• 2016 Nitro Shootout: 9th January 2016

Anthony Marsh scores the trifecta with the first 500 KPH pass in NZ

The first Top Fuel run of the 2016 Nitro Shootout saw history made. After recording the first 4 at the 2015 Nitro Shootout and the first 300 mph pass at the 2015 IHRA Nationals, Anthony Marsh completed the trifecta by recording the first 500 kph pass in New Zealand. Anthony, in the Mount Shop dragster, was paired with Reece Fish in the Fish Family Racing dragster. Marsh recorded a 4.789 at 315.12 mph, which converts to 507.13 kph. The 4.789 ET was also the quickest pass ever in New Zealand.

While Marsh got the limelight, it was Fish who survived the war of attrition to win the shootout 2 to 1. That took his total of Shootout wins to three.

Ten competitors fronted for Top Alcohol and it was Shane Lodge who top qualified with a 5.847 at 239.91 mph. Newcomer Dwane Garrett recorded the only sixes in the eliminations and he faced Bryan Norman's FED in the final. Norman ran consistant low sevens all meeting and used a 7.010 to defeat Garretts all over the track 7.053.

Top Doorslammer saw six competitors in action. Barry Plumpton top qualified with a 6.678 at 199.46 in his nitrous Monte Carlo. Mark Bardsley failed to get down the track when his car developed a fuel leak and was placed at the rear of the field where he would face Barry in the first round. Plumpton staged, but went no further while Bardsley used all of his lane for a weaving 8.2 win. The next pairing was the closest race of the bracket. Rod Benjes won the start with a .148 reaction to Trevor Smiths .217 reaction time. Smith powered to a 6.571 to better Benjes 6.580, but it was not enough to reel in Rod in the Childs Play Beretta. Murray Smith and Gary Benham were up next. Murray suffered a blower manifold explosion which popped the doors open, broke the cars windows and tried to lift the roof of the 55 Chev. Murray sustained a broken finger, but won the race as Gary slowed to an 11 second pass. Smith was out and Benjes was out with engine damage, leaving Mark Bardsley to take the bracket win with a solo pass.

Athol Williams had his Top Fuel Drag Bike out and broke both ends of the IHRA records His 6.576 was backed up by a 6.605 and a 223.73 backed up his 215.51 for the top end record also. Another highlight was Johnny Alsop recording the quickest Altered pass in New Zealand with a 6.301 in the Alsops Joinery BB/A 1941 Willys. His earlier 6.308 backed up the 6.301 for a new IHRA record. His qualifying 217.07 set the speed record also. For the full results see the Meremere Dragway website and view IHRA Records for a complete list of record breakers.

Top Fuel was the big draw card courtesy of Anthony Marsh and Reece Fish. Photo by Steven Ward
Top Fuel was the big draw card courtesy of Anthony Marsh and Reece Fish. Photo by href="">Steven Ward
Top Fuel was the big draw card courtesy of Anthony Marsh and Reece Fish. Photo by Steven Ward

The first 500 kph timeslip

Johnny Alsop lowered the IHRA Altered record again

Cool wrap on Stephen Milwken's AA/A

The result after Simon Fowke did a 180 when backing up from his burnout

Bryan Norman from Alexandra qualified fourth and won Top Alcohol

Athol Williams took out both ends of the IHRA TF/DB records