Expectations are high for the opening round of the 400 THUNDER Nitro Up North event at Hidden Valley Drag Strip in Darwin on July 21 and 22, with 123 teams set to make the trek after racer entries closed on Monday. The event sees the beginning of the championship campaigns for Pro Slammer and Top Bike, in addition to a 4 car Top Fuel exhibition featuring some of the biggest names from Motorsport’s fastest category.
While nitro dragsters will shake the ground and produce speeds of over 500kmh, the Pro Slammer category has tongues wagging as the largest professional drag racing field to ever hit Darwin with 16 cars including superstars such as John Zappia, Ben Bray, reigning champion Mark Belleri and Pro Slammer Debutant Paul Mouhayet.
Nitro Up North organiser Scott MacLean, who will be competing in Pro Slammer himself, said the Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association were proud to host the high quality entry list with teams coming from almost every corner of the country.
“Every year we are amazed by how many teams choose to attend Darwin and take part in Nitro Up North,” he said. “This event certainly has a national reputation now and racers from far and wide are telling their friends that this is an event they have to get to.”
The economic impact on the Northern Territory is not to be understated. In a survey of teams attending Nitro Up North, it was found the average entrant spends $5178 while in the Top End, with 62% planning to spend some time sightseeing around the event. 79% of entrants are from outside the NT, with 51% getting to the event by driving. The average time in the NT for visitors will be 9.4 days.
“We’ve plugged this event as the greatest adventure in drag racing and it is awesome that so many teams are taking the time to experience all the Northern Territory has to offer.
“The Northern Territory Government has really got behind motorsport and Nitro Up North is arguably the jewel in the crown.”
Nitro Up North marks the opening round of both the 400 THUNDER Professional Drag Racing Series for Pro Slammer and Top Bike, with the current champions Mark Belleri (Pro Slammer) and Chris Matheson (Top Bike) set to defend their titles.
NITRO UP NORTH
When: July 21-22, 2017
Where: Hidden Valley Drag Strip, Darwin
What: The Northern Territory’s biggest drag racing event featuring Top Fuel Dragsters and the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series.