Tauranga drag racers were in record-breaking form during the IHRA New Zealand Nationals at Meremere Dragway last weekend.

Cory Abbott and Karen Hay both completed the weekend with new entries in the quarter-mile record book with Abbott doubling up and also winning Sport Compact eliminator in his turbocharged twin-rotor Mazda RX7.

There was another new national record for Tauranga's Karen Hay who raised the top-end speed benchmark for a BBi/Altered to 220.76mph. Photo/Colin Smith
There was another new national record for Tauranga's Karen Hay who raised the top-end speed benchmark for a BBi/Altered to 220.76mph. Photo/Colin Smith

Two weeks earlier the Abbott Brothers Racing squad had revealed the potential of the latest tuning combination for the Mazda with a run that was 0.001s better than their two-year-old national record.

Abbott almost matched that in qualifying but race day saw the Mazda making wheels-up launches and powering into the 6.8secs bracket. Abbott's first round was 6.829secs at 196.44mph and the second run backed up those numbers at 6.885secs and a slightly better speed trap of 197.16mph to write new entries in the record book for the C/Pro Import class.

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In the final Abbott made a slow getaway against Reece McGregor's turbocharged Nissan 350Z but a red light had already ended McGregor's hopes and Abbott cruised though at 8.3secs to win the title.

Karen Hay had also shown a glimpse of pre-Nationals form at the late-February Comp meeting with her Evil II twin turbocharged big block Chev powered '27T Roadster.

A qualifying run at 6.429secs/220.76mph on Saturday was backed up by an early shut off 6.422secs/207.02mph and then a 6.425s/220.33mph semifinal run which was a loss to eventual Comp Eliminator winner Dwane Osborne (Carterton) who spent the weekend running under the C/Altered class index in his small-block Chev powered '48 Ford Pop altered.

A new car on the Tauranga drag racing scene is the rotary-powered VW Beetle built and raced by David du Toit. Photo/Colin Smith
A new car on the Tauranga drag racing scene is the rotary-powered VW Beetle built and raced by David du Toit. Photo/Colin Smith

The Nationals effort doesn't improve Hay's year-old 6.340secs national ET record but it does step up the speed trap record to 220.76mph for the BBi/Altered class.

The mid-8secs Mayhem Chev Nova of Tauranga's Glen Oldfield raced into the Top Street final where he claimed the runner-up honours behind the Lexus V8 turbo engined '74 Toyota Corolla of Tim Hawke (Auckland) who was in record-breaking mode in the GGi/Modified Street class.

Tauranga racer Glen Oldfield powered his 1965 Chev Nova to runner-up honours in the Top Street eliminator. Photo/Colin Smith
Tauranga racer Glen Oldfield powered his 1965 Chev Nova to runner-up honours in the Top Street eliminator. Photo/Colin Smith

A recent addition to the ranks of local drag racers is David du Toit campaigning a self-built VW Beetle which races in Top Street with a turbocharged Mazda 13B rotary engine and has created plenty of interest since its debut earlier this summer.

Following a six-year build the car is in the early stages of development and tuning with a 10.026secs qualifying pass at its fourth meeting showing the combination is knocking on the door of its first 9secs performance.

Tauranga's Brad Taylor made an early exit from Modified eliminator with a first round red light in his big block Chev front-engine dragster on a run that achieved strong 8.454s/160.04mph figures.

James Key ('66 Chev El Camino), Brendon Jones ('30 Model A Ford) and John Irving ('68 Pontiac Firebird) were the Tauranga entries in Super Street eliminator with Irving best before a narrow quarter-finals loss.

The front-engine dragster of Tauranga's Brad Taylor makes a wheels-up launch. Photo/Colin Smith
The front-engine dragster of Tauranga's Brad Taylor makes a wheels-up launch. Photo/Colin Smith