Some big performance gains propelled local drag racing teams to national title success and new class records during the IHRA Nationals event at Meremere last weekend.

Heading the efforts of the local speedsters was Papamoa's Abbott Brothers Racing Mazda RX7 with Cory Abbott delivering an impressive performance to win the Sport Compact title.

Cory and Jeremy Abbott's 13B rotary turbocharged RX7 had been a low 7secs performer during events earlier in the 2015-16 season with a previous best elapsed time of 7.15secs.

The team punched in a 6.973secs first up qualifying run on Saturday at 195.99mph and then stepped up again with a 6.968secs second round run on Sunday before beating the Nissan Skyline of Rotorua's Robbie Ward in the final with a 6.998secs pass.


The Abbott's success follows a fairly typical drag racing pattern of determined hard work and frustration that eventually yields the performance targets.

"For the past two seasons we'd had a pretty frustrating time," said Cory Abbott.

"At the start of this season we put an adjustable clutch in the car and made some small suspension changes and that's given us a good foundation to work from.

"Since then we've made small changes, kept tuning the car and making progress.

The RX7s leap in performance makes it the quickest twin rotor drag car racing outside of the United States.

The Competition Bike title was won by Mt Maunganui's Spike Allen who powered into the 7secs bracket on his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa Pro Street machine and regained the Competition Bike title he won two years ago.

Allen qualified with a 8.189secs run and ran 8.271secs in the first round but a bye run in the semifinals provided the opportunity to try a more aggressive tune-up. Allen reaped the benefits with a 7.839secs run and backed up the time in the final where a fast reaction time and 7.928sec run beat Aucklander Ian Hilder to the title.

It's been a frustrating summer at the drag strip for the Hay Family team and the Evil II roadster driven by Tauranga's Karen Hay.

It's been a season-long battle to get the twin turbo big block Chev V8 car to launch and run straight.

A 6.446secs run on Saturday was a return to form and allowed Hay to add the national record for the new-for-his-season BB/Altered category for turbo cars to the other class records she holds.

Drag Racing action continues this weekend with the NZ Drag Racing Association Nationals at Taupo Thunder Dragway while the front-engine dragsters, funny cars, T-Buckets and muscle cars of the past have their annual day in the spotlight at the Bay Rodders' Nostalgia Drags at Meremere on Easter Sunday.