Out­law 71 a high­light of na­tion­als

Rotorua Weekender - - Arts Corner - By Colin Smith

Anew quar­ter-mile rac­ing se­ries al­ready boast­ing a dozen tough su­per­charged drag rac­ing ma­chines de­liv­ered the high­light of the NZDRA Sum­mer Na­tion­als at Taupo on Mon­day.

The Out­law 71 se­ries brings to­gether a com­pet­i­tive line-up of drag­sters, al­tereds and door cars for five meet­ings this sum­mer. It’s billed as “Black Belt” drag rac­ing as the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor is a tra­di­tional 71 se­ries su­per­charger — driven by a black toothed belt, atop of a V8 en­gine.

Out­law 71 cars must run in the 6.50-7.99secs range with com­pe­ti­tion based on dial-yourown hand­i­caps which re­sults in plenty of side-by-side fin­ish line ac­tion at speeds near­ing 300km/ h.

The Out­law 71 se­ries runs a four­round for­mat and by mak­ing an un­beaten run through three rounds the Taupo fi­nal came down to the small-block ‘23 T al­tered of Levin’s Dean Black­burn and the rear-en­gine Chevro­let drag­ster of Motueka racer Craig Grif­fith.

Grif­fith had ear­lier achieved wins over the ‘41 Willys’ of Mark Gapp (Palm Nth), the front-en­gine drag­ster of Grant Brif­fault (Hamil­ton) and the big-block Chev al­tered of Ger­ald Smith (Feild­ing).

Black­burn ‘s run had seen him de­feat the Topolino al­tered driven by Pe­ter Schi­man­ski (Palm Nth), Smith and the Ca­maro of Brent Whit­ting­ham (Feild­ing). The cars ran side-by-side but the hon­ours were de­cided on the start line with Grif­fith red-light­ing on his chase of Black­burn’s al­tered.

The Out­law 71 se­ries is head­ing south for its next events at Christchurch on Jan­uary 27 and a week later at Motueka on Fe­bru­ary 2. Motueka’s Craig Grif­fith with the ‘chutes out in his big-block Chevro­let pow­ered drag­ster. Pho­tos / Colin Smith Su­per Sedan bat­tle with Welling­ton racer Ai­dan Crook (Holden Com­modore) out in front of the Ford Fal­con of Pukekohe’s An­thony Wi­jde­ven.

Out­law 71 racer Steve Mil­liken (Auck­land) com­pletes a burn-out his Fiat Topolino

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