Go on then, have a drag
GENTLEMEN, start your engines.
Women and children, too.
Casino airstrip is set to become the home of Summerland Drags – a motor enthusiasts’ meet that gives almost anyone the chance to tear down a 200-metre strip of tarmac at breakneck speeds.
There will be professionally engineered dragsters, super sedans, V8s, turbos and nitro powered cars as well as daily drives going straight from street to strip.
The first meeting is scheduled for March 27 and is open to entries from the public.
There are only four criteria.
Drivers must be at least 16, must have a registered and roadworthy vehicle, must wear a helmet, and must have a safety harness fitted inside the vehicle.
Promoter David Lander announced Summerland Drags yesterday, explaining that it was as much about road safety as the spectacle.
“The idea is to give car enthusiasts a place to let it all out,” Lander said.
“Having them race here is much safer than having them race on the roads. Also, young drivers can learn to control a car in a variety of situations.”
The only drag strip on the east coast between Sydney and Brisbane has been licensed by the Department of Sport and Recreation, endorsed by Australian National Drag Racing Association and rubber-stamped by Richmond Valley Council.
Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan was present and in support at the announcement, although the council has approved only the initial meeting.
“At this point it is only a one-off licence to allow the organisation to present a case to the council,” Mayor Sullivan said.
“We need to experience the event once to see what the benefits are for the area.
“I am positive that once we run the first event we will be able to approve the concept long-term.”
Summerland Drags hopes to stage four or five meets per year.
The proposal for the second event is already on the table and it is scheduled for May 23 – the beginning of Beef Week.
One of the key people behind getting Summerland Drags racing, and also president of 88.9FM, Roger Wood, believes the drag strip will serve a purpose to many on the Far North Coast.
“There are people out there who just have the primordial need to burn rubber,” Wood said.