The Central Queensland Drag Racing Association (CQDRA), the operator of Benaraby Dragway, has signed a 10 year sanctioning agreement with the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA).
“We are very excited to announce this new 10-year deal with the longest standing drag racing body in Australia and to play a role in supporting the growth of our beloved sport of drag racing,” CQDRA president Mike Gawley said.
“ANDRA has supported Benaraby Dragway since our inception and the entire racer base at Benaraby are already long-term ANDRA licence holders or obtain Day Licences at each event, so this decision gives our current racers stability in knowing that their licences will continue to be valid, and that the people and procedures they have come to know will be unchanged for years to come.
“ANDRA also has and will continue to support our venue with technical assistance, competitive licencing, excellent insurance and great sponsorship opportunities. The communication with ANDRA has also always been strong and positive and all of these elements give us the confidence to commit to them for the long haul.”
Benaraby Dragway is getting 2020 off to a busy start, with a number of exciting events already announced and more to come – including a potential round of the national Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series later in the year.
“There is a lot going on this year already! From our Club Championship rounds (round one will be held on February 22nd) to our annual All Bike event to our Come and Try Days, it is going to be a very busy year for us,” Gawley said.
“Something we are particularly passionate about is the Come and Try concept. These days are going to be a staple product for Benaraby in 2020. Being less about making money and more about growing the sport, these days invite the general public right out to the starting line and into the driver’s seat; and because it is not a competitive environment, seasoned racers can give their time freely to new individuals in a relaxed, controlled and safe environment.
“We take them through all the personal safety gear required, vehicle specs, licensing, scrutineering, staging, safe launches, vehicle control and emergency procedures. They also get a detailed explanation of how to dial in their ET, how to read their time slips, and what adjustments to make for gradual improvements.
“It was never practical for us to offer this service during a race meet or even an Off-Street meet, and so we were seeing many people staying just outside the realm of drag racing despite having a great interest. From this concept the club members get great satisfaction from sharing their knowledge with new racers, the new racers of course get the thrill of a lifetime, and we can play our part in growing our sport while providing a safe place to race and encouraging people to keep their racing off the streets. It really is a Win-Win for all.
“This years’ Come and Try days are mostly scheduled for the Saturdays before our Off-Street meets which means that any prospective racer can show up during a daylight Come and Try day, learn the basics very carefully, and return with confidence the following Friday night for our Off-Street meet and get in on the full experience. Those who take to it naturally will have the opportunity to join our annual championship points series. From these people, we expect that some of next year’s regular racers will emerge and continue to share the experience with us.
“While the Come and Try Days will be a core focus for us in 2020, there is also lots else on offer of course.
“Our annual All Bike event is always off the charts and this year will see a partnership with a local Harley performance vendor make what is already a great event phenomenal, allowing us to invite quicker competitors from across the nation to compete for larger prize money as they look to become the quickest street registered Harleys on the continent.
“We have also been recently approached by a major 4×4 parts manufacturer who would like to pursue racing avenues for their customers and enthusiasts alike. We will attempt to cater to their needs with direct assistance from ANDRA in an effort to provide a safe arena for their drag racing dreams.
“Big diesels with big turbos are making big power in these 4x4s and these people need a controlled environment to put the power to the ground. Benaraby Dragway will help them meet these needs, and these people will help grow the Australian sport of drag racing in Central Queensland.”
After hosting the Summit Racing Queensland Championship in previous years, Gawley says the Club is particularly excited about the prospect of a national-level Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series round at the venue in the future.
“We are certainly looking forward to hosting a round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series!” he said.
“We enjoyed hosting the Summit Racing Queensland Championship over the last few years and the competition there was great while the support from Summit Racing Equipment and ANDRA was unmatched by any.
“We will be proud to be the host here for ANDRA as they support us for this round. This will be a true highlight event for Benaraby Dragway and require good support from our allies at ANDRA. They have proven time and again that they are here to help us enjoy the sport we all love, and this year will be no exception.”
The club has also taken the initiative of adding some new classes to its club championship line-up.
“We have two new bike classes – the Super Twins Bike and the Streetfighter Bike class,” Gawley said.
“We expect to see a number of racers who have been contesting our hugely successful Jr Drag Bikes class over the last three years graduate to these new classes this year and indeed that is why we developed the mid-level Streetfighter Bike class, to give them a stepping stone up rather than forcing them straight into the fast-paced Modified Bike ranks.
“It will also be perfect for all of our Street bike racers that come from near and far to our Friday Night Off-Street meets who are looking to step up but aren’t ready for the Modified Bike field. We believe the introduction of these two new classes will really tighten up the Modified Bike competition while the Streetfighter class will create a new group of racers who have a new championship goal to chase.
“Meanwhile the Super Twins Bike class will feature American V-Twins battling for the best ET with increased mods, power adders, slicks, and stringent safety measures – all approved by ANDRA technical. The early feedback for these new classes is already exceptionally positive and we can’t wait to see how the championship battles unfold across 2020!
“At the end of the day, our club is made up of a great pool of individuals and we all have one thing in common – a love of drag racing. While promoting drag racing, we also want to promote positive attitudes, good sportsmanship, family fun and the support of our own here in Australia.
“Even our local government is trying to help us to make positive changes to our venue which will help us to support local businesses and the local economy while providing a much better and safer atmosphere for community entertainment. We are very excited about what is to come!”
- ANDRA Media Release