Curtain closes on drag racing season


The Keith Whiting Memorial Trophy is heading back across the Cook Straight after the North Island stunned its southern counterparts 12-3 in the final meet of the Nelson drag racing season.

Six drivers from each island entered in the North versus South class with Aidan Crook and Adrian Rivers – both of the North Island – claiming three race victories to win back the trophy previously held by the South Island drivers.

Nelson Drag Racing Association president John Gourdie, who was also entered in the North versus South event, did not seem too disappointed in the loss and focused on how strong the season has been locally, saying it has gone from strength to strength. “When we sit back and reflect it’s been a good season that started off with two local events and then finished with two national events. The season has gone extremely well,” he says.

While the competition class, which John races in, remains “light” on numbers, all of the others have seen substantial increases. “This year we’ve seen competitor numbers growing and there are a lot of new entrants. It’s fantastic. Starting off with the mod-bike and good growth in super street, which is street-car based.”

With many meetings across the country affected by weather over the years, John was also pleased that all four local ones went ahead. “Various meetings get affected by weather and it’s hard when you’ve got numerous guys attending from out of town. Obviously the guys from out of town are appreciative of the fact they can come in and the day will definitely be on because we’ve consistently been able to turn on the good weather.”

He credits successful events as the reason why more and more people are participating. “It’s well run, well organised and everyone enjoys a great day.”

The final race of the season will be the NZDRA New Zealand Nationals which is being held in Taupo at the end of April.