A Day at the Drags

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Drag Racing, for those that don't know, is a form of motorsport where two vehicles race side by side, usually over a 1/4 mile (400m) strip. The first to the finish line wins. It's all about acceleration with even the most humble old muscle car capable of reaching the finish line faster than many brand new super cars. The formula is simple: huge engines + massive tires mixed in with some old fashioned engineering know-how. Day of the Drags is a nostalgic drag racing event that caters to all pre-1978 cars of Australian, American and English origin and all other purpose built old-school drag racers. Strolling through the paddock area, the smell of metal flake paints and chrome plated, ear-splitting race engines overwhelm the senses. Lining up in the staging lanes preparing to tackle the strip your eyes feast on Porsche drag cars, ‘60s and ‘70s American and Australian muscle cars, crazy Gassers, weekend cruisers, old hot rods from the ‘20s and ‘30s to the crowd favourite Dragster’s, powered by Nitro Methane burning, supercharged monster V8’s. The Nitro cars can accelerate like a rocket ship and provide an earth (and ear) shattering spectacle. They can either cover the ¼ mile in 5 to 6 seconds at speeds over 200mph (320kph), or explode in a ball of flames.

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Along with the Dragsters, Gassers are another crowd favourite. First designed in the ‘60s, Gassers are production based cars, modified with the front end lifted high in the air to help transfer weight to the rear tires. In the ‘60s, the horsepower levels started to get to the level where the tires of the time were easily overpowered and the cars started looking more like purpose built drag machines in order to launch from the starting line like a bullet. Gasser’s today are very popular, almost cartoon-like, and are often built in a vintage rat-rod style.

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Many spectators arrive in vintage custom cars and hot rods and its not unusual for mum, dad and the kids to be involved preparing a car or even a bunch of mates who help each other out in the paddock. It’s a far cry from the sponsor driven commercial world of modern racing. Everyone at the event seems to be relaxed and enjoying themselves, and it’s not hard to see why – the cars are cool, and it’s a treat to see and hear them driven in anger.

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via Monster Children