I'd read something about the drags' in the local paper.
Next thing I'm doing the rounds in Todd Street Mall,
and I overhear rev head enthusiastically telling folks
all about it at popular cafe, Red Dog - and being
a new local and bit of a sticky beak that I am, I
had to find out more, and man, was this young fella
happy to tell me all about it.
Why wouldn't he be enthusiastic to spill his guts,
with the news that Chief Minister Adam Giles has recently
given a green light of funding to the Northern Territory
motorsport sector rumoured to be in the $1 million
dollar range, as the government sees motorsport as
a potential major tourism attraction to the region,
as it is in other parts of Australia and the world,
be it the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Los Angeles, France,
Britain or even further abroad. For the record, this
type of tourism is known as "Sports Tourism"
and its a very big money spinner on many levels.
Just ten minutes later and this chance meeting with
Joel Bester (Team No BMW) at Red Dog Café had
got me a ride and media accreditation for the first
Alice Springs Drag Racing event for the season, which
just happened to fall on the following day. That sure
took care of what I was going to do for the majority
Drag racing is one of those sports (or is it pastimes)
that you either love or hate, and I'm starting to
love it, although the inner-greenie in me has a couple
of small reservations, but there's a lot of worse
things happening to world's environment than a bit
of burnt rubber and hi-octane fuel emissions in Australia's
outback, so I digress, and on with the story.
Mr Bester has loads of talent as I soon found at,
big dreams, and a considerably lower budget than most
(at this stage of the game), however that's tipped
to change, should his current wave of success on Australian
drag strips continue. He drives a slightly modified
Holden Barina, which can do the quarter mile in 18
seconds, and on this day he bested a hotted up Nissan
Z coupe worth over $100,000. Bester is quick to point
out "It's the fastest and best Barina in the
entire Northern Territory".
You see, its not always the size of the dog
in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog
(and reaction times and technique often have just
as much to do with who wins, as what's under the bonnet).
For the record, Bester competed 5 times, and won 4
of the races, which saw him achieve 2nd place overall
and best in class (reaction time 0.071), which
is remarkable given his very modest budget, but not
totally surprising given his amazing talent and lightning
quick reflexes, and love for the sport.
Mark 'Yak' Probst of YAK Racing (Supercharged Outlaw)
has a considerably higher budget that Mr Bester at
present, and his rocket on wheels is valued in the
$90,000 plus region. Yaks team of five spends
the majority of a Friday AM and PM getting his car
ready, simulating the speeds and conditions that it
will rocket down the dragstrip. Folks, a little birdie
told us that Yaks wheels will soon be on the
market, so if youre looking to get into drag
racing Yak Racing might be able to help you out (for
the right price).
Fans and non-fans... you don't have to be into motorsport
and drag racing as much as our new friend Joel and
track legend Yak, to still enjoy a day at the track.
Bring the family, a camera, an esky, buy a few cold
ones if you care, and grab some sunscreen and ear
plugs - you will be sure to have a blast.
2015 is shaping up to be a banner year for drag racing
in Australia, and Alice Springs is in the thick of
the action. There's big plans to turn the sport into
a full blown entertainment extravaganza with live
music, fashions on the field and more, but how much
of these plans will ever make it to The Alice
remains to be seen, and most are somewhat skeptical.
Its much more likely that the full blow entertainment
spectacular experience would hit the likes of Sydney
and Melbourne first, but be sure to keep checking
this place for updates. Don't blink, or you're miss
It was a roaring day of fun at the track, with tons
of excitement, bright colours, nice folks and even
a beautiful sunset to cap off the day, so before you
think it's just rev heads only, don't be too quick
There can only be a few actual winners on the track
each meet, but the general consensus was that we were
all winners for just being there and taking in the
sights and sounds.
State and local government departments and a good
spread of businesses see loads of potential in the
future of Alice Springs drag racing, and it would
be great if all the locals and tourists get right
behind this unique pseudo sport and enjoy the ride.
Cool names for hot drag cars regularly featured at
Big Al Stainer Memorial official results
Street Car W - Mick Williams R/Up - Joel Bester
Super Street W - Conan Latham R/up Malachi McMurtrie
Super Sedan W - Mick Willox R/up - Geraldine 'Blondie'
Junior Dragster W - Lathan McNicholl R/up - Daniel
Mod Bike W - Brian Metcalfe R/up - Brian Moore
Supercharged Outlaw W - Mark 'Yak' Probst R/up - Andrew
Best Burnout - Angelique Stainer
Rest Reaction Time - Brian Metcalfe
Best Presented - Mark Probst
Next local race at Alice Springs Inland Dragway: 17th
Governing Bodies: CADRA and Alice Springs Inland Dragway
The average value of a drag car is about $15,000,
however you can get up and running for as low as $5,000,
if you know your stuff and are prepared to put in
the hard yards
Bar and hot food facilities at the Alice Springs venue,
and merchandise available from as low at $10