Flashing back to January 25th From Autolite Drag Way Mere Mere New Zealand standing just beside the 60 foot timer as the rain starts to fall on Aussie Scott Porter and Kiwi Rod Harvey just as they were given the start-up signal I couldn’t help but feel we were being robbed of not only a great battle between fierce rivals but also a anticlimax to the whole event. Fast forward almost exactly 8 months to the day and arriving a bright sunny and almost cloudless sky at Queensland’s Willowbank raceway I knew we were in for something special.
Due to dwindling crowd numbers the event has been revised down to a one day format and with event organiser Ray Box throwing every last bit of energy in getting everything perfect behind the scenes there was nothing to do but let them race . New to Qld jamboree was the addition of the drift demos that fit in nicely with babe comp as well as the static display of chrome bumper and new age supercars assisted by the brains trust at Downshift. The sheer number of companies with trade stands at any jamboree shows how relevant to today’s market sports compact drag racing is.
One of the heavy hitters of the event Top RPM motorsport were making use of every bit of technology available to them by having a iPhone on FaceTime hooked to their lap top while driver Milos’s brother tuned the car from Qatar. After having a rough few events and a disastrous Winternationals campaign it was great testament to the team and car losing only to Rod Harvey to become runner up for the event. Not a lot of racers like coming second but when you’re doing it to the quickest and fastest man in sorts compact history well it eases the blow.
Another always impressive bracket is Outlaw 10.5 with some on the toughest and cleanest cars out of all the entrants. This relatively new bracket to Australia and Jamboree was just another display of how insane these guys are. Mr 10.5 himself Frank Mamone’s nova has a hard time keeping the front wheels on the track around 330ft. The diversity of cars, power plants and mixtures of NOS, Turbo and blown cars means it breaks away for the cookie cutter side by side match ups. And getting all that power through a 10.5 inch wide tyre doesn’t always work out but when does its super impressive.
I think the highlight of the whole event came just on dusk as factory extreme rolled around. I remember Adrian Hodgson from express publications walking past telling me we were about to see the run we had all been waiting for. Rod Harvey was going after the world record. All I can remember is commentator Chris Diggles screaming out the incremental’s and Rod had done it setting the fastest pass in import history 6.12sec @ 238 MPH. But it’s not like factory extreme was done there with Colin Wilshire’s Jett racing eclipse coming out on the next pass and setting a new overall speed record for a 4cyl sports compact car. And cementing himself as the fastest 4 pot in the nation with his 6.57 @ 223mph that was 5mph up on his own record set in testing the week prior to the event.
Another impressive display was put on by mercury motorsport in NITTO II’s first public race meeting. After debuting the car at the recent Motive dvd GTR challenge at Cootamundra air strip it was time to see how it would go with a prepped surface, And it didn’t disappoint setting a world record for the quickest and fastest GTR on a redial tyre with an astonishing run of 7.9 @180MPH . This car has a massive future and I can see it will keep bringing records back home to Australia.
Overall I think the revised one day format has brought jamborees mojo back. And with records tumbling in most classes Jamboree is most defiantly back, bigger and better than ever before. I cant wait to see where the sport is this time next year. And who if anyone can bring it to Rod and his team..
For the full gallery from this event click here : http://www.dragphotos.com.au/p60014626