GET­TIN’ DOWN —

IHRA NEW ZEALAND NA­TION­ALS

NZV8 - - CONTENTS - WORDS: CON­NAL GRACE PHO­TOS: LANCE FAR­ROW

On the com­pe­ti­tion cal­en­dar of New Zealand drag rac­ing, the an­nual IHRA Na­tion­als meet­ing at Mere­mere Drag­way would have to rate as con­sis­tently be­ing among one of the largest and most im­por­tant. While there is no sci­ence of data an­a­lyt­ics be­hind this, we’d ar­gue that it’s the drag event at which the most PBs seem to be smashed. It’s the quar­ter-mile play­ground of the big dogs, but the com­pe­ti­tion side of things cov­ers ev­ery­thing, from Ju­nior Drag­ster right up to the all­busi­ness Top Al­co­hol and Top Doorslam­mer. With the hard-work­ing Mere­mere track crew prep­ping the track just about as well as pos­si­ble, it was made abun­dantly clear al­most straight off the bat that this was go­ing to be a week­end laden with records — helped by the benev­o­lent skies that kept the track dry and us­able. In Top Doorslam­mer, Barry Plump­ton’s new Ca­maro pumped out a 6.16 at 235.23mph, mak­ing it New Zealand’s quick­est Top Doorslam­mer com­peti­tor — and all achieved with­out the use of a black belt. They say there’s no re­place­ment for dis­place­ment, and Barry’s ni­trous-topped 959-cube mill sure gives cre­dence to that the­ory. The Top Doorslam­mer class ac­tu­ally en­joyed a fair bit of suc­cess — at least as far as new PBs went — with ‘Squig’ Miles bring­ing the STA Parts– spon­sored XP Fal­con to a 6.94 at 192.22mph. As far as Top Doorslam­mer com­peti­tors go, this is one of the more in­ter­est­ing ones, hav­ing be­gun its life as a four-door fam­ily hauler — un­til the quest for speed trans­formed it into the wild ma­chine you see here. It’s pow­ered by an un­usual mo­tor, too — a 511ci Sainty BTV (Bil­let Three Valve) unit topped with a 14–71 Lit­tle­field high-helix blower — and there’s a whole lot more per­for­mance po­ten­tial in it, with

Squig get­ting on top of the thing be­fore push­ing it too hard. It wasn’t for nought, as the team cracked the magic 200mph bar­rier for the first time too with a stel­lar 205.5mph on the sec­ond pass. It would be Rod Har­vey be­hind the wheel of the TSR Holden States­man that would work his way through the rounds to take home the vic­tory on the day. A lit­tle fur­ther down the list in the num­bers game, Ces Miller’s im­mac­u­late ’59 Chev ’slam­mer also pulled one out of the bag, with the su­per­charged small block get­ting a quick 7.90 at 166.87mph time-slip into Ces’s hand. New Zealand’s quick­est small block raised the bar a lit­tle higher, too, as the Al­sop Rac­ing lads cel­e­brated Johnny Al­sop’s 5.89-sec­ond and 227.57mph qual­i­fy­ing run in Top Al­co­hol.

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