AUS: Willowbank news 2004-03-10

Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway continues to boost its reputation as a safe haven for motorsporting pursuits and is enjoying its best ever season of the traditional Street Series, with nearly 200 competitors already involved during 2004. Since the...

Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway continues to boost its reputation as a safe haven for motorsporting pursuits and is enjoying its best ever season of the traditional Street Series, with nearly 200 competitors already involved during 2004.

Since the Raceway's inception in 1985 it has conducted a Street Series concept that allows all licenced drivers to test themselves behind the wheel over the quarter mile drag strip.

"The popularity of the Street Series has grown significantly and since we introduced a points based competition two years ago it has encouraged even more people to become involved," said Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell.

"This year we had 180 drivers pre-entered to contest the series and throughout the first few months many competitors have enlisted or have come along for a one-off drag racing experience during the Saturday time-slot.

"We have 26 women that contest the Powderpuff Series plus 37 in Junior Dragster, while the remainder make up the starters for the open competition.

"There's a strong contingent of families that contest the Street Series with mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters able to show their wares in a safe driving environment."

"Qualifying takes place on the Saturday morning to determine the racing order and then it's elimination time where drivers are pitted against each other and the winner advances to the next round."

To complement the Street Series, regular Test 'n' Tune meetings are scheduled three Wednesdays every month from 5.30pm.

This opportunity allows drivers valuable time on the track and is more or less a chance gain a feel for driving on the quarter mile drag strip.

"We have many individuals who have started at the Test 'n' Tune and progressed through to the Street Meets once they have gained more confidence.

"But on the flip side there are also drivers who participate at both events to optimise the time they can spend on the strip.

"What we've found with most drivers is once they've experienced the thrills of drag racing it's in their blood and they do become regulars at our Street Series and Test 'n' Tune nights."

Meantime, on a more competitive front, Raceway officials are expecting some intense competition during the annual Tin Top Titles featuring Top Doorslammer and Travelaire Tours Pro Stock on April 24/25.

Queenslanders are well poised in the Australian Championships of both professional brackets and that will ensure a tense battle over the Anzac Day weekend.

"It was only recently that Queensland boasted eight of the eleven finalists during the Summernationals at the Western Sydney International Dragway and of that group Ben Bray and Brett Stevens contested the Doorslammer final and Tony Wedlock and Denis Whiting duelled in Pro Stock," added Rowsell.

"The Tin Top Titles is the ideal pre-cursor to the Willowbank Winternationals on June 11-13 and with the weather growing cooler we can expect some sizzling times to be recorded."

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

Tin Top Titles April 24/25, 2004 -- Featuring Top Doorslammer and Travelaire Tours Pro Stock

-wb-

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