It has taken three rain outs over two years to get the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars event to happen at Meremere Dragway, but the massive crowd who turned up on Sunday, February 23 were rewarded with a top class nitro show.
Originally scheduled for a wet Saturday, the event team decided to postpone until Sunday to give fans a chance at some sunshine. The crowd responded with a huge turnout coming through the gate to witness the nine Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars and the Nitro Sheriff wheelstander finally put on a show on New Zealand soil.
The event kicked off with the Aeroflow Pit Party which was a huge hit with the crowd. The on track action started with the perfect race as side-by-side 5.72s between the LA Hooker and The Bandit set the scene for a fantastic event. The Nitro Express came out and laid down a 5.68 at over 400km/h to set low ET of the round, while Nitro Flashback and One Bad Kiwi also took wins as King Kong ran the bye on a pedalling pass.
Round two action started with a wild pedal fest between Nitro Express and King Kong. While not fast, the side-by-side pedalling eight second race had the crowd on their feet, with the experience of Nitro Express driver Rick Gauci taking the win. Dark Horse ended the Bandit's chance at the final with another great side-by-side five second race decided by less than five hundredths of a second. Morice Mcmillin in One Bad Kiwi now had a chance to secure his spot in the final round and that he did, setting low ET of the meeting with a 5.61 and beating fellow Kiwi Karl Boniface in Nitro Flashback. To finish off the round it was the father/daughter match up of Anthony and Emma Begley, seeing Emma use a start line advantage to put a 5.84 across the line first.
With the points totaled up, the final round would be One Bad Kiwi versus Nitro Express - the perfect New Zealand vs Australia race. Round three kicked off with Anthony Begley in the LA Hooker showing he had one of the best race cars on the day with another 5.7 to beat local Car Nitro Flashback, who was just happy to be part of the day's action. Leahy in The Bandit dropped a 5.64 to beat Gosbell in King Kong. In the first of the trophy match ups, side by side 5.79s again had the crowd on their feet with Messineo in Dark Horse marginally denying Emma Begley her first podium.
It was then time for the big one, as Mcmillin sought his first series win on home soil. A 5.66 at a whopping 419km/h for One Bad Kiwi was more than enough for a tyre-smoking Nitro Express, delivering a popular result in the land of the long white cloud.
The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars now head to Masterton Motorplex on March 21 to complete the NZ tour. Fans can get tickets at https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2020/mar/outlaw-nitro-funny-cars