Drag Week is done, let’s see how the Australian teams fared

Photographers: Nathan Jacobs

JEFF Lutz has won Hot Rod Drag Week 2016 and the Unlimited Class with an average of 6.191 at 240mph with his Mad Max Pro Mod-style 1969 Camaro. That is the fastest average time in Drag Week history and is Jeff’s second overall win at Drag Week.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 060 3744His previous victory was in 2014, which he won in the Evil Twin ’57 Chev that toured Australia earlier this year. It was a staunch effort, with the drama peaking for Lutz with a suspension rebuild on the side of the road.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 020 3111All but one of the five Aussie teams completed Drag Week 2016 despite some horrendous track conditions and blistering heat. Ross and Brenton Gault were a little off their best pace due to the temperatures but achieved an average of 9.77 at 138mph for the week. That’s pretty staunch for a 4000+lb car, driven off the foot brake! The Camaro will be heading back to Australia now and we’re sure to see more of it at Queensland events.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 024 5104One Aussie who fought hard is John Faraone. Hurting a head on Tuesday and the subsequent overnight thrash put him behind the eight ball, but he managed to run a 7.90-second pass today to close things out. After five consecutive years, John still enjoys the event but admits to wondering why he does it to himself. This year has been one of the toughest yet but he was looking pretty happy to complete the week.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 016 5037The Chevelle team of Harry Haig, Terry Seng, Shannon Jennings and Ryan Jones did everything they’d set out to do. A seven-second pass would have a massive bonus, but the track temps did not allow the 3600lb car to hook up on radials. They built the car in a single week, melted the internet and finished with an average of 8.95 seconds for the week. That’s right, an eight second average from a car that was a pile of parts a week ago and didn’t tow a trailer. The boys are already talking about next year and taking the car to another level.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 045 5431The Trapnell brothers decided to replace the HQ’s entire fuel system; pumps, lines and everything in the carpark at Jegs before today’s racing. They then had to hustle to the track so they could make a pass before the end of play. Ignition issues limited the Monaro to a low ten-second run, but the boys were happy to hand in a time slip and call the week officially over. The Monaro provided a lot of entertainment with its wild launches and even scored a special mention and diagram during the presentation session.

Holden Torana Ss Drag Week 1422Brian and Dianne Jensen are already contemplating building a car in the US for next year’s event, after the Torana heads home to Australia. Brian reckons he’d like to take a crack at Drag Challenge with the Torrie and build something fun in the US. These guys are addicted!

Dragweek NJ Lowres 012 2984Bryant Goldstone in his Rambler Javelin finished second overall behind Lutz and took out the Ultimate Iron Class, with an average of 6.857 at 211mph.

Dragweek NJ Lowres 057 3730Glenn Hunter came third overall in his ’56 Chev, taking out the Pro Street Power Adder class with an average of 7.584 at 182mph.

Stay tuned for our video highlights package from Day Five – then we’ll look at each of the Aussie teams in more detail.