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Port Stars confirmed for Drag Race at The Bend on Gather Round Weekend

The Bend has announced today that Port Adelaide footballers Charlie Dixon and Lachie Jones will face off in an exhibition Drag Race two days after their Friday Night Gather Round Clash against Essendon.  


As part of the April 5-7 Riverbend Nationals the pair of self-confessed ‘rev heads’ will attend The Dragway at The Bend on Sunday April 7th for not only their first experience of 500KMH Top Fuel Drag Racing but to duke it out in a drag race in front of another bumper crowd.


The pair’s addition to the event adds further to the return of Top Fuel for the first time since the ‘Kings of Drag Racing’ competed in front of a sold-out crowd of over 22,000 people on the venue’s opening day in October.


Charlie Dixon and Lachie Jones will witness the fastest accelerating machines on earth for the first time at 11AM on Sunday April 7th before taking to the track themselves at approximately 1PM on Sunday afternoon. 


The Riverbend Nationals launches into action on the afternoon of Friday 5th April with Top Fuel on track for qualifying at 1PM & 4PM on Saturday and 11AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM on Sunday for their Finals to determine the winner of the Riverbend Nationals, which forms part of the National Drag Racing Championship.


In addition to the Port stars facing off in a Drag race, The Bend will be a Festival of Footy live site throughout the event with the Gather Round action playing live on TV screens throughout the venue.         


Charlie Dixon, Star Forward – PAFC & Drivin’ With Dixon:


“I’m Super pumped for this event. I mean I've been out here with my own car, and I haven't seen the top fuelers yet so I'm excited to come out and be a part of it.


Any chance we get to go down the strip is always good fun and to only have to travel 50 minutes from my house to get here is also pretty amazing considering I had to drive seven hours to get to a drag strip a couple of years ago.”


Lachie Jones, Port Adelaide Football Club #34:


“I’ve always loved cars, but Charlie talked me into leaning towards the drag racing scene. I've watched a few top fuelers on TV but not in person yet, so I’m absolutely stoked to be a part of it.


Today for our test runs it was 2-0 to me but racing in these cars it will be very even we’ll have to find out on the day.”


Alistair MacDonald, CEO Shell V-Power Motorsport Park at The Bend:


“The experience of the speed and the noise of Top Fuel is something you never forget and puts the Riverbend Nationals to the forefront as a must-see-sporting event.


With the huge influx of interstate visitors to the region for what will be a huge weekend for South Australia, its great to have Charlie and Lachie on-board to provide even more entertainment for the fans.”


Zoe Bettison MP, Tourism Minister, South Australia:

“It is fantastic to see that Charlie Dixon and Lachie Jones will join the exciting Riverbend Nationals program.


The footy greats will join the enormous amount of interstate travellers and South Australians visiting the Murray River Lakes & Coorong region for The Riverbend Nationals, as they experience the sensation of Top Fuel Drag Racing for the first time.


I am looking forward to an amazing line-up of top-level sporting events in South Australia in April and the boost it will bring to our visitor economy.” 


Andy Lopez, CEO, National Drag Racing Championship:


“It’s awesome to see the two blokes from Port bringing the grudge to The Riverbend Nationals. Mate racing mate for bragging rights, this is what real drag racing is all about. Guys and girls putting it all on the line on the quarter mile in front of packed stands, it’s the best type of cauldron in motorsport.”

The Riverbend Nationals featuring Top Fuel is proudly supported by the South Australian Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission and will be held at The Dragway at The Bend from 5-7 April 2024.



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