The flame-spitting Mazda RX-7 campaigned by Pāpāmoa's Cory and Jeremy Abbott will return to New Zealand drag strips after an impressive finale to an Australian campaign last weekend.
The Abbott Brothers Racing Team recorded new quickest and fastest personal-best performances with the turbocharged 13B rotary racer during the Brisbane Jamboree sport compact festival at Queensland's Willowbank Raceway.
The quickest part of the brothers' performance double was accounted for during pre-event testing with a 6.636secs quarter-mile elapsed time (ET) while a second round qualifying pass on Saturday saw the RX-7 above 322km/h (200 miles per hour) through the finish line for the first time.
Cory Abbott's 6.715secs/201.58 miles per hour run bettered a previous best of 197.16 miles per hour at Meremere Dragway in early 2018 and saw the Kiwi team qualify second in the Jamboree's 20-car Pro Compact class.
Changes to the rear suspension set-up which have improved traction and a new turbocharger have been the key to the performance gains.
''We had a pretty good few days. On the PB run of 6.63secs I was off the throttle by 1000-feet so that shows a lot of promise,'' Cory Abbott said.
Cory said he struggled with a gearbox problem during race day with the car not shifting into fifth gear. He still managed to win two of his three Sunday match-ups in the Pro Compact class with a best of 6.909secs and a slower than usual 167.34 miles per hour being the best performance but reflecting the lack of top gear.
The top-performing team at the Jamboree was the other Kiwi entry of Rod Harvey (Auckland) competing in the Factory Extreme class with his Yuasa Batteries Toyota Camry.
Harvey made six runs through the two days of Jamboree qualifying and eliminations. His best ET — and the quickest run of the event — was a 5.751secs blast at 251.91miles per hour late on Sunday afternoon but the big number for the weekend was his 258.57 miles per hour top-end speed on a 5.786secs first round qualifying pass.
Harvey's Toyota 2JZ-powered Camry is currently the second fastest ''import'' drag car in the world just behind Puerto Rico's Brava Racing ''Big 21'' Toyota Avalon which clocked a 260.91 miles per hour top-end speed back in May at Atco Raceway in New Jersey.
Harvey's latest effort improves his number two speed ranking and leaves him third quickest in the ET rankings with a 5.708secs at Willowbank earlier this month.