THE crux of Street Machine Drag Challenge is that it requires entrants to race five times in five days and drive from drag strip to drag strip in the same car that they race.
The cars need to be registered and insured, with working street equipment (horn, blinkers, brake lights), and will need to drive at least 1500km during the week. There are no support vehicles allowed – all the people working on the car need to travel in the race car and any spares and tyres need to be carried either in the race car or in a small trailer towed behind the race car.
The full five-day Drag Challenge event inspired directly by Hot Rod’s iconic Drag Week will be held in November, but before that we've got the three-day Drag Challenge Weekend, 3-5 May in Queensland. It'll start and finish at Willowbank Raceway with a day at Warwick Dragway in between - as usual we won't be taking the most direct route, competitors will still cover over 600km on the street.
We’ve got the Drag Challenge rules here, but here are some basics you’ll need to know as an entrant:
- The on-road drive is part of the Drag Challenge competition and following the specified route is mandatory. Traffic, potholes, wet weather, wildlife and winding roads should be expected. Drive accordingly and be safe at all times.
- Each day’s drive has at least one mandatory checkpoint. Each entrant is required to take a photo of their car at the checkpoint and show it to Drag Challenge officials when they hand their timeslip in. Please take your photo and move on so other entrants have space to take their photos.
- Competitors are required to sign in and get their car scrutineered at the first track of the event. At Drag Challenge Weekend it'll be Willowbank Raceway on Friday 3 May, we're still confirming dates and locations for the full Drag Challenge later in the year.
- Competitors may be scrutineered at each drag strip before running. All drivers must be present. It is up to the entrant to ensure their vehicle will pass tech inspection at each track for their ET and speed capabilities. For the five-day Drag Challenge we run ANDRA rules and licences. At Drag Challenge Weekend we run IHRA rules at Willowbank, while Warwick Dragway have their own license which can be purchased on the day of racing.
- Competitors will be allowed to make as many passes as they wish each day on a first-come, first-served basis, until the race director announces the staging lanes are closed. Drag strip sessions may be divided into run groups. Times and details will be announced at the drivers’ meeting and may change from day to day, depending on conditions.
- Each competitor must complete each track day within the specified times to remain in the competition. To complete a track day, a competitor’s car must stage under its own power and take the green light. Entries that take the green but are unable to complete a full drag strip pass will be given an ET of 20 seconds (and a speed of 50mph) for the day. If a competitor misses a track day and is out of the running, they may be able to make exhibition runs during the remaining days of Drag Challenge if time allows.
- Any entrant who was unable to make a pass because of rain or other issues outside the control of the entrant or race director, but made it to the staging lanes before the planned competition time cut off, will score an automatic 20 second time. If the day is rained-out before three quarters of the field has made one pass, then we eliminate the whole day’s competition and move on to the next track.
- It is the competitor’s responsibility to hand in their timeslips to the specified Drag Challenge official before the nominated cut-off time each day. Once a slip is handed in, no other timeslip for that competitor will be accepted that day.
- Route maps to the next track will be provided once a competitor has handed in their timeslip. We do not supply route maps to non-competitors, or entrants who haven’t handed in their timeslip.
- If a day of racing is rained out, competitors are still required to drive the entire route, make their mandatory stops, and must check in during the specified hours at the drag strip in order to remain in the competition. Here they will also receive additional information about the schedule and driving directions to the next track. In the event the final day is rained out, the following day may be held as a rain date at the officials’ discretion.
- Protesting another racer requires filling out an official protest form (available from the event director) detailing the rule infraction, submitting a $100 fee, and supplying evidence including photos or video. If the protest is proven correct or negated by forfeiture of the protested entrant, the $100 is returned. If the protest is not upheld, the $100 goes to the racer being protested. No further discussion will be held.
- Each entrant may only compete in one class. You must state your intended class when registering. Class changes are not allowed after the first day of racing. Multiple drivers are allowed, at a cost of $150 per driver. Each car can still only submit one timeslip per day.
- The winner is the car with the lowest combined ET during the event – average mph will be used as a tiebreaker.