National Drag Racing Championship to usher in a new era for the sport

Top Fuel Drag Racing at Nitro Champs 2023

By Thomas Miles

Thanks to the formation of the National Drag Racing Championship and an “unprecedented” national broadcast deal, drag racing stands on the brink of a new and unified era.

The Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Stock Bike, Pro Mod and Sportsman categories promise a major breakthrough for the Sport series.

The National Drag Racing Championship will be held across 11 championship events from October, with either the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship or the Nitro Funny Car Championship being the focus Group 1 events.

For more details on the National Drag Racing Championship, a detailed information pack is available HERE NDRC_DOWNLOAD

Gosbell Rocket Aeroflow Funny Car Drag Racing

A big part of the new NRDC will be the Funny Cars.

It promises more nitro racing than ever before with a single Grand Final event for all professional categories to be held at the 2024 Willowbank Raceway Winternationals.

This will bring the Burson Top Fuel Championship and Nitro Funny Cars Championship together in one Group 1 competition for the first time.

The National Sportsman Championship Series, a new series of Sportsman racers, will be held in the Eastern (Qld, NSW, Vic) and Western (WA, SA, NT) conferences before converging in a National Grand Final.

The championship will be broadcast nationally through an “unprecedented” partnership to be announced on May 17, while the 11-round calendar will be announced on May 26 at The Bend, considered one of the key venues.

National Drag Racing Championship co-promoter Andy Lopez said the new championship provides an exciting platform for the sport to grow.

Andy Lopez

NRDC co-promoter Andy Lopez is excited to see where the new series can take the sport.

“The NRDC represents a tremendous opportunity for the sport to make a way forward,” he said.

“We’ve taken the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship to venues across Australia and this has given us a great opportunity to hear what racers and fans want.

“They want a positive drag racing scene where racers compete for a single national title in their category.”

Lopez also clarified that despite the National Drag Racing Championship offering a “fresh start,” all records remain honored in all categories.

“The ADRC brand will also be retiring, but while the NDRC is a fresh start and a new name, all national records, championships and trophies will be recognized and celebrated through the new championship,” he said.

“Records and championships belong to the racers and are an integral part of drag racing history.

“Whether you are an ADRC Champion, a 400 Thunder Champion, a Summit Series Champion, or hold a record or trophy, you are celebrated and recognized by the National Drag Racing Championship for what you have accomplished. “

Children drag racing

The new championship aims to increase the fan base.

Although 400 Thunder director Tony Wedlock said it was time to end the series, he described the new championship as an “exciting chapter” for the sport.

“NDRC is the next logical step for drag racing in Australia,” he said.

“We met with the NDRC team to hear their plans and the 400 Thunder Board believed the National Drag Racing Championship was in everyone’s best interest in the sport we all love so much.

“With that in mind it is time to end the 400 Thunder Series and we ask all racers to get behind the NDRC and we can’t wait to see this next exciting chapter.”

All 11 rounds of the National Drag Racing Championship will be broadcast live and free in Australia as part of an “unprecedented” TV package, according to NRDC co-promoter Nathan Prendergast.

Benny Stevens and Top Fuel Motorbike riders will be racing in the new series. Image: Cackling Pipes Photography

“Our unprecedented broadcast deal is a huge step forward and will give drag racing the attention it deserves,” he said.

“This is a great achievement for the sport. We are all running in the same direction for the same reasons and with the launch of the NDRC this is now a reality.

“I look forward to the May 17 announcement and to bringing Group 1 and Sportsman racing to a global television audience.”

Stay tuned for more announcements later this month ahead of October’s historic opening round.

For more details on the National Drag Racing Championship, a detailed information pack is available HERE

More current motorsport news can be found here latest issue of AUTO ACTION.

AUTO ACTION, Australia’s independent motorsport voice.


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