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VIDEO - Australia's First 4 - 20th Anniversary

Posted in News


Today, 18 December, marks the 20th anniversary of the first four second run recorded outside North America.

The historic run, a 4.895-second run at 294.31 miles per hour, set at 6:14pm by Graeme Cowin, was recorded in front of a huge crowd in excess of 33,000 people at Melbourne's Calder Park Raceway.

Ace Aussie tuner Gary Evans, a veteran of the NHRA tour who had recently returned home to Australia and made all the right tune-up calls to send the black and yellow dragster of Cowin on its momentous run.

The incremental times recorded on the pass were:

60ft              0.924
330ft 2.281
660ft 3.281/246.98
1,000ft 4.146
1320ft 4.895/294.31

The opportunity for barrier busting run came a few weeks prior when Cowin ran a 5.1sec pass at the track, with promoter Steve Bettes inviting the team back to Melbourne and be part of the traditional Nitro Funny Car Shootout event.

Ironically, Romeo Capitanio created waves at the same event, belting out a 5.37sec pass in his Beretta tuned by brother Johnny - the pass the quickest by the fuel coupe breed in Australia to that point. 

Along with being recognised by the NHRA, the four second performance received considerable national and international media attention thanks mainly due to the great work of Calder Park Raceway's then media manager, Grant Nicholas, and Melbourne's Herald Sun's then motorsport reporter (and later Australian Grand Prix media manager) Geoffrey Harris.

Check out the original Castrol Speed Machine coverage of the occasion, with commentary by David Tapp and longtime drag racing promoter Steve Bettes, and Just Drag Racing's Gerald McDornan conducting the bottom end interview.


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