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2019/20 National Drag Racing Series. Round 8
Auckland Harley Davidson 2020 New Zealand Nationals

Meremere Dragway, 7 & 8 March, 2020 | Results | Points after Round 8

The 2020 New Zealand Nationals, held at Meremere Dragway, were the penultimate round of the 2019/20 New Zealand National Drag Racing Series.

Mount Shop Top Alcohol

Mount Shop Top Alcohol saw seven competitors front to attempt to win New Zealands most prestigous drag racing title. The first round of qualifying saw Anthony Marsh overpower the track, in the Mount Shop A/FD, with a resulting 14 second pass. Wedding commitments ensured that the pass would be Anthony's only qualifying attempt. Next up was Chris Johnston, in the Mount Shop TA/D, and Glenn Collett in the Buck & Collett AA/A. Chris went straight to the number 1 spot with a 5.535 at 264.55 mph which exceeded the TA/D speed record. Collett went nowhere quick with a 12 second pass. Todd Vincent and Tamara Silk were up next in a pair of dragsters. Tamara aborted her run in the Lucas Oils dragster for a 17 second pass, while Todd's run went away after the 60 foot mark, resulting in a 6.7 ET.

Round two of qualifying saw Johnston shake and abort his run while Bryan Norman, in his FED AA/D, recorded a 6.412 at 224.25. Collett was shut down in his Topolino and Silk recorded a 6.099 at 234.29 to move into second spot behind Johnston.

The final session saw Johnston solidify his top qualifier position with a better 5.512 at 265.22. Norman failed to improve with a 6.6 second pass. Silk recorded an 8 second pass while Vincent took the second spot by 0.002 with a 6.097 at 229.31. Collett had gearbox issues on an 8 second pass and it was to be his last pass of the weekend.

Chris Johnston opened round one of eliminations with a solo 5.501 at 265.17. Bryan Norman in the FED also had a solo run with a 6.552 at 205.38 mph. Sixth qualifier Anthony Marsh unleased a 5.428 at 275.96 to dispose of Tamara Silk's improving 6.088 at 236.75. Todd Vincent had an early shut off 7.0 at 141 mph solo.

The semi finals saw Bryan Norman record his best pass of the weekend, with a 6.238 at 223.54, but it was no match for Johnston's 5.359 at 268.06 which backed up his earlier pass for a new national record. The other semi final saw Marsh record a 5.468 at 274.11 for the win, while Vincent redlighted.

Anthony Marsh defeated Chris Johnston to win the Mount Shop Top Alcohol final, but the car was destroyed when his throttle stuck open

Anthony Marsh defeated Chris Johnston to win the Mount Shop Top Alcohol final, but the car was destroyed when his throttle stuck open.
Photo by: Ralph Smith

The final was now between the two Mount Shop and Marsh Motorsport sponsored cars. Johnston won the start line battle, 0.046 to 0.104, but Anthony had the lead at half track, 3.867 to 4.190. Marsh smoked the tyres at half track but recovered with a winning 6.081 at 243.46 as Johnston collected the timing blocks with a 6.604 at 173 mph. The drama was not over as Marsh had a stuck throttle and ended up running out of sealed track. The drivers emerged unscathed, but the same could not be said about the two cars.

Aeroflow Top Doorslammer

Seven competitors fronted for Aeroflow Top Doorslammer. Adam Prestney in the Pirtek Pontiac Grand Am and Nigel Dixon in the Kruzin Kustoms BF Falcon opened the first qualifying session with a 6.881 at 195.25 and a 6.154 at 242.32 respectively. Rod Benjes in the Childs Play Beretta and Gavin Green in the Pro Parts 68 Firebird both shook and recorded unrepresentative ETs. Barry Plumpton in the Focus Construction Group 68 Camaro and Rex Duckett in the Inpro Group 2012 Pontiac GXP both did a launch only for 9 second passes.

The second qualifying session saw Rod Benjes damage a piston on the way to an 8.633, while Nigel Dixon had tyre shake on the way to a 6.387 at 223.80. Rex Duckett and Gavin Green both shook and recorded unrepresentative ETs. Adam Prestney had a troubled 14 second pass alongside Mark Bardsley, in the Rislone Camaro, who recorded a 6.447 at 226.01 with valve train issues. Barry Plumpton moved into second position with a 6.355 at 215.79.

The third round of qualifying saw Rex Duckett get down the track with a 7.021 at 202.21 to secure fourth position, while Adam Prestney coasted through to a 14 second pass. Gavin Green again had problems with an 8 and Barry Plumpton stayed in second position with a better 6.263 at 201.19.

Round one of eliminations opened with Nigel Dixon pedaling to a 6.949 at 224.62 on a solo pass. Adam Prestney rolled the beams with no time against Rex Duckett who had a 7.3 at 201 mph. Barry Plumpton used a 6.233 at 213.84 to defeat Rod Benjes 7.091 at 227.11. Mark Bardsley recorded a 6.655 at 221.23 with heaps of engine smoke over the finish line to defeat Gavin Green's troubled 9 second pass.

Round two opened with Nigel Dixon and Rex Duckett. Rex had starter motor problems and could not start, while Nigel left with no times recorded when the tree failed to count down. Mark Bardsley had a blown piston and was out, handing Barry Plumpton a solo. Barry had a great 0.985 60 foot, but was forced to lift for a 6.519 at 205.63.

In the final of Aeroflow Top Doorslammer, Barry Plumpton rolled the beams handing the win to Nigel Dixon who recorded the second quickest pass of the weekend to take the win and title with a 6.181 at 225.45.

Barry Plumpton rolled the beams in the final, handing the win to Nigel Dixon

Barry Plumpton rolled the beams in the final, handing the win to Nigel Dixon.
Photo by: Ralph Smith

Highlights

Other highlights included:

  • In a grudge run after being eliminated, Tamara Silk recorded her first 5, a 5.939 at 230.76, which was also the first Top Alcohol 5 by a woman in New Zealand.
  • Fabian Golbert recorded the first Top Street 200 mph pass in his AA/TS 1970 El Camino with a 7.485 at 200.26.
Tamara Silk recorded her first 5, a 5.939 at 230.76.

Tamara Silk recorded her first 5, a 5.939 at 230.76, which was also the first Top Alcohol 5 by a woman in New Zealand.
Photo by: Ralph Smith