The Whanganui drag team of Rivers Speed and Spares has taken the lead in the NZ Drag Racing Championships as the father and daughter combination of Grant and Nicole Rivers were dominant in Nelson recently.

The Rivers team set a new track record at The Rock Dragway track in Nelson last weekend, on the shorter eighth of a mile airstrip, for the sixth round of nine in the summer series.

Father and daughter shared driving duties on the day, with Nicole qualifying their dragster at the head of the field after collecting a new best low elapse time (ET), as well as the quickest miles per hour (MPH) time in the competition class.

"We qualified first and won the meeting," Grant Rivers said.


"Setting a new national record at Nelson. We did a 4.41 second pass on the eighth of a mile track, clocking 160mph.

"The old record had been beaten earlier in the day when someone else did a 4.54s pass at 150mph.

"Nicole gave me the drive in the final, which was very good of her.

"I'm not sure whether a father and daughter combination has done this before, but I'm really proud to say we have."

The Rivers team has now taken the lead in the championship despite missing two of the six rounds already completed.

Their 500 cubic inch big block supercharged Chev dragster won Round 3 in Taupo on December 29, with the 29-year-old Nicole driving for the first time in seven years.

Grant Rivers said he and his team had installed a softer motor than usual to allow Nicole a chance to regain her composure after the long absence.

"It was the same motor this time although we gave it a bit of a tweak.


"Every time I lean on this motor it improves – it's a very good engine.

"Now we are in the lead we will complete the other rounds."

The seventh round is in Masterton next weekend, February 15-16, , followed by Meremere on March 7-8 and back to Masterton for the final round on March 21-22.

Grant Rivers
Grant Rivers