Steve Reed prepares his top alcohol funny car at Willowbank ahead of this weekend’s Winternats. Photo: Rob Williams
Steve Reed prepares his top alcohol funny car at Willowbank ahead of this weekend’s Winternats. Photo: Rob Williams

Revved up for Winternationals

HUNDREDS of the country’s best and bravest are putting the final agonising touches on their machines ahead of this weekend’s Winternationals competition.

Recognised as the largest drag racing event outside the US, the Winternats will begin at Ipswich’s Willowbank Raceway tomorrow.

More than 500 competitors will take part in top fuel, top doorslammer, top alcohol, top bike, pro stock and pro stock motorcycle classes over an action packed four days, which includes the Queen’s Birthday public holiday on Monday.

Organisers are expecting a crowd of more than 40,000 to squeeze through the gates throughout the long weekend.

Among those to provide heart-stopping entertainment will be Brisbane drag racing legend Steve Reed, who was already at the track last week preparing his top alcohol funny car to go faster than it has gone before.

“We arrived Friday for a few trial runs – just trying different stuff that we wouldn’t be game to try in race conditions,” Mr Reed said.

“It was mainly a case of trying different clutch settings and gear ratios, which should give us some direction on which way to go this weekend.”

If all goes according to plan, the Reed team’s car – powered by a 521 cubic inch V8 which is capable of producing 3500 horsepower – will burn 40 litres of methanol as it explodes down the bitumen at more than 400kmh.

This should result in the car covering the distance in about 5.6 seconds, although the nature of drag racing is always to do things faster.

“I have been racing a long time and the main reason is for the thrill of competition – trying to be the fastest on the day and trying to win,” Mr Reed said.

“It’s all about that search for that extra 100th of a second.”

Willowbank Raceway managing director Steve Bettes said visitors could expect high-octane entertainment on and off the quarter-mile drag strip.

“With the finalisation of the entry list and more than 500 racers set to take part, you can just feel the excitement building here,” Mr Bettes said.

Ticket prices

Kids aged 13 and under will get free admission during the event.

Adults will pay $20 Friday, and $50 Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Concession card holders and students will pay $42 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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