It is truly an international success as Meremere Dragway in New Zealand is celebrating his fifth decade of operation.
The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned track in Meremere, New Zealand is such a popular destination that the road off the main State Highway 1 that runs into the facility has been aptly renamed Drag Way, although the sign says Dragway Road.
Meremere Dragway — formerly Champion Dragway — was opened in Easter 1973 by keen volunteers who saw the need for a permanent drag racing facility in the greater Auckland region.
Older drag racing fans will remember racing being held at Ardmore, Kerr’s Road, Manurewa and Kopuka in the late 1960s and early 70s. These proved to be so popular, it was obvious the American sport was here to stay in the southwestern Pacific country.
The Pukehoke Hot Rod Club was instrumental in getting the drag strip built and is still in charge of the everyday maintenance, improvements and running of all drag racing events at the facility. The Pukehoke Hot Rod Club is the only hot rod club globally who can lay claim to owning its very own drag strip.
2020 will celebrate Meremere’s 10th season under IHRA sanction.
“We would like to boast that we have grown up with New Zealand’s drag racing community and after 45 years in the business, we feel we have,” Meremere Dragway’s Gary Bogart said. “From the days when we marveled at 14-second cars to 12-second cars to 10-second beasts and into single-digit times, nowadays, some racers are completing the 1/4-mile in under five seconds. That’s over 300 mph in approximately 400 meters. Pretty awesome and quite a history really!”
The venue also plays host to other great motoring venues such as the Meremere Dirt Track, Ever Green Drift Park, the Auckland Vintage Speedway and the Auckland Jet Sprint Track.
Bogart has a message to the Kiwi people and others in the South Pacific region.
“If you haven’t been to the track recently to see and feel the roar and rumble of what makes this sport and our venue special, then book in sometime this summer to visit and take in the sights, sounds, smell and atmosphere.”
For more information about Meremere Dragway visit Meremeredragway.co.nz.
For information about IHRA New Zealand visit IHRA.co.nz.