Australian Drag Racing Undergoes Major Transformation
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
- New track-promoted professional National Championship to commence with
the upcoming 2015/16 drag racing season
- Venues are Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex
- Events to be run under ANDRA sanctioning
Australia’s three major drag racing venues have united to announce they will promote a new National Championship Series headlined by the professional Group 1 categories and designed to revitalise the sport in this country.
As a result, the group has notified the governing body that the venues will not be taking part in its proposed 2015/16 ANDRA Championship Drag Racing Series.
Sportsman brackets will support the new series, with all events continuing to be run under ANDRA sanctioning.
Willowbank Raceway president and group spokesman, Tony Wedlock said the decision had not been taken lightly and came after many months of discussions with the ANDRA board.
Those talks centred around the role of ANDRA, issues with its performance and the conduct of certain office holders, and the board’s attitude towards the venues, which bear the full financial risk of promoting events.
The health of the premier professional categories and the issue of the future direction of the sport were also major areas of discussion and contributed to today’s announcement.
“Drag racing is the world’s fastest, most exciting and fan friendly motorsport, and our venues – Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex – are committed to its future,” Wedlock said.
“We intend to initially provide a better schedule of events through a revitalised National Championship, improve the health of the professional categories, and return confidence to the sport.
“Our announcement is in the best interests of Australian drag racing and will take the sport back to the top where it belongs.”
Wedlock said misinformation about recent meetings between the tracks and the ANDRA board had been circulated, and he stressed the tracks would continue to work with ANDRA.
“It is important to understand that all venues want to continue to work with ANDRA as the sport’s regulatory body in Australia,” Wedlock said.
“The tracks and racers have nearly half a century of investment in ANDRA however it has become obvious that changes are required for the sport to move forward.”
Full details of the new series, including event dates, will be released over coming weeks.
About Perth Motorplex
Opened in December 2000, the stunning Perth Motorplex is a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art drag racing and speedway complex that conducts more than 25 major events annually, including the Westernationals. Its season runs from October through to April. It also holds weekly legal off-street drag racing from September through to May. The Perth Motorplex is conveniently located in Perth’s southern suburbs and is less than 30 minutes from the city centre.
About Sydney Dragway
Sydney Dragway is a $30 million purpose-built facility featuring a huge amphitheatre and extensive conference and corporate facilities, specifically designed to handle large-scale outdoor events. Opened in 2004, Sydney Dragway is home to the popular Nitro Champs event held each May. Sydney Dragway is located just west of the CBD and east of Penrith, its location placing it within a population of 1.7 million people in a 30km radius.
About Willowbank Raceway
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, Willowbank Raceway is home to the biggest drag racing event outside the United States, the Fuchs Winternationals, which is held on the Queen’s Birthday weekend each June. This year, more than 530 competitors contested the event in front of more than 35,000 people, with 68 national and track records set. Willowbank Raceway is located just 45-minutes west of Brisbane, and offers a year-round program of drag racing entertainment.