THE TOUGHEST UTE IN TOWN
If it’s drag racing that floats your boat, you’re going to love the NZDRA 50th New Zealand Nationals, taking place at Masterton Motorplex over the weekend of March 17–18. This meeting represents the final of the current NZDRA Championship Series, and promises two days of all-out racing action, with a $5000 cheque waiting to be claimed by the first top doorslammer driver to crack a five-second quarter-mile pass. Gate entry is $20 per person per day, with under 14s free. Gates open at 9am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday, with racing beginning at 10am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday. The annual Gear Jammers Rod and Muscle Car Club show is all go for March 18, at Kapiti Primary School, Paraparaumu. The car show is open to hot rods, classics, kustoms, and muscle cars, and will feature a live band, a pin-up competition, rocker-cover racing, and an assortment of vendors. The event will begin with a cruise to the venue, departing Southward Car Museum at 9.30am, with the show scheduled to kick off at 10am. Slap the date in your calendars, and get prepared for a cruisy day out. We hope you’ve sorted your Hop accommodation in time for New Zealand’s biggest automotive festival. Repco Beach Hop 18 will kick off on March 21, and the five-day party will follow the traditional itinerary across the Thames–Coromandel region, with the massive Saturday programme taking over essentially all of Whangamata. Oh, and of course there’s the chance to take home this year’s giveaway — either a ’56 Ford F100, a 2018 Harley-Davidson, a retro caravan, or $10K in cash. Visit beachhop.co.nz for more information. It’s that time of year again — the country’s coolest annual drag racing event is rolling back to Meremere Dragway. The Bay Rodders’ 2018 Nostalgia Drags, sponsored by Worlds End Bar and Restaurant, will take place on Saturday, March 31 — this means it will not clash with Beach Hop — so you’d better lock the date in! This year’s Nostalgia Drags is set to include the usual nostalgia action we know and love, as well as the high-speed FED Challenge and the brute-force Trans-Tasman Gasser Challenge! This will include the ‘Funderbolt’, ‘Loose Cannon’, ‘Badasstoo’, and ‘Haywire’ gassers shipped over from Australia. Entry is $25 per adult, with under 14s free — or $40 per adult if staying for both Nostalgia Drags and Club Champs — and gates will be open from 7am. For more information, visit bayrodders.co.nz/nostalgia-drags.