NEW ERA FOR AUSSIE SPORTSMAN RACERS WITH THE EXPANSION OF NATIONAL DRAG RACING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES; ICONIC VENUE RETURNS TO THE CALENDAR
Australian Sportsman racers will face an abundance of riches with a 20-round season as part of an expanded Aeroflow Sportsman Championship for 2023-2024.
Three rounds will be held in conjunction with the Burson Auto Parts Top Fuel Championship and four will be partnered with the Nitro Funny Car series.
The additional 13 rounds will be stand-alone events primarily in regional venues.
The Sportsman series will be divided into a Western and Eastern conference style format. The Western Conference will comprise of ten events held in Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria while the Eastern Conference is made up of 9 events in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
Victoria will host the final of both Conferences. The Eastern final will be held at Calder Park Raceway, February 24-25, 2024 and the Western final will run at Sunset Strip Mildura, March 9-10.
Both Conferences will then come together at The Bend in rural South Australia on April 6-7 for the Grand final round and to crown the Aeroflow National Sportsman champions.
Teams will be able to gain points at either conference with their best points making them eligible for the Finals.
Biggest surprise of the Aeroflow Sportsman calendar is the return of Calder Park Raceway, to mainstream racing in Australia.
Calder Park home to the ANDRA Nationals for over two decades and on the outskirts of Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia, has faded from the domestic drag scene in recent years. A victim of Australian drag politics and concerns over track safety.
The last major event at the venue was the 2017 ANDRA Nationals when NHRA star Dom Lagana defeated teammate Damien Harris in the final of Top Fuel.
“I think the Aeroflow Sportsman series is an exciting development for the sport in Australia,” said Peter Pisilidis, drag racing promotor of Calder Park Raceway. “Having the final of the Eastern Conference at Calder Park is an honor and will be a major boost to drag racing in Victoria. We all know what the local Melbourne fans are like and what racers are like when it comes to a final’s event. It will be massive.”
Round one of the 2023-24 season is scheduled for Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, July 14-15.