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500KMH Nitro Funny Cars return to SA for this weekends Festival State Nationals at The Bend


National records are expected to be broken as the Australian Nitro Funny Car Championship returns to South Australia for the first time in two decades at this weekend’s Festival State Nationals.


The new Dragway at The Bend will for the second time host a major National Drag Racing Championship event in what is set to become one of the biggest spectacles of the South Australian Summer. Headlined by the Nitro Funny Cars, spectators can expect to see the 11,000 horsepower flame-shooting machines race down Australia’s newest quarter mile at speeds of over 500KMH in under 5 seconds.


To add to the drama, reigning Australian Funny Car champion Morice McMillan is on the verge of breaking the Australian record if he can complete the quarter mile distance in under 4.7 seconds. Off the back of the venues Grand Opening Spring Nationals which saw Australian Top Fuel racer Wayne Newby come within 0.12 of the World Record - South Australian and interstate visitors are in for a treat when the Nitro Funny Cars take to the track on Saturday afternoon.


With near perfect Summer conditions predicted at the Murray River Lakes & Coorong based venue across Saturday and Sunday, the Shell V-Power Motorsport Park is set to be a hub of activity. The Bend will provide an extensive FREE bus service from tourism hotspots throughout the region and with kids 15 and Under Free the on and off-track action will make it the experience of the school holiday period.


Following the Grand Opening Spring Nationals, additional Coopers marquee & container bars have been installed, significantly more Food Vendors have been added to the site layout and a dedicated Kids Zone on the western side of the pit paddock has been equipped with Rev It Up Racing simulators, drag racing challenges and additional multiplayer live video game vans.


Attendees will also be able to utilise the on-site Shuttle bus service to access the park’s world-class Welcome Centre with attendees able to experience the main motor racing circuit with walk-up Porsche Cup Car, Mustang & Holden V8 Hot Laps available on Saturday for an immersive motorsport experience. The On-Site buses also circulate between the Parks restaurant, Rydges Hotel and BIG4 Caravan Park to make for a seamless event experience.    


The Nitro Funny Cars will be supported by a full field of Top Doorslammers, Top Fuel Motorcycles and Sportsman classes in what’s fast becoming two days of unmissable Drag Racing. Select cars will take to the track today in a private Test ‘N’ Tune ahead of Qualifying on Saturday.


Alistair MacDonald, CEO - Shell V-Power Motorsport Park


“To welcome the National Drag Racing Championship to The Bend and to South Australia at one of the best times of the year for the Murray River Lakes & Coorong region is a huge win for our venue and for the resurging sport of Drag Racing.”  


“The on-track spectacle of 500 kilometres per hour Nitro Funny Cars paired with the FREE transport options will enable people holidaying throughout the region to come and enjoy everything that major events at the Shell V-Power Motorsport Park have to offer.” 


"With free entry for kids 15 & under, we look forward to welcoming everyone to enjoy what is set to be one of the biggest spectacles of the summer school holidays.”


Zoe Bettison MP - SA Tourism Minister


Tourism in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region is worth more than $300 million annually.


The Shell V-Power Motorsport Park at The Bend is one of our state’s premier sports and entertainment precincts that continues to attract blockbuster events, just like the National Drag Racing Championships, driving tourism and employment in the region.


South Australians love motorsport and this event this weekend is expected to attract thousands of spectators both locally and from interstate, helping drive visitor spend in the region.


This is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region, and to have a major drag racing event on for visitors is exciting.


Andy Lopez, CEO - National Drag Racing Championship


“The Nitro Funny Car championship reaches its mid-point this weekend at Dragway at The Bend, and it is so very close,”


“You absolutely cannot discount any of these competitors for a moment. What you can do is expect incredible, edge of your seat, flame-throwing, record-breaking action, and we absolutely cannot wait to deliver with Nitro Funny Cars’ first ever visit to the Dragway at The Bend,”


“Top Doorslammer is also a truly exciting category right now, with championship royalty taking on a growing new pack of racers to mean that absolutely anything could happen in this title chase. We can’t wait to see how it continues to unfold this weekend,”


The Festival State Nationals get underway from 11 AM on Saturday. The event is supported by the South Australian Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission.


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