters outlasted a big field of American iron by winning US Muscle in this 1970 Mustang.


Carole Rauchle red lighted away the final of US Muscle with a -0.006 reaction in the big C10.


Number one qualifier in Aussie Muscle went to this tough ten second Capri driven by Shawn Taskis.


Mitchell Bauer used a 0.100 reaction and a 12.03 on 11.98 dial in to win Aussie Muscle.



Bec Driver came from 14th qualifying position all the way to the final round where a slower reaction cost her the race.


Now you’re talking!

Fossil FuelerGoonan

Some performance testing was carried out also that included the Slapp injected nitro digger of Graham Slapp, the team had a few technical issues and did not achieve their first six second pass, but are confident for their next outing.

You can read more about the Fossil Fueler here http://dragnews.com.au/index.php/news-all/features/2094-slapp-happy-injected-on-nitro


Report and images by Blacktrack.com.au




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