Action from the Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.
Action from the Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway. Claudia Baxter

Wet 'n' wild Winternats

DRAG racing fans braved howling cold winds and intermittent drizzle in the hope of enjoying the final day of action in the Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway yesterday.

The annual event, ruined by rain last year, had enjoyed a mostly trouble-free few days over the weekend.

Organisers' luck ran out yesterday, however, with a large band of light showers settling over the drag strip by mid-afternoon.

About 2.30pm, the decision was made to postpone the remaining events until today.

The morning rain wasn't substantial; just enough to give track officials a hard time. The jet-engine-powered track dryer got a solid workout after the opening ceremony at 10.30am.

Thousands of eager fans, rugged up in thick coats, blankets and plastic sheets, shivered on the hill or in the grandstand as they awaited the start of the real action.

The loud revving of hotted-up engines at least went some way to warm the spirits of those who ventured out to the track.

Gailen Lennox travelled 12 hours by car, from Sarina, near Mackay, to watch the event at Willowbank.

Accompanied by his wife, two children and a few of his extended family, he sat in hope the weather would turn around.

"The highlight of the weekend so far was definitely the Wild Bunch action on Sunday," Mr Lennox said.

"I just hope it stops raining so the track can dry out and we can see some racing."

There was a break in the rain that was long enough for fans to see some action in the early rounds of the Super Stock class.

Queenslander Kevin Magner slammed into the tyre barrier at the end of the drag strip when he failed to slow his car down at the end of the quarter mile.

The driver was unhurt but the same couldn't be said for his car, which had to be pulled away from the tyre barrier by a tractor.

Light drizzle continued into the afternoon, until the inevitable decision had to be made to send drag racing fans home disappointed.

With mostly fine weather forecast, those who are able to venture back out today should be able to enjoy the majority of elimination events in the professional categories.

Tickets purchased for yesterday can be used today or used to their value within the next six months at any event.


Today's catch-up

  • Remaining rounds of the 2012 Winternationals will commence today at 9am.
  • Tickets purchased for Monday can be used on Tuesday.

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