We check in on how the Aussie teams are going after the first day of Drag Week competition

Photographers: Povi Pullinen, Nathan Jacobs

DRAWING larger crowds than an open bar tab, the Aussie Chevelle was first on the block to kick off Day One of HOT ROD Drag Week 2016, at National Trails Raceway in Ohio. That first pass went off with a whimper, with a blown fuse cutting power to the fuel pumps, stranding the Chevelle in the burnout box. There was an almost-audible sob of worldwide disappointment, with a large number of Aussies glued to their screens via Hot Rod’s live stream, but driver Harry Haig was soon back out and run a stout 11.5-second pass.

1379-001-drag -week -2016-chevelleAfter some toil and trouble and a fair whack of roasting in the sun, Harry came back out at the end of the day and rattled off a swift 9.06@153mph to finally silence the skeptics. The boys know the car’s good to dip into the eight second zone, no sweat. Tomorrow at Summit Motorsports Park will be a great test to see if Stevo will let ’em eat and start to knock on top spot in the Street Race Big Block Power Adder class.

2114-007-drag -week -2016-chevelleBrian and Dianne Jensen have converted their big block LX Torana hatch to EFI since last year and are performing well. Brian’s first hit was a 9.96 at 137mph and after adding some more fuel to the mix, came back to run a 9.90 at 138mph, with a little lift in the front wheels.

7238-holden -torana -ss -drag -week -2016The Torana crew hit the road in the afternoon and soaked in the beautiful winding blacktop through Amish country in the backroads of Ohio, alongside with the Trapnell Racing HQ Monaro. “The car is cruising mint,” says Dianne. “ We’ve still got our bonnet and we’re getting much better fuel economy than last year [laughs].”

2759-065-holden -torana -ss -drag -week -2016Greg Trapnell in the HQ went 9.60@143 early in the morning on a clean aspirated run with a signature twisted three-wheel launch much to the crowds delight. They tried to bump up their ET in the arvo session by turning on the nitrous bottle but the Quey spun the tyres out of the hole and ran another 9.60.

2082-004-holden -hq -monaro -drag -weekWith a bit more work they’ll be squaring up to play with the big boys in their class, including Harry Haig. A tired and weary crew couldn’t find much luck on the road section, breaking a rocker at the first checkpoint in Massillon, before soldiering on to Norwalk, Ohio.

2604-062-holden -hq -monaro -drag -weekJohn Faraone and his Charger are sitting in fifth place in Unlimited after the day’s innings, only 0.4 seconds behind Jeff Lutz Jr. in the rear-wheel driving Honda Civic. Faraone’s Charger was good for a 8.76@182mph even though he was feeling out a few new changes, including a new two-wheel wheelie bar, replacing his single wheeled one from last year.

1683-034-charger -drag -week -2016Brenton Gault ran a 9.82@138mph to inch over fellow Queenslander Brain Jensen in Street Race Big Block N/A. The Gault duo of Brenton and Ross Gault are sitting tight with a one-and-done mentality, hitting the traps early on in the day then making like a hockey puck and getting the hell out of there so they can soak up some stress free road miles, a good feed and an early night’s sleep. If only the rest of the crews had it that good! They left so quick, we didn’t get a photo, so enjoy this burnout instead:

7199-drag -week -2016Tomorrow’s racing will kick off nice and early at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Making a second pass equal to or better than Day One’s is crucial, as each daily best ET counts towards the overall standing. Drop a day, and you’ll be working overtime to get back above your average to advance up the the class ladder. The contestants will then make the trip interstate to US131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, for some heated competition in the Motor City state.