An Open Letter to all 400 Thunder Professional, Performance and Sportsman Competitors

It has been an extremely difficult time trying to put in place the current 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series, while Australia comes to grips with the Covid-19 virus, and the raft of restrictions put in place around crowd numbers and gatherings. 400 Thunder has been at the mercy of the State and Federal governments, with their current Covid-19 restrictions.

400 Thunder, its Member Tracks and IHRA have been working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to monitor the Federal and State Government restrictions and their effect on our 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series. This has been a very difficult time for all of us, including you our valued competitors.

As you are aware, we were able to complete (5) Rounds of the 2019/2020 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series before Covid19 came to our shores. 400Thunder made an announcement several months ago regarding the Championship where we effectively said we would continue into a super season culminating at the 2021 Winternationals.  We set out the fact that if any events were unable to be run due to the Covid restrictions, we would keep moving forward removing them from our Championship calendar.

Since this announcement, we have lost the Santos Super Thunder event at Willowbank Raceway in April, the Gulf Western Nitro Thunder at Sydney Dragway in May, The Gulf Western Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway in June and recently the Atlantic Oils East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway in November. This along with the cancellation of many other events at our member tracks has had a severe impact on the 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series and importantly, on our permanent racing venues.

We are also very aware of the effects it has had on Drag Racing families and friends across the nation with some losing jobs or losing hours and many businesses have been affected which are owned and operated by Drag Racing families and friends.

We hope you are all coping with the current situation and that you are able to come out on the other side of this pandemic all safe and well and with the opportunity to get your job, and or business, back on track again.

At this time, we also pass on sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one, or friend through the COVID-19 pandemic and we really hope that the rest of your family and friends are safe and well.  

We have all been affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, however, during this time, at 400 Thunder we have been working with the tracks to constantly review the plan moving forward for when racing can resume with State Borders open, and we are allowed to have large gatherings at spectator attended events.

This has been a very tough process with lots of constantly changing scenarios to consider, and ultimately discarded due to government restrictions.  Also, having to work with the unknown of when restrictions will be lifted and borders will be open again has been extremely difficult. As you can imagine, we cannot run a National Championship Series without the ability for all competitors from all states, to be able to contest these events.

At this time, our proposed plan is to re-commence racing again in January 2021 as detailed below in the draft for the 2019/2021, 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series – Super Season Calendar.

However, unfortunately this current calendar is still totally subject to change by Covid-19 restrictions and border closures and we are mindful that our decisions must be fair and open to all.

Like us, our sanctioning partner, IHRA Australia has been working hard behind the scenes to expand the Championship calendar by the addition of a number of new and exciting purpose built drag racing venues across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  These venues will allow us to expand the current Championship Series into a greater number of high quality and safety conscious race tracks which will give you and your team even more opportunity to experience high caliber 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing.

The recent announcement around Heathcote Park Raceway will provide a strong possibility of a New event at that venue on March 5/6 2021.  All the safety and venue upgrades have been detailed to us and we are confident of this facility being ready by March 2021. We have scheduled this event into the calendar and will keep you posted on this exciting possibility and we look forward to working with Lance Warren at Heathcote Park Raceway moving forward.

We have also established the 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series – Presentation Banquet which will be held at the New Ipswich Events Centre on Monday Night 14th June, the day after the Winternationals, and we ask that you mark this in your Calendar as it will be a Grand Finale to the Series and a fitting reward to all competitors, sponsors, crew members, families and friends.

Throughout this time, we have continued working on a number of new and exciting initiatives which we will roll out in the coming months, some of which we are confident will take us to another level.  More on that to come.

As a group, we wanted to provide you with an update on our planning moving forward. This pandemic and its effect on us all, is unprecedented, and I am sure you will all understand that there is very little we can all do about it, until the Federal and State Governments make their moves on opening up the restrictions.

I have enclosed a copy of the remaining calendar for your reference, but as I said previously, it is subject to change and is open for discussion with competitors.

Once you receive this email, if you have any thoughts or comments please reply directly to me at manager@400thunder.com.au

Regards

Steve Bettes

General Manager

Australian 400 Thunder Championship Drag Racing Series

manager@400thunder.com.au

www.400thunder.com.au

The 2019-2021 400THUNDER CHAMPIONSHIP DRAG RACING SERIES – SUPER SEASON

RD 1 – Aug 23/24, 2019 – 400 Thunder Sportsman – Springmount Raceway NQ – Completed

Rd 2 – Oct 5, 2019 – 400 Thunder Sportsman – Willowbank Raceway, SQ – Completed

RD 3 – Nov 1/2, 2019 Atlantic Oil East Coast Nationals, Sydney Dragway, NSW – Completed

RD 4 – Jan 4, 2020, New Year’s Thunder, Willowbank Raceway, SQ – Completed

RD 5 – Jan 24/25, 2020, Santo’s Summer Thunder, Sydney Dragway, NSW – Completed

COVID -19 PANDEMIC – cessation of racing – March, 2020

RD 6 – April 10, 2020, Santos’s Super Thunder, Willowbank Raceway, QLD – Cancelled

RD 7 – May 2, 2020, Gulf Western Nitro Thunder, Sydney Dragway, NSW, – Cancelled

RD 8 – Sept 17-20, 2020, Gulf Western Winternationals, Willowbank Raceway, SQ – Cancelled

RD 9 – Nov 6/7, 2020, Atlantic Oil East Coast Thunder, Sydney Dragway, NSW – Cancelled

Please Note: The Continuation of the 2019/2021 Super Season from Jan 2021 as below, is Subject to Covid19 Restrictions being lifted.

RD 10 – Jan 9, 2021, New Year’s Thunder, Willowbank Raceway, SQ

400 Thunder PRO Categories 

Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock Bike, IHRA Pro Mod

400 Thunder Performance & Sportsman Categories

Super Comp, Performance Bike, Modified, Super Street, Junior Dragster, Extreme Bike

RD 11 – Jan 22/23, 2021, Santo’s Summer Thunder, Sydney Dragway, NSW

400 Thunder PRO Categories

Top Fuel, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, IHRA Pro Mod

400 Thunder Performance & Sportsman Categories

Super Comp, Performance Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street, Junior Dragster, Pro Radial, Super Gas, Extreme Bike.

RD 12 – March 5/6, 2021, Heathcote Park Raceway, VIC (TBC)

400 Thunder PRO Categories

Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, IHRA Pro Mod

400 Thunder Performance & Sportsman Categories

Super Comp, Performance Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street, Junior Dragster, Pro Radial, Super Gas, Extreme Bike.

RD 13 – Apr 2, 2021, Santo’s Super Thunder, Willowbank Raceway, SQ

400 Thunder PRO Categories

Top Fuel, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock.

400 Thunder Sportsman Categories

Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Pro Radial, Super Gas.

RD 14 – May 7/8, 2021, Gulf Western Nitro Thunder, Sydney Dragway, NSW

400 Thunder PRO Categories

Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike., IHRA Pro Mod

400Thunder Performance & Sportsman Categories

Super Comp, Performance Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street, Junior Dragster, Super Gas, Pro Radial, Extreme Bike

RD 15 – June 9-13, 2021, Gulf Western Winternationals, Willowbank Raceway, SQ

400 Thunder PRO Categories

Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike, IHRA Pro Mod

400 Thunder Performance & Sportsman Categories

Super Comp, Performance Bike, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street, Junior Dragster, Super Gas, Pro Radial, Extreme Bike.

PRO Category Total Rounds for the Super Season from 2019 to 2021 will be as follows….

TOP FUEL (8), PRO ALCOHOL (6), PRO SLAMMER (6), PRO STOCK (7), TOP BIKE (3), PRO STOCK BIKE (5), IHRA PRO MOD (5)

400 THUNDER CHAMPIONSHIP DRAG RACING SERIES – PRESENTATION BANQUET

Date: Monday Night 14th June, 2021 (Monday Night after the Winternationals)

Venue: This event will be held at the New “Ipswich Event Centre” in Ipswich QLD.

Time: Guest Arrival 6pm, Pre-Dinner Drinks 6pm to 6.30pm, Official Ceremonies and Dinner from 7pm

Dinner: 3 Course Meal

Dress Code: Formal Dress for Ladies and Dinner Suit for Men. Children Casual.

Entertainment: Band and Entertainers

Video Presentations: All Championship Winners will have their Championship story told on the Big Screens at the Venue, and each winner will receive a copy of their story.

Live streaming: livestreaming of this event is being considered

Attendees:  All Championship Winners and their Teams will be required to attend this event.

Race Vehicles:  All Championship Winning Race Vehicles will be required to be on display inside the Ipswich Event Centre. Arrival time for all Race Vehicles at the venue will be before 12noon Monday 14th June.

Additional Attendees:  All Sponsors, Competitors, Families, Crew, Track Officials and Suppliers are invited and are welcome to attend.

Tickets: Ticket Prices and Tickets will be available from January 2021

All enquiries:  please email manager@400thunder.com.au