CES MILLER PULLED ONE OUT OF THE BAG
However, as far as personal bests were concerned, it was Bert King, also racing in Top Alcohol who’d take the cake — a 5.84 at 243.06mph is absolutely moving, and certainly counts for a lot when you’re racing at that level. Of course, it would be rude to overlook the Marsh Motorsport/Mount Shop boys, who had the A/Fuel dragster out in a show of force. A 5.52 at 257.48mph was far and away the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, but the lads were unfortunately unable to do too much else due to a catastrophic engine failure, pulling out of competition. Then there was a raft of other personal bests — Craig Griffith’s dragster running a 6.72 at 198.35mph, Steve Milliken running his Topolino Altered to a 7.30 at 181.06mph, and Stuart HenleyMinchington’s 8.17 at 159.99mph. Drag racing veteran, Gavin Oram, also made a comeback, to much acclaim, marking the competition debut of his new and significantly improved Plymouth Arrow. The tiny hatchback has been around for many years — some will remember it in its old nitrous-assisted guise many moons ago. It’s now meaner than ever, with a twin-turbo
Reece Fish–built 377ci small block tuned by C&M Performance. A certified loose unit, Gavin definitely gave the crowds a fair share of excitement on Sunday, when his wheelie bars gave way under an enormous wheel stand, showing everyone just what a weapon he has on his hands. The 8.29 at 171.79mph he managed over the weekend is just an indicator of what’s to come from this thing. In terms of turbocharged performance, we’ve also got to give a special mention to Chad Tully and the Tully Motorsport team, whose wicked-looking Holden Torana is sure to ruffle a few feathers. The low-slung four-door really looks the part, with its tough stance and sectioned front clip, but it’s the turbocharged Ford Barra straight-six that’s gonna upset the Holden lovers. A pretty fresh build, it managed a 9.14 at 144.03mph, which we’re sure is only scratching the surface of what this car is capable of. Of course, while PBs bring some bragging rights, what the drivers were really out there doing it for was in the aim of being crowned an IHRA NZ National Champion — something that many have tried, but few have achieved. By the end of the IHRA NZ Nationals 2018
weekend, it was clear who’d enjoyed success on the points board. In Top Alcohol class, it was none other than the hard-charging Bert King taking top honours, with the wicked Altereds of Stu Henley-Minchington and Steve Milliken running all over the Modified and Supercharged Outlaw classes, respectively. Steve Carlsen hustled the tough Falcon Sprint to the top of the Super Sedan class, taking the win ahead of Meremere regular Dutchie Wijdeven. In Top Doorslammer, it was Barry Plumpton who once again took the national title, despite the best efforts of Waikato’s Nigel Dixon. In Competition, the points were close through the field, but Dwayne Osborne managed a narrow victory over Ian West Stevens. Top Street had the opposite, with Glen Oldfield’s gorgeous Nova walking all over the competitions to victory. The Super Street field was a massive one at every round of the series, so to win would be a matter of consistency, and that was something that Greg Malcolm bought, which paid off in the form of a national title. With the 2017–18 drag racing season drawing to a close, we’re sure to see just as many impressive results next year when the racers come back to do it all again! If it’s anything like this season’s national series, it’s set to be another cracker!