2016 South Island Champs: the roller coaster Words & Pics: Rene…
With this event predominately old school v8s, it was slightly different from our normal surroundings but with plenty of gear slamming, tyre burning, aggressive launching action we were not disappointed.
The sun shone and the wind blew (Who would have guessed in windy Wellington!) As the crowds gathered on the banks of the Seaview Marina. Where in the world can you find a drag event 10 meters from the beautiful seashore?
It was a good chance for owners/drivers and spectators alike to get their fix of drag racing action in the capital but due to it being a public street event, there would be no record times set on this short strip of an 1/8th mile.
The day was quickly under way with preliminary runs from all drivers, which included a mixture of cars & bikes. A number of cars laid down good runs and there were plenty of cars in the pit lane that had caught our attention.
Roaming the pit lanes there were a huge line up of american muscle, largely in the form of Ford, Holden, Chevrolet & Plymouth. Most cars lined up in perfect show condition, only to then be laden with burnt rubber after their race. We dare say that there will be a lot of cleaning going down this week.
Here a few rides that caught our attention:
Sporting Cragar wheels and a big set of Hoosiers, this was definitely something different for a car of that era. Being manufactured in the 1930’s you can be sure that Chevrolet never expected the car to have this speed in a later life.
This Ford has has certainly had quite the bit of new age work done, dual Turbosmart ‘Power Gate 60’ wastegates, Twin Masterpower MP-R7677 turbos (The big ones) & a procharger kit.
Sitting on an awesome set of Weld racing wheels this machine has some serious HP. These guys know how to buy & build with quality parts too, Edelbrock, MSD, Weld Racing, Turbo Smart, Master Power the list goes on!
The winner of the Class 1 round was local Todd Hall. He and his car knew how to work the crowd laying decent rubber before the start of each race.
He purchased the car from the USA bog standard before modifying it here in New Zealand. Running a super charged small block 427 is quite possibly the only blown and injected Mach 1 in the country.
The engine bay was stunning with BDS racing parts galore and big Hoosiers to boot!
Lunch time action was a drift session presented by Shayne Giles which started with good pace and huge smoke but unfortunately ended early with diff issues.
With the afternoon rounds and semi finals flying through we were well ahead of schedule coming into the final of Class 1.
The final was down to the supercharged matte black Mach 1 Ford Mustang and NOS spurting red SS Camaro, how fitting!
The final race was tight with good launches by both but the Supercharged Ford Mustang snuck home in what was a thrilling final race for the day.
As with many events the after match can be the best part, this was time for some of the skilled drivers to burn rubber to cheers from the crowd. This was not the sort of crowd afraid of noise or being pelted with rubber as the drivers pushed their rides to the limit, filling the lungs of the crowd with smoke, pure bliss!
A 3-way bike torch up was also on the cards. Three high rpm bikes pouring coloured smoke into the air with one completing a near perfect circle. Purple, blue and red filled the sky as the crowd gave them a round of applause.
The event was well run all day with only a few delays even with the starting lights being taken out during a burnout early in the day. The local businesses and Cam County really came together to put on this event for the locals, which is one of the only Wellington based street events that remains.
Port Road 2014 could have been described a number of ways but we think the most fitting was ‘Bigger is better’, It was a life motto to most of the people here. Be it an extra litre under the hood, the loudest rev or the biggest burnout these guys continually tried to ‘one up’ each other all day.