The annual import versus V8 ACDelco Drag Masters 2008 was as action-packed as the last two years, and again the win went to the V8s.
It’s generally accepted that sequels struggle to match the original movie and unfortunately it seems to that Drag Masters has followed that trend. Notwithstanding some very good ideas, Drag Masters Part III felt a little bit flat despite some very good racing, mainly due to an ineffective sound system that left everybody on the right-hand spectator bank completely in the dark about what was happening. The only speaker that could be heard was pointed behind the timing tower, so if you wanted to hear what was going on there was no way you were going to see it. That, coupled with some very long breaks for timing system malfunctions, meant boredom set in and many left early. However, enough negativity, there were some big positives. Originally conceived to attract a younger crowd to a more traditional meeting, the first Drag Masters promoted its V8 versus Import pairings before the event, while Drag Masters II paired competitors up on the day. Though missing out on an opportunity to build media hype, the racing was much closer, as was the score line. Drag Masters III used a combination of hyping the star attractions, boosted by way of handing out free posters at other key events and heavy radio advertising, and matching everybody else who turned up together to make up the other pairings. And it was probably the most exciting racing yet.
First up, Mark Bardsley let rip with an 11,000rpm burnout that ended abruptly when something fell off. Rod Harvey’s incredible new Celica sounded awful, but took an easy solo and started what initially looked like an Asian avalanche of wins. Carl Jensen’s Toyota dropped a 7.92 on the Kevin McGregor Camaro’s 8.18, and Wayne Grimmer fouled away an easy win to Tony Markovina’s screaming blue Mazda smoke machine. Thankfully, Gary Bogaart put an end to the V8 losing streak in his gorgeous new BF Falcon race car, but the massacre started up again right away. A good example of how great a job track staff had done in matching up the cars had to be Dave Levine’s big red Belvedere versus Adam Wiggs’s freshly debuted yellow Skyline: 9.42 Mopar to 9.46 Nissan — shame about the nap on the Xmas tree, Adam. Another close one was Robbie Ward’s RB30-powered 240Z beating Ron Olsen’s Mustang by seven hundredths, another tough loss, as was Aaron Jenkins’s street-driven HQ Monaro — 9.89 to Brad Johnson’s 9.88. At the end of the round 10 Jappa victories had been recorded against six V8 wins — not a good look for us dinosaur lovers.