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IHRA Southern Nats on edge

1 February 2017

The third round of the IHRA National Drag Racing Series, sponsored by Edge Parts & Performance, was held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch on January 29.

Once again, Pegasus Bay Drag Racing Club played host to a successful race meet, featuring a great field of cars. The crews and spectators weren’t disappointed as they witnessed some awesome racing, and a number of personal best times were recorded by competitors. 

Track prep was great once again, taken care of by Trevor and the team, and it was great to see the effort that racers put in to be at the meet, with some travelling down from the North Island, while others came up from the deep south and even Te Anau.

Brendan Shearing made the long trip up from his home in Riverton to unleash his twin-turbo-powered HQ. During his last visit to the track, traction was certainly a problem for the new combo, but treating this meet as a test-and-tune day, the car ran straight and hard, resulting in a new PB of 8.44 at 168mph with heaps more potential left.

While Brendon’s car is not currently street legal (but will be soon), Kerry Stewart of Grumpy Rat Racing’s T-bucket sure is. Up from Dunedin with the Geraldine Village Inn–sponsored big block Chev-powered bucket, Kerry was pushing hard to beat his previous PB. Kerry wasn’t left disappointed as he rattled off a crowd-cheering 8.61, then backed it up on his next run with an 8.61, making the bucket the second-quickest street car in the country.

Speaking of quick streeters, another racer having a great day was Chris Daly, up from Te Anau in his yellow Holden Monaro, ‘SYCO8’. Having recently changed the set-up from a tunnel ram to a blower, Chris was looking to better his PB of 10.3, which he ran at the last meet just after the blower was fitted. Coming into this meet with recent gearbox work, a new torque converter, and slicks, his hopes were high. Up against Ray Peterson in his Mustang, he put down a 10.00 pass. The race was rerun due to a mix-up out of their control. The next pass produced a 9.89, leaving Chris with the biggest smile. His day just kept getting better, finishing with a new PB of 9.80 at 143mph.

It wasn’t just cars at the pointy end giving things a go though, as Jeremy Berg in his small block–powered bucket went to show. Sitting on 14.0 as his PB going into the event, Jeremy told us, “I just want a 13, even 13.9 would make me happy as.” He didn’t finish the day unhappy, as he went on to card a 13.9 with his next run.

Wairarapa’s Steve Carlsen made the trip down and also clocked a PB of 8.51 seconds in his American Falcon Sprint.

Another making the trip from the North Island was drag racing stalwart Ray Peterson in his 416ci EFI Windsor-powered Mustang. The car runs consistant high nines and ten flats, despite running a manual gearbox — very impressive indeed. 

Round four of the IHRA series is set to take place at Masterton Motorplex on February 11–12 before the final round at Meremere Dragway on March 11–12.