Drag races attract fastest

Grant Finn, of Invercargill, became the new Lawrence Quarter Mile sprint champion in his 1996...
Grant Finn, of Invercargill, became the new Lawrence Quarter Mile sprint champion in his 1996 Falcon. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
Roar power grew through the golden quarter-mile of Waipori road, as the annual Lawrence "all-comers" Quarter Mile drag trails attracted some of the fastest cars in the South on Saturday.

All entrants drove road-legal vehicles, but Grant Finn’s 1996 Falcon sported a roll-cage for the possibility he would hit 150mph (241kmh) and break the 10-second barrier.

"I’ve been racing this car for three years. This is my first time in Lawrence," the Invercargill racer said.

"I’ve heard the track here’s a bit sketchy and bumpy ... I’m mostly worried about that corner at the end. It’s going to come up pretty quick — the main thing will be trying to slow down."

Mr Finn deployed his parachute on his first run, and was fastest on the day with a blistering 11.09sec over the quarter-mile (402m) of ordinary tarmac and chipseal road.

Dunedin’s Gary Tansey came second in 11.42sec in his Audi, followed by Milton veteran Steve McLay’s Corvette in 11.70sec.

Event chief organiser Bill Bazley was very pleased with the town’s 33rd domestic drag-meet.

"We started it to give the local young petrolheads a safe and supervised event, but straight away old petrolheads like myself wanted to give it a go. It’s turned into something where people who just want to find out what their car can do can line up right alongside the serious contenders for a really fun community day where we raise some extra money for the local hospital, St John’s and fire brigade."

A few of the 45 entrants faced high-pressure mechanical faults but there were no safety issues for the on-duty emergency services to deal with.

From Mosgiel’s Chris Hey testing the aerodynamics of his 1982 Toyota rally car to the vintage growl of Dunedinite Peter Petchey’s 1963 Triumph Special, every effort was cheered by a crowd of over 300.

 - By Nick Broo