Willowbank Australia ready for New Year

When Willowbank Raceway gears up for its first taste of drag racing in the New Year during round two of the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Australian Championships on January 3, the occasion will also mark an exciting time for the Screamin' Eagle Harley...

When Willowbank Raceway gears up for its first taste of drag racing in the New Year during round two of the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Australian Championships on January 3, the occasion will also mark an exciting time for the Screamin' Eagle Harley Davidson bracket of racing.

There are plans to introduce this uniquely Queensland form of the sport into other areas of Australia, while not discounting the opportunity to have the bracket headlined at an International level.

"2004 could mark the start of big things for Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson as there are already plans to introduce the bracket into New South Wales and the platform towards a similar New Zealand competition has already been set," said Screamin' Eagle coordinator, Neal Bolam.

"Who knows within a couple of years we could be talking about an International Trans-Tasman series being hosted at Willowbank Raceway."

Husband and wife duo Neal and Jo Bolam have helped pioneer the two-wheelers throughout Queensland and even before they moved to Brisbane in 1988, their passion for fuel-injected fun was being satisfied up north.

"I started racing a Supercharged Triumph in Townsville in 1981 and then decided to build a twin engine Harley a few years later," said Neal.

"Along with our daughter Manda we packed up and moved here and it wasn't long before the call of the one-eighth mile strip at Lakeside was heard loud and clear.

"That was in '92 and at that stage I was the only Harley rider up against all the Japanese drag bikes."

Prompted by other like-minded Harley riders Neal set the wheels in motion during 1994 to have an affordable budget entry-level bracket introduced in Queensland and by '99 a five round Hog series had been given the green light.

"By the end of '94 we were consistently getting 15 to 16 riders turning up and it was evident that a Harley drag racing culture was developing.

"Jo had always been a huge fan of drag racing and it was no surprise when she started to ride the strips in '95 and Manda followed suit as a 16 year old in '98."

Through strong business and personal ties with Mark Wacker, of Brisbane's Morgan and Wacker Harley Davidson who are the World's oldest distributors of the two wheeled machines, a strategic move to relocate to Willowbank Raceway was born one year later.

This proved a master-stroke with Wacker then formulating plans for the introduction of the Screamin' Eagle concept.

In close consultation with Wacker, the Bolams have been instrumental in the growth of Harley-Davidson on the Willowbank Raceway drag racing scene and their prowess aboard the American bikes has also been a feature of their involvement.

During the recent season opener at the iTEL Nationals, Manda secured runner-up honours recording a sub 12-second pass at over 114 mph and she'll be one of the main contenders during the National Open on January 3.

January 3 , 2004 National Open -- Featuring Top Fuel and Top Doorslammer

Other racing includes: Supercharged Outlaws, SuperComp, Competition Bike, Modified, Super Sedan, Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster, Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson

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

Student Prices
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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