AUS: Willowbank Jet Dragsters Showdown preview

Big Support Contingent for Jet Dragster Showdown The Australia versus USA jet dragster showdown at Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway on March 6 will have the full backing of a huge support program of more than 160 drivers from throughout Queensland...

Big Support Contingent for Jet Dragster Showdown

The Australia versus USA jet dragster showdown at Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway on March 6 will have the full backing of a huge support program of more than 160 drivers from throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

That's excellent news for Raceway officials who are counting down the days before a memorable return of the jet fuelled machines.

"We couldn't be happier to have such tremendous support for the March 6 event from local drivers as this date was specifically set to offer competitors an additional opportunity to pick up vital track championship points," said Willowbank Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell.

"So we'll have an enthusiastic bunch of drivers out to show their wares and improve their positions in the championship plus the added attraction of an International duel between American Chuck Haynes and Perth's Gary Miocevich in the jet dragsters."

Haynes will be at the controls of one of the fastest drag racing vehicles in Australia when his "Volcano'' jet dragster is challenged by Miocevich's "Gravity Storm'' car.

Haynes, from Billings, Montana, holds the record as the first drag racer to exceed 500km/h in Australia with a 318.02mph (511.69km/h) pass on April 6, 2002 at Kwinana Motorplex in Perth.

Later that day, Haynes upped the speed mark to 319.14mph (513.49km/h), a speed which still stands as the fastest by any drag racing vehicle in Australia.

His dragster is also the quickest in Australia with a best time of 5.022sec from the same Kwinana event.

Haynes should easily smash the established Willowbank Raceway jet dragster record of 5.60sec held by Texan Ancel Horton from January 13, 1996.

Even a four-second time is not out of the question, as the "Volcano'' regularly runs sub five-second quarter-mile passes in the United States.

For four years, the only jets seen at Willowbank have been F111s putting on their tremendous "dump and burn'' displays as part of the entertainment at the Willowbank Winternationals.

Now patrons will again get to see the earthbound drag racing jet cars, which are powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, the same turbofans that put out about 100,000 horsepower in the F111s.

In the eight-metre, 670kg dragsters, the jet engines pump out about 11,000hp and have special attachments, which produce spectacular afterburner shows.

The J60 Pratt and Whitney engines of Haynes and Miocevich burn more than 90 litres of jet fuel per quarter mile pass.

Miocevich's best figures in "Gravity Storm'' are 5.555sec and 288.40mph.

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

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