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Dragway at the Bend opens with national championship launch
Almost 36,000 people have descended on Tailem Bend for the first round of a new national competition at Australia's newest drag racing strip.
Tens of thousands of people have descended on Tailem for the opening of Australia’s newest drag strip at the Bend Motorsport Park.
A sell-out crowd of almost 36,000 people attended the inaugural round of the National Drag Racing Championship over the weekend, according to organisers.
The track proved its bona fides as one of the fastest racing surfaces in the world, too.
Top fuel racer Wayne Newby set the track record at 3.761 seconds – just 0.12s outside the world record time over 1000 feet.
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Venue owner Sam Shahin said he was immensely proud to have brought drag racing back to Tailem Bend, exactly 10 years after he purchased the former Mitsubishi test track just outside the town.
“Thank you for believing in us,” he said.
“We promised, and I hope we’ve delivered.
Premier Peter Malinauskas officially declared the venue open as the elimination rounds began on Sunday afternoon.
He described the Dragway at the Bend as the best drag facility in the country.
“Sometimes you hear politicians use the word world-class, it gets thrown around pretty loosely, but … this is truly an international, world-class facility that the whole state can be proud of,” he said.
“Motor sport is in this state’s blood … and now, here at the Bend, we can do top fuel unlike anywhere else in the country.
“The state government’s been very happy to invest in this facility, but it’s Peregrine (Corporation), it’s the Shahins, they’ve brought it to life and now the state is the beneficiary of it.”
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