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Outlaw Nitro Funny Car: a cackling good time

Written by Kym Oberauer. Posted in News

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'The Bandit' 1977 Pontiac Trans-am Outlaw Nitro Funny Car (Photo courtesy Ryan Corfield)

The cackle count in Australia is set to get bigger and louder when round 1 of the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series hits Sydney Dragway this November.

No fewer than 14 Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars will be on-hand to entertain the fans, an indication of just how popular this new class of racing has become in a fairly short amount of time.

Headlining the Australia v USA show will be NHRA legend Ron Capps driving the L.A. Hooker Nitro Funny Car, with Willy White flying the Kiwi flag in the “Back to the Future” Plymouth Satellite.

The brainchild of Aussie drag racing icon, Graeme Cowin has helped engineer a category designed to bring relative affordability back to nitro racing and ramp up the entertainment value for fans.

“The racing will be run on a version of the 3 round format,” said series media manager Rob Sharp. “You’ll get to see all the cars run at least three times. There is no final, the best results overall decide who makes the podium which means the top three cars and drivers; another departure from drag racing tradition.”

“We want the racers and fans to have a good time at these events and get the best value for their buck, where everyone can have some fun and enjoy a day at the drags.”

On top of the nitro action fans will also be treated to the final round of the Australian Pro Street Association (APSA) series, rides in a Monster Truck, 2 wheel-standers and a fireworks show during the finals.

“It’s a different approach than your traditional drag racing event. For the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series entertainment comes first and the racing second.”

“In many ways the cars are the stars. Fans will be barracking for the ‘Nitro Express’ or the ‘Dark Horse’ for example. Rivalries will develop and fan favourites will emerge. Imagine the WWE on nitro.”

One of the key aspects of the entertainment package is the parity of the cars with an emphasis on clean close racing. “We’d like to think that if you turned off the scoreboards you’d still have a great time, irrespective of who won and lost,” said Rob.

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Photos courtesy Ryan Corfield.

To keep the parity up and costs down the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car’s are limited to a 6/71 blower and specific capacity fuel pump. The idea is that by limiting the boost and amount fuel that can be burnt, racers won’t get into an ‘arms race’ by hurting parts and back pockets.

By limiting the horsepower the aim is to also speed up the show by reducing the between rounds maintenance. “We don’t want teams swapping engines and clutches in what will be a tight schedule,” said Rob.

For Graeme Cowin, the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series is a labour of love. He personally owns eight of the cars which are on lease to a number of racers with another 6 or so imported by local teams.

With the enthusiasm shown so far hopes are very high that the concept will become a permanent addition to the racing calendar, with the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car bracket being added to the ANDRA rule book.

Apart from the Australia v USA show from Sydney Dragway in November, you can also see the Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars in action this weekend at Mackay’s Palmyra Dragway, September 14, and South Coast Raceway on December 7.

Mildura’s Sunset Strip will also host the Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars next year once the new track surface has had time to settle in.

For more information visit www.outlawnitrofunnycars.com.au

'The Bandit' 1977 Pontiac Trans-am Outlaw Nitro Funny Car (Photo courtesy Ryan Corfield)
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