START YOUR ENGINES: Warwick drags are back on track
THE Warwick Dragway is revved and ready to get their season back on track, with entries for their first post-pandemic race meet selling out in only hours.
The club has locked in two jam-packed days of racing on July 25 and 26 across multiple classes, with drivers from across the state booking their place at Morgan Park.
Warwick Dragway event organiser Matt Loy said while entrant numbers were capped due to the 100-patron limit, the fact that the race was booked out overnight was an encouraging sign for the club.
“We sold out in eight hours – we put the event up (on Facebook) on a Thursday night, and it was gone by Friday morning,” Loy said.
“We’ve already got 40 pre-entries from all over Queensland, so we’re not taking any more for it.
“There’s only two brackets, both are full, and there’s over $3000 in prize money for the day.”
To mark the Dragway’s comeback, Loy said Saturday’s event would be their first “no-prep” or “grudge” meet, where a smoother track surface makes for an even more exciting race.
“The track surface that we race on, we normally make it as sticky we can to get the best possible traction – with this one, there’s no preparations whatsoever,” Loy said.
“It’s big in America and I’ve done it once before, so we’re trying to see how it will go for us here.
“We know there’s good demand for it, especially since no one’s raced after the break.”
However, Loy said the events would still be quite constrained by the coronavirus restrictions, and spectators would be forced to watch the races from home.
“The 100 people has to count our staff and everything as well, so it limits the racers and definitely anyone coming to watch,” Loy said.
“It’s hard to work out what the rules are and how they apply to us, and especially with all these fines it’s just not worth anyone risking it.
“We are going to try and livestream it though, so we’re looking into that at the moment.”
While grateful to finally be able to reopen the track for events, Loy said the rest of their normal competitive season was still in jeopardy.
“We’ve got no clue when the rest of the season is coming back up – we have to wait and see what the government does,” Loy said.
“We’ve got three events lined up before our big annual meet in October, but those are all up in the air at the moment.
“Just a normal meeting, we need 250 to 500 people. Our big meetings, we really can’t do anything with them until we know that we’re going to be able to have 1000 people.”
Despite this uncertainty, Loy said being able to host race meets and gain such huge community interest was the positive sign the drags needed.
“(Drivers) can just do runs for the day, test their vehicles out, burn some rubber and get some runs on the board,” Loy said.
“Anything to get some practice in before the normal season can start back up again.”