NEW ZEALAND’S FIRST FOUR
Drag-racing fans have been waiting two years for New Zealand’s first-ever four-second pass, and on Saturday January 10 Marsh Motorsport delivered, with a 4.98 at 463kph (233mph) run on the final pass at the Rock FM Nitro Shootout. The road to a four-second pass on New Zealand soil began two years ago when Reece Fish purchased a complete top-fuel rail out of Australia, and it wasn’t long before Marsh Motorsport traded in its naturally-aspirated A-fueller for another top fueller from Australia to join in the fun. This is the second year running for the Nitro shootout, which features plenty of nitro-fuelled drag cars in support, but there is no doubt the stars of the show are the earth-shaking top-fuel dragsters, which made three side-by-side passes.
Anticipation for the first four was high leading up to the event, as last season Marsh ran a best of 5.08 and Fish a 5.22. The track temperature was a little high, which meant a challenging time for teams seeking the perfect tune-up, but the third and final run saw the magic happen with a 4.98 by Marsh, while Fish logged a new PB of 5.04, and much slower trap speed of 392kph (243mph), due to a blown engine.
Another highlight of the event came from Dave Gauld, who broke the long-standing NZ Fuel Altered record set by the legendary Peter Lodge in 1977. Gauld managed to run a 7.56 at 288mph (463.4kph).