Supercharged start to drag racing season
The National Drag Racing Circuit’s (NDRC) 2017 season got off to a strong start on April 2 at Vernamfield, Clarendon.
“Full Throttle 1 was a successful race meet, with tremendous support in attendance of spectators and racers,” Stephen Gunter, executive member, NDRC, told Jamaica Observer’s Auto.
From start to finish the lanes were full of exciting close racing for drag racing fans, as the meet saw all entry slots maxed out.
“There were 180 racers at Full Throttle 1, which is a record-tying amount, being the maximum amount of entries accepted at NDRC events,” Gunter explained.
The intrigue began early as several records fell, setting up much-anticipated showdowns later in the event. Orville Williams broke the NDRC four-wheel drive record with an 8.395- second quarter-mile pass, eclipsing the previous number of 8.647 seconds.
The front-wheel drive record also changed hands as Kenneth Timoll and his Honda Civic, pushing over 1,000 horsepower to its wheels, made a 9.493-second pass, beating the old record of 9.903 seconds. Both would benefit from the NDRC’s new Record Bounty programme which sees $50,000 being awarded to anyone who breaks and holds the record at the end of the meet.
The absence of several heavy hitters made little impact as there was significant competition all the way to the finals in every class. This could be best seen in Pro Street 12, where both Michael Allijohn and Cameno Taylor posted the same time of 11.995. There was also plenty of action in Pro Race 9 as a trio of Toyota Supras fought for supremacy. As expected, it became a Supra head-to-head in the finals, thrilling the crowd.
The big race of the day was the matchup between Williams and Dean Shaw. Both competitors couldn’t have been much different. Williams’ Nissan Pulsar sports the usual Japanese drag racing recipe of four-wheel drive turbocharged power in a light hatchback form. Shaw’s rear-wheel driven, supercharged Chevrolet Camaro is pure American muscle .
On the line, everyone held their breath as the final outcome was pure drama. Williams launched hard, swerving right out of his lane, while Shaw left the line straight. However, mid-track he suffered mechanical trouble, forcing him to slow and allowing the recovering Williams to catch and pass him. Ironically, the fastest class produced the slowest final times as the Pulsar posted 17.788 seconds to the Camaro’s 20.586 seconds. On the surface it looked like Williams was the victor, but he had red lighted his start, which was instant elimination.