WILLOWBANK PREPARES FOR A RETRO REVIVAL!
12 August 2016
Willowbank Raceway will come alive this Sunday 14th August, 2016 as classic and chrome-bumpered drag cars of an era gone by fill out Queensland’s premier Drag Racing venue for an action-packed day at The Cruzin' Magazine Nostalgia Drags and Hot Rod Reunion.
As well as a full day of Drag Racing on the Willowbank quarter mile, punters can also immerse themselves in a exciting show’n’shine, sponsored by Shannon’s Insurance, filled to the brim with some of the country’s best hot rods on display. But don’t think for a minute that the show’n’shine is a purely static affair, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for owners to cruise their rods around the Willowbank venue in a specially-designed cruise route to celebrate the vibrance and diversity of the hot rod community.
It’s this very aspect of The Cruzin' Magazine Nostalgia Drags and Hot Rod Reunion that show’n’shine coordinator Ron Whelan believes is most appealing to the entrants.
“Over the lunch break when there’s no racing the show’n’shine entrants get to drive their cars up and down the drag strip a few times. They love it. Owners get their families and their kids in for a ride… it’s a real family-friendly element of the event,” begins Whelan.
“This year we’ll have three competition cars that are a part of the show’n’shine – race cars than won’t be racing; a Nostalgia Dragster, a Willy’s pick up and a Fiat Topolino with quite an extensive race heritage,” explains Whelan.
As well as working with some of the country’s biggest national events including the Summernats in Canberra and the Brisbane Hot Rod Show, Whelan, a retired spray painter and panel beater boasts an extensive portfolio of custom vehicles that he’s built for customers over the years and an equally impressive collection of custom vehicles himself. It’s these stripes on the shoulder that qualifies him to tackle judging the show’n’shine, and with up to 100 cars in attendance on the day he’s got upwards of 18 trophies organised to distribute to the best vehicles in attendance.
However it wouldn’t be the Nostalgia Drags without a full field of retro racers ready to put on a show for the crowds as they heat up the Willowbank blacktop.
The undisputed highlight of the on-track action will be the three exhibition passes from Nitro Hot Rods borrowed from the Cowin Family Racing collection. ‘Bezerk’ and ‘Psycho’ will be piloted by Aeroflow Nitro Funny Car drivers Rick Gauci and Shane Olive, and Gauci believes the crowd will be in for something special if the weather agrees with them.
“Queensland fans can expect plenty of noise out of the dragster pipes and plenty of nitro flames. We’re also hoping for our first 5-second pass; they’re right on the brink!”
Nostalgia Racer Simon Koschel is a passionate advocate of Nostalgia Racing, so much so that he’s helping champion one of the emerging race categories that add such a unique flavour to The Cruzin' Magazine Nostalgia Drags.
“The class is ‘Nostalgia Eliminator’ and we’re trying to emulate the cars of the sixties and seventies, back when they had the car’s name on the side and lairy paint; they really stood out from the crowd,” begins Koschel. Debuted at the first Nostalgia event earlier in 2016, the field received ten entrants and is quickly gaining momentum due to its attainability.
“We’ve got an 11-second cut-off which makes it one of the more affordable categories, and because we’re not racing for prize money it helps put some of the fun back in to the racing,” explains Koschel. “It’s just a friendly atmosphere where we can get together with enthusiasts with a common passion,” he adds.
“It’s a family-friendly environment. All the racers involve their families and it brings another generation of racers to the sport, which is important,” Koschel says in closing.
The Cruzin' Magazine Nostalgia Drags and Hot Rod Reunion tears through Willowbank Raceway on Sunday 14th August, 2016. Situated a short drive from the City of Ipswich, Willowbank Raceway is one of Australia’s premier motorsport facilities and home to an array world-class racing events.
For more information on The Cruzin' Magazine Nostalgia Drags and Hot Rod Reunion, including great value pricing on tickets to the event, click HERE.