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AU v NZ Nostaglia Challenge to hit Willowbank this August

Written by Willowbank Raceway. Posted in News

Peter Leahy lgePeter Leahy (AUS) in the Forever Young Funny Car (Photo courtesy dragphotos.com.au)

This August at Willowbank Raceway's two-day Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Nationals, race fans can expect to get even more bang for their buck with the introduction of a Trans-Tasman Challenge to the popular event.

After five years of seeing Aussie racers jet over to New Zealand to compete, in 2013 with the help of Australian drag racing identity John Fleming no less than five Kiwi competitors will hit the Willowbank quarter-mile to take on five Aussie representatives as part of the 10-11 August event.

Trans-Tasman Challenge Coordinator Kristy Lange said the on-track rivalry is set to be exciting.

"For five years this challenge has been hosted in New Zealand with the Aussie racers shipping their cars over there for the 'Bay Rodders Nostalgia Drags' event, hosted by Deano Anderson and The Bay Rodders NZ," said Lange.

"With the challenge now to be held at Willowbank Raceway I know the Aussie locals will be determined to 'defend their home soil' while I know the Kiwis are very excited to have the chance to race at such a world-class facility and as such are determined to put on a great show for the fans.

"It should make for some fantastic match racing for sure, with the anticipation already building amongst the racers and also online via our facebook page (www.facebook.com/aussievskiwi)."

Lining up for New Zealand will be Mark Vincent, Karl Boniface, Craig Mullen, Richard McCarthy and Alex Hogg; while John Fleming, Peter Leahy, Marcus Paige, Greg Ward and Peter Merrigan will fly the flag for the Australians (see below for scheduled match-ups).

Karl Boniface lgeKarl Boniface (NZ) in the “Nitro Flashback” 74 Chevy Vega Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car (Photo courtesy DragPix)

As a 'team' points-based format, the competitors will undertake five match races with points awarded for wins and losses, with the total points tally at the end of the two days to decide which country will be awarded as the winners of the 2013 Challenge.

"Before the event at Willowbank Raceway we will have a 'warm-up' session at Warwick Dragway on the 4th, and from there it will be on to the main event at Queensland's premier drag racing facility as part of the Nostalgia Nationals," said Lange.

"On-site we will have an Aussie vs Kiwi Challenge Marquee which will host the drivers and the teams taking part in the challenge, with the chance for fans to pick up a special 2013 Trans Tasman Challenge poster and have it signed by all of the drivers.

"We are very excited about taking this challenge to a great event like Willowbank's Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Nationals, and so very grateful as well to our supporters – without the financial support of people like John Fleming and Marcus Paige we just wouldn't be able to do what we are doing, so we can't wait to get out there and put on a great show for them and for the fans!"

The 2013 Trans-Tasman Challenge will be part of the 2013 Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Nationals at Willowbank Raceway. Being held over 10 and 11 August 2013, the event will also feature racing from the Leahy Custom Imports Top Eliminator (6.60), Quick Eliminator (7.60), Donnelly Blasting Services Mid Eliminator (8.60), Shannons Insurance Super Eliminator (9.60), Vintage Gas (10.50 and slower), Nostalgia DYO, Retro Bikes and Nostalgia Super Stock brackets.

Gates open both days at 7.00am, with qualifying held on Saturday 10 August from 12.00pm to 6.00pm and racing held on Sunday 11 August from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Spectator entry is available for purchase on the day at $25 for adults and $20 for students with ID, with children 13 and under gaining free admission. For more information, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au.

Trans-Tasman Challenge Match Racing line-up:

  • Mark Vincent (NZ) in the "Freight Train" a Twin Engine FED versus John Fleming (AUS) in "The Rattler II" Blown Big Block FED
  • Karl Boniface (NZ) in the "Nitro Flashback" 74 Chevy Vega Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car versus Peter Leahy (AUS) in the "Forever Young" Funny Car
  • Craig Mullen (NZ) with the "Nitro Ape" Bantam Altered versus Marcus Paige (AUS) '23 T Bucket
  • Richard McCarthy (NZ) in "Plain Crazy" Supercharged 27 Ford T Roadster versus Greg Ward (AUS) Big Block Chevy Powered Altered
  • Alex Hogg (NZ) Ford 427 Cammer FED versus Peter Merrigan (AUS) "Vandal" Blown Small Block T Bucket Altered

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