Willowbank News and Media
PERTH, SYDNEY AND WILLOWBANK UNITE FOR CHANGE
Article Date: 26 November 2011
Australia’s premier Drag Racing facilities – the Perth Motorplex, Sydney Dragway and Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway – have today introduced a wave of new initiatives designed to make it easier for new Drag Racing enthusiasts to start out in the sport.
The General Managers of the three tracks - Kevin Prendergast (Perth Motorplex), Tony Beuk (Sydney Dragway) and Steve Bettes (Willowbank Raceway) – who hold many years of both first-hand and top level management experience in Drag Racing, Super Speedway, domestic and international Circuit Racing - informed the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) this morning of the following changes:
· Modernisation of the rules around which vehicles are eligible for Drag Racing at the entry level - allowing all road going vehicles with airbags and four-wheel disc brakes to run to a performance level of 10 seconds or slower on the quarter mile. Road-going motorcycles will also be able to perform to this level. (Full details of the new rules can be found on the websites of all three tracks)
· The initiation of a 50 million dollar Public Liability Insurance Cover policy covering the three tracks. Engineered in conjunction with leading insurance companies and brokers, the new policy will provide coverage for more than 300 Drag Racing events across the three facilities to the same standard and coverage currently provided by ANDRA.
· As a result of the above policy, the three tracks will step away from the existing sanctioning requirements of ANDRA for minor events – allowing the new rules mentioned above to be successfully implemented.
· Major events held by the three tracks will continue to be held under ANDRA sanction, but with the new insurance policy mentioned above.
All changes are effective from November 30th and are designed to bring the sport of amateur drag racing into the future.
“With practically hundreds of years of management experience - including the witnessing and safe management of millions of runs at our three facilities - at our disposal, our three tracks have decided to take the next step to move the sport we love into the 21st century,” said Bettes.
“Every week we have been turning away amateur racers in some of the best engineered road cars and bikes, because the existing rules are completely antiquated and do not reflect or acknowledge the huge steps forward manufacturers have made in engineering, nor the safety standards of our facilities.
“For example, a top-of-the-line HSV GTS Commodore, Subaru WRX or turbo six cylinder Falcon with just a few minor tweaks in technology is capable of running well into the mid to low 11 second zone and it doesn’t take too much more to get them into the 10 second zone. A completely standard, new high-powered motorcycle will run 10 second times off the showroom floor."
Prendergast echoed Bettes’ comments.
“This is about modernising the sport at its most embryonic starting point and bringing it into line with the safety standards of today’s modern vehicles,” said Prendergast.
“The manufacturers have for many years created safer motor vehicles with advanced technology in safety including multiple air bags, four-wheel disc brakes, anti-lock braking systems, dynamic stability controls, extremely strong passenger compartments with rollover and intrusion innovations - the list goes on and on and it is now time for the sport of Drag Racing to move with the times.
“These are some of the best engineered vehicles on the road and it is now time to allow these owners and their vehicles to drag race freely at our state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar international standard facilities.” Beuk said the move by the three tracks has come after more than five years of lobbying for change.
“Sydney Dragway is right in the middle of the performance vehicle scene in Sydney and like all major facilities, we regularly conduct mid-week and weekend events to encourage performance car enthusiasts off the street and onto an international standard facility. Interest is also growing from various car clubs to have more events and more flexibility and we want to be able to provide those club opportunities at realistic costs ” said Beuk.
“All venues are frustrated in having to turn away some of the best engineered vehicles on the road.
We have been pushing hard for ANDRA to move with the times and the changes in technology to develop new regulations in this area at our minor events for more than five years with no success. It is vital for the growth of the sport and the sustainability of our venues that these innovative changes are implemented.
“We no longer want to see potential drag racers being turned away from our facilities due to out-of-date rules, to see the same people only days later competing freely in other motorsports like drifting, rally sprints or time attack style events or taking their racing to the street and having accidents.”
For further information on the new eligibility rules and the Perth Motorplex, Sydney Dragway and Willowbank Raceway, please visit the websites below:
For further information please contact:
· Kevin Prendergast – Perth Motorplex – 08 94196622
· Tony Beuk – Sydney Dragway – 02 94210700
· Steve Bettes – Willowbank Raceway – 07 54615461
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