Fans have waited two years for the weekend’s Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.
Fans have waited two years for the weekend’s Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.

40,000 revheads to roll in

DRAG racing fans will be trying to make up for lost time this year when the country's largest drag racing event returns to Willowbank Raceway.

Persistent rain led to abject disappointment for organisers, competitors and fans alike last year.

After being initially postponed to a different weekend, the event had to be completely cancelled when rain also ruined the organisers' Plan B.

This Friday will mark the start of the 45th running of the Winternationals, an all-round celebration of motorsport which attracts 500 of the best drivers of the fastest cars in motorsport, in addition to some 40,000 screaming petrol heads.

Willowbank Raceway managing director Steve Bettes said competitors were already beginning to arrive from all over Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

"The loss of last year's event was significant for everyone here at Willowbank, and I can tell you that people have worked extremely hard to make sure it survived for this year," he said.

"We're approaching these Winternationals as an event that people have waited two years for."

This weekend is looking cool and fine.

The 2012 Winternationals will feature the final rounds of both the ANDRA Pro Series - including Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Top Bike, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle - and the Rocket Allstars Racing Series.

This year's event will feature the presentation of the inaugural Mick Atholwood Trophy to the winner of the Top Fuel category.

Atholwood, who died in March, became an icon of the sport through decades of involvement through his race engine business.

The action will not be confined to the quarter-mile, with family entertainment and trade shows.

For more information, schedules and entry lists visit or Willowbank Raceway on Facebook.


The need for speed

This year's Winternationals will be held from Friday, June 8, to Monday, June 11

On-track action begins 8am Friday, 9am Saturday, 8.30am Sunday and Monday

Kids aged 13 and under get in for free