This weekend marks the 51st running of the ANDRA Australian Nationals. Whilst this iconic event has been held in most states; including Queensland, Western Australia, and New South Wales, its spiritual home has always been Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway.
The Nationals Calder Park stretch started in 1992 when ANDRA worked with Bob Jane to secure the event on a permanent basis. This helped the event grow in spectacular fashion with the ‘94 and ‘95 events peaking with 350 plus entries, and more than 50,000 spectators over the two-day event.
The Nationals was well known around the world especially in the eyes of governing bodies such as the NHRA, and international drag racing media and press. You only need go back into the history of the sport to see some of the names like, Tom Hoover, Glenn Mikres, and Pommie Steve Read.
The final Nationals at Calder was the ANDRA promoted “Racer’s Nationals” in 2001.
In 2016 the Nationals returned to Calder Park for the first time in 15 years thanks to Peter Pisalidis from Calder Park Drag Racing. Pisalidis said, “The Nationals are still highly regarded by many racers as the pinnacle event, and the one they want to win! Traditionally it has always provided the best competition, and to the racers, that’s a Big Deal!”
“During last year’s Nationals it was great to see the support from racers and fans. They still remember the good old days with fond memories, and like most older guys it still brings a smile to our faces,” said Pisalidis.
“Right now the weather is looking great, and we’ve had some solid racer support including Top Fuel’s Rapisarda Autosports International and Darren Morgan Racing, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock and of course all the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman racers chasing championship points. “Thank you all and wishing everyone an exciting and memorable Australian Nationals.”
Images by Wayne Nugent – Steve Read/Santo Rapisarda, Victor Bray and John Zappia
For ANDRA Points and Records – https://www.andra.com.au/