They reversed the direction but it didn't bring the speed odometer needles down as the 33rd annual Street Drags for the Wanganui Road Rodders were a blast up Taupo Quay yesterday.

In a new layout for street racing and burnout fans, the rallying point was moved away from the Heads Road intersection, from where the vehicles headed south, to further down at the Liffton St intersection and instead racing back north.

Wanganui Auto Wreckers offered their area for pit lane, meaning there was not the dust found in the original location beside the rail tracks, while fans were able to watch the starts and use the Food Stalls in the Bullocks yard.

The new format proved a success for the 65 vehicles entered, just slightly down on 70 from last year.


"A great day," said co-ordinator Grant Rivers.

"It made for a far [better event].

"We've got cars running back in the 6's again."

The Quay's road has now settled back down since the tar was resealed in 2015.

Back in 2016, the fastest time anyone could manage as just over 7.9 seconds, but Whanganui's Daren Breuer in his Impala was able to pull down a 6.854s lap, as wheel-spin is slowly becoming less of an issue.

Daren Breuer set the Fastest Time and had the Best Presented Car with his Impala.
Daren Breuer set the Fastest Time and had the Best Presented Car with his Impala.

Again, the Cam County Inc Hot Rod Club, who run the Wellington Port Rd Drags, showed up in good numbers to support their sister club.

However, Rivers was pleased to see an increasing number of first-timers having a go.

"A lot of locals featured in the events," he said.


"A lot of local cars in general that haven't raced before."

Marton's Darryl Gibbons sets up for his turn at a fast run.
Marton's Darryl Gibbons sets up for his turn at a fast run.

Rivers said a big thanks have to go to all the local sponsors, without whom the event could not go ahead.

This year the prestigious Ivan Jones Memorial Trophy for the best performed local went to Arron Wood, who had previously won it in 2015, the last street drags before the resealing.

As well as setting the fastest time of the day, Breuer also took out the award for Best Presented Car, while David Hickford pulled off the best burnout in his Holden.

It was a good day for the Rivers clan as Nicole was the Fastest Lady award winner in her Mustang, and Adrian had the Fastest Import in his Nissan, although he was beaten in the V8 vs Import Challenge by the 1973 Plymouth Duster of Shaun Graham.

Hastings' racer Chris O'Connor brought over his dragster to make a speed demonstration for the fans.

Hawke's Bay's Chris O'Connor gave a demonstration of his dragster.
Hawke's Bay's Chris O'Connor gave a demonstration of his dragster.


Ivan Jones Memorial Trophy: Arron Wood, 7.657s.

Best Presented Car: Daren Breuer, Impala.

Best Burnout: David Hickford, Holden.

Hard Luck: Jeff Carr, Ford Fairlane.

Fastest Time of the Day: Daren Breuer, Impala.

Best V8: Bill Armstrong, Plymouth.

Best Import: Sarn Candish, Nissan 180.

Fastest Ford: 1. Tony Baird, Holden Panel Van, 7,578; 2. Rod Sklenars, Ford Coupe, 8.132; 3. Gavin Tombs, Mustang, 8.242.

Fastest Chev: 1. Daren Breuer, Impala, 6.854; 2. Jason McKillop, Holden Torana, 7.56; 3. David Hickford, Holden HZ, 7.682.

Fastest Other: 1. Simon Carson, Commer Cob, 7.262; 2. Dave Burroughs, Mercedes, 8.755; 3. Nicholas Bum, Toyota Hilux, 9.773.

Fastest Bike: 1. Bevan Constable, Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade; 2. Gavin Wright, Suzuki Hayabusa; 3. James McDonald.

Fastest Lady: 1. Nicole Rivers, Mustang; 2. Heather Hills, Willys Whippet; 3. Karen Wood, Holden Commodore.

Fastest Import: 1. Adrian Rivers, Nissan Silvia; 2. Toby Connors, Subaru WRX; 3. Andrew Rees, Nissan Bluebird.

Fastest Mopar: 1. Shaun Graham, 1973 Plymouth Duster, 8.167s; 2. Bill Armstrong, Plymouth, 8.242; 3. Dave Fishwick, Valiant Pacer, 8.496.

V8 Versus Import Challenge: 1. Shaun Graham, 1973 Plymouth Duster; 2. Adrian Rivers, Nissan Silvia.

Group One: 1. Daren Breuer, Impala; 2. Jason McKillop, Holden Torana; 3. Tony Baird, Holden Panel Van.

Group Two: 1. Dean Tombs, Ford Fairlane, 2. Phil Goodin, Roadster; 3. Rod Sklenars, Ford Coupe.

Group Three: 1. Blair Turley, Oldsmobile; 2. Ray Patel, Ford Falcon; 3. Dave Burroughs, Mercedes.

Group Four: 1. Aaron Rudkin; 2. Nathan Lyne, Holden VI; 3. Jon Lyne, Holden HQ Prem.

Group Five: 1. Warren Riddick, Holden HSV VX; 2. Len Wilshes, 1932 Ford Coupe; 3. Brian Rudkin, Holden HSV.