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The recent IHRA Summer Thunder event at Sydney Dragway saw Australian drag racing at its best and with excellent weather, a large crowd and apparently the most number of Top Fuel passes in one day outside of the USA. Backing up the four Pro Classes (Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Slammer and Top Bike) were three time-based DYO brackets, 6.5–8, 8–9.5 and 9.5 and up. Throw in some Extreme (Import) Bikes and Cars, a Street and Street Bike bracket and there was something for everyone.
Its summer down under and in years past many drivers from the southern states would come up to Sydney for these meetings during their holidays. Now, with every track south (and west) of the border being ANDRA-sanctioned, only a handful of entries were forthcoming. The format saw all brackets have one qualifier and then three elimination runs. Think Chicago Shoot-Out with a twist that I have called the Sydney Slam. In the Pro categories this saw two winners from the first two rounds go to the final in the third round based on either the best ET or closest to their dial-in.
Nine cars lined up for the starter for this one-day barn burner. All nine came out for some quarter mile practice and had to deal with a slightly greasy track (until the sun went down). Some took the opportunity to just work on their short times or see what the track could handle. The short answer was that none ran a four-second time with Damien Harris’s 5.098 being the best of the bunch.