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Killing time: action aplenty at round two of the Meremere Dragway Comp series

18 January 2017


The dust had settled and the hangovers of new year celebrations were a thing of the past when the second round of the Meremere Dragway Comp series took place on January 14.

With the event featuring all the usual classes, as well as the Kumeu Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival–sponsored Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer Challenge, the event was nearing national series proportions.

The big talk leading into the event had been around Nigel Dixon’s BF Falcon Top Doorslammer, which recently came from nowhere to become the second quickest Top Doorslammer currently competing.

Come show time, the car was on form, too, with Nigel narrowly improving his PB on the day to a 6.42 at a low 199.14mph. Sadly he rolled the beams later in the day, and was out of the competition.

This left Top Doorslammer up to Murray Smith and Mark Bardsley, the latter of which failed to qualify, yet managed to take the win despite only having run well off the pace with a few lacklustre seven-second passes.

While the results from the class weren’t as amazing as some would have hoped, what was great was seeing Team Squig’s Sainty-powered carbon-clad Falcon back out, as well as Ces Miller’s larger-than-life Impala back on track. 

We’re guessing that the upcoming Trans Tasman Nitro Shootout, as well as the IHRA Nationals in March, will see a bit more action from both drivers, as well as the rest of the TD field.

While most of the Top Alcohol field threw down some average qualifying passes, come competition time the results were far more impressive — a new PB from Frank Bogaart’s newly rechassised flopper being just one highlight.

The Taranaki team, spearheaded by Wayne Curry, didn’t go home disappointed either, with a PB of 6.52 at 206.70mph, showing that they’re starting to get a handle on the car’s new combination.

The big mover in TA, though, was Christchurch’s Johnny Alsop, who took a further step towards the goal of becoming the first five-second Altered driver in the country with a blistering 6.15 at 225.26mph. 

On the street car front, Barry Plumpton, who’s at the pointy end of New Zealand’s Quickest Streeters list in his blown and nitrous-injected HQ sedan, was giving things a good nudge, only very narrowly missing out on improving his 8.83 PB with a best of 8.87 at 157.78 on the day. 

The biggest mover in the street car rankings was none of the above, though, but was in fact the current titleholder Reece Fish, who moved his PB yet again to a staggering 7.42 at 193.73mph.

Ironically that’s near bang on the time set by long-time import racer Reece McGregor, who, after a 10-year build, debuted his highly anticipated Nissan 350Z. The car’s first full-track pass was a 7.42 at 155.15mph.

Having previously piloted the world-record-holding (fastest four-wheel drive) Nissan Skyline, which liked to squirm and fight down the track, the new chassis looked like a dream to drive.

With legendary tuner Shane Tecklenburg (Shane T) having done the tuning side of the McGregor-built twin-turbo Nissan V6 engine, we’d say there’s still plenty more to come from the immaculately presented machine.

Also highly anticipated was the debut of Bobby Owens’ insane T-bucket. Sadly for Bobby, the day was over before the fun had even begun, after the car broke a stub axle on its first launch, which saw him hit the wall and tip the car on its side. Thankfully Bobby was OK, and the car came out pretty well, all things given. 

At the other end of the success scale was Ryan Sheldon in his Joker Camaro. The car and driver managed to continue their amazing winning streak, taking home the class win in Top Street yet again, as well as running a new PB of 7.89 at 165.62mph in the process.

Another car to debut was the Chevelle of Andre Gill. The car, which has an extensive race history from the 1990s and early 2000s, has undergone a show-quality rebuild thanks in part to Terry Bowden from Terry’s Chassis Shoppe, and Rodney Holland at Rodney’s Restorations.

While in some eyes the car now may be too good to race, Andre certainly showed that his time away from the track hasn’t slowed him down at all.

Round three of the Meremere Comp Meet series takes place on February 5, and if this round was anything to go by, it’ll be one you won’t want to miss.