GETTIN’ DOWN —
IHRA NEW ZEALAND NATIONALS
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.