AUSSIE DRAG CALENDAR UNDERGOES MAJOR RESHUFFLE IN 2024
The NDRC has announced changes to the 2023-2024 calendar season for the Aeroflow Funny Car series, which includes date changes, the introduction of a one-day meeting format and an overhaul of the Sportsman calendar to be phased in from the Willowbank Raceway meeting, February 16-17.
Major winners in the calendar reshuffle are Dragway at the Bend, in rural South Australia, that will host the final round of the Sportsman Western Conference on April 6-7, in addition to the series Grand Final in October. Willowbank Raceway becomes home to the Eastern Conference Final on June 6-9 and Portland Raceway, in country Victoria, gains an extra round of the Sportsman series, bringing their tally to three.
Round three of Funny Car, originally to be held as a two-day event on February 16-17 at Willowbank Raceway, has been moved to April 13 and has become a one-day event only.
Other major take-outs include Calder Park Raceway, originally scheduled to be the venue for the Eastern Conference final on February 24 -25, will instead hold two stand-alone meetings over the same weekend.
Mildura Sunset Strip, listed to host the final of the Western Conference on March 10-11, will instead be home to round 12 of the Western Conference, February 16-17.
Willowbank Raceway has been closed since the Winternationals in June 2023 due to a significant refurbishment and upgrades to facilities, it was penciled in for a round of Top Fuel in early December, however, the meeting was canceled due to delays in track renovations.
The meeting was moved to Sydney Dragway and was canceled at the last moment due to expected severe weather.
Willowbank is expected to reopen on February 17 for a one-day-only Sportsman meeting.
Organizers acknowledging the unusual situation where four rounds of the 2024-2025 Sportsman series will be held before the final of the 2023-2024 season.
According to series organizers, four rounds of the 2024-2025 calendar - Springmount, Darwin, Alice Springs and Mildura - will all take place at their scheduled times between July and August and form part of Season 2. This creates an unusual but completely manageable overlap between the Grand Final of Season 1 and the start of Season 2.
The Grand Final of the 2023-2024 Sportsman series stays at Dragway at the Bend but is expected to move from April 6-7 to October 18-20 and become part of the opening round of the 2024-2025 Top Fuel championship.
The next Sportsman series round will be held at Portland, January 6-7.
The 2023-2024 Nitro Funny Car championship resumes at Dragway At The Bend on January 13-14.
Top Fuel returns on the Australia Day weekend, January 26-27, at Sydney Dragway.