Willowbank celebrates Australian drag racing

Willowbank celebrates Australian drag racing domination. Officials of Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway have returned from last weekend's official opening of the new Western Sydney International Dragway (WSID) at Eastern Creek, full in the knowledge...

Willowbank celebrates Australian drag racing domination.

Officials of Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway have returned from last weekend's official opening of the new Western Sydney International Dragway (WSID) at Eastern Creek, full in the knowledge that a Queensland domination of the 2003/04 ANDRA Championship round may have provided the impetus towards ensuring this year's 37th Willowbank Winternationals on June 11-13 is the biggest and best ever.

There's added incentive for Queensland sporting fans to turn out in droves during Australia's biggest drag racing event and if last weekend's results are anything to go by there'll be plenty to cheer about.

Of the 11 individual qualifiers in the group one brackets, eight drivers attend regular meets at Willowbank Raceway and in total that group captured maximum championship points in four of the six professional categories.

"It's a huge wrap for Queensland drag racing and with all these guys calling Willowbank Raceway home during the domestic season we are extremely proud of their achievements," said Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell.

"Such exposure in a year that has seen the massive million dollar refurbishment of the Willowbank surface is great news for Queensland drag racing and we're confident of gaining plenty of home state support during the Willowbank Winternationals.

"Ofcourse in the meantime we have a showcase of events every month in the lead up to June, which includes the Jet Dragsters next month and the Tin Top Titles in April so we're anticipating a gradual build up towards a huge finale to the season."

Finals of the inaugural WSID ANDRA championship rounds in Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock Bike and Pro Stock featured all-Queensland affairs with Dean McCennan (Brisbane) defeating Gary Phillips (Brisbane), Ben Bray (Brisbane) too strong for Brett Stevens (Brisbane), Gladstone's Daniel Peatey outlasting Damien Densmore (Caboolture) and Toowoomba's Tony Wedlock and Denis Whiting duelling for Pro Stock honours with Wedlock securing the gold Christmas tree.

Perhaps Queensland's unluckiest driver/rider of the event was Stevens who once again showed his class to reach the final in both Top Doorslammer and Top Bike only to be upstaged in two of the closest contests of the event.

"It was once again a big effort by everybody in the Jack Daniels Racing team but it's just getting harder and harder to keep winning," said Stevens.

"In the last three race meets we've been able to make the final in both Doorslammer and Bike which is great, especially with the points as they are at the moment it's neck-a-neck.

"Sydney's a great facility and once it's been used a bit more and with the cooler weather we can expect some outstanding results later in the year."

Despite Stevens' double of finals losses he is still the best performed competitor in the Championship, maintaining the number one post in Top Doorslammer ahead of reigning champion Ben Bray while Sydney victor Jay Upton has leapfrogged the Queenslander into top spot in Top Bike.

But such is the closeness in competition this season, Stevens is more than happy how things are progressing, however the accomplished racer is wary of what the remainder of the season may hold.

"It's shaping as a huge year and the impact that Sydney has had on drag racing in Australia is remarkable .. there are more and more racers coming out of the woodwork.

"The way the championship is going it could go down to the wire, which will make the Willowbank Winternationals a huge show and a fitting finish to the year."

The Ipswich City Council is fully committed to motorsport in the region and is an active member of the Carnival of Horsepower promotion that seeks to encourage the general public to attend three major events on the Ipswich sporting calendar.

The Willowbank Raceway Winternationals will be held on June 11-13, the Ipswich Turf Club will host the Ipswich Cup on June 19 while V8 Supercars are featured during the 6th round of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship series at Queensland Raceway on July 2-4.

For further information on Willowbank Raceway events call the Raceway office on 3849 6881 or visit www.willowbank-raceway.com.au

March 6, 2004 -- Featuring Jet Dragsters

Other racing includes: iTEL Community Telco Supercharged Outlaws, Lifestyle Carpets and Vinyl SuperComp, Morgan and Wacker Competition Bike, Quarter Motive Modified, Ultimate Financial Group Super Sedan, Ian Boettcher Race Parts Super Street, Whale's Motorcycle World Modified Bike, Queensland Diesel Spares Junior Dragster, Morgan and Wacker Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson

Ticketing:
Adult Prices:
General Admission $30
Pit Admission $38

Student Prices: (must show id)
General Admission $16
Pit Admission $24
Children 13 and under are free

Qualifying from 9am, racing from 4pm

-www.willowbank-raceway.com.au- k

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