E***ment is brewing among Raceway officials and many competitors at the prospect of warming the tyres on a strip that has already shown its potential wares during the recent 38th iTEL Community Telco Drag Racing Nationals.
Add to the entertainment mix the January event will mark a reintroduction of a three-meet Top Fuel and Top *** program during the 2004 Willowbank Raceway calendar and the signs are obvious the Ipswich facility is keeping pace during an exciting period of drag racing in Australia.
"The two major professional brackets always enjoy colt following status and for Willowbank Raceway to be hosting back-to-back events on the Australian drag racing calendar is a major coup," said Rowsell.
"We opened the new season during the iTEL Nationals and those who witnessed the high speed antics of Johnny Cowin (Rocket Industries dragster) in Top Fuel and Gary Phillips (Lucas Oils dragster) in Top *** can attest to the great improvement in times and speed thanks to the resurfacing of the strip.
"Both those drivers will again be the ones to watch having not only collected the 100 championship points for winning the iTEL National title, but also snaring 10 bonus points by securing the lowest elapsed time and fastest speed in their bracket."
A 4.89 second pass at 295.47 mph recorded by Cowin during the iTEL Nationals was also the lowest elapsed time and fastest pass of the meet.
Brisbane-based Phillips will have the opportunity to do further testing at his home track and there's no doubt that that will help his cause.
"All drivers were green going into the iTEL Nationals having little knowledge of how the strip would pull up, but all would have collected a stack of data from that meet and we're expecting even quicker times on January 3."
"Our New Years meet will be the main preliminary to the Summer Nationals spectacular at the yet to be opened Western Sydney International Dragway on February 7-8.
"After January 3 it'll be a patient wait for Queensland drag racing fans until the Winternationals spectacular on June 11/12/13 which marks the final round of the Australian Championships for all professional and support categories.
"Queenslanders need to appreciate how lucky we are to be staging half of a jam-packed Top Fuel and Top *** season program at Willowbank Raceway and if we want that to continue we need the fans to show up in droves.
"You couldn't ask for a better start to the New Year with a whole day and night of affordable family entertainment right on Brisbane's doorstep and smack bang in the middle of school holidays."
The January 3 drag racing feature will also double as the second round of the Willowbank Raceway track championship that will involve more than 180 Queensland and Northern New South Wales drivers in nine support categories.
January 3, 2004 -- 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
General Admission $30
Pit Admission $38
General Admission $16
Pit Admission $24
Children 13 and under are free
Qualifying from 9am, racing from 4pm
Internet sites -- www.willowbank-raceway.com.au
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