Blue Blood: Ford Powered Nationals
When it comes to great car manufacturers, Ford has to be one near the very top. They are certainly one of the most prolific and innovative companies to grace the motor industry. The Ford Model T was one of the first mass produced cars, and its affordability made the automobile a form of transport for everyone, not just the rich. The Model T also brought about the popularity of the pickup truck.
The Ford Mustang is an icon of not just sports cars but the automotive world. And nobody can forget the Ford GT40, that dethroned Ferrari at Le Mans.
In Australia, the Ford Falcon is a national icon, a king of the mountain along with the Holden Commodore. It would be difficult to imagine an Australia without it.
From Ford's beginnings, they have always been a car company for the common man. A relatable car company, making cars accessible and affordable for everyone since the days of the Model T. Yet, they have also been at the forefront of Motorsport. Since the birth of NASCAR and the days of moonshine racing in the desert to Le Mans, Bathurst and even Formula 1 with Cosworth.
Ford Powered Nationals was a celebration of the blue oval, and a day to push limits and break personal records.
The cars were split into engine package categories. Naturally aspirated, Boosted Six, Boosted Eight and Outlaws.
This was a day celebrating Ford Power, which meant there were a few imposters among the entry list, with Ford engines swapped in, including this Barra powered Holden Rodeo and Commodore.
Before each run, the burnout box would be swept of excess rubber, whilst the edge of the box would be hosed down to allow the rear tires to slip and perform a burnout, heating up and cleaning the tires to allow for maximum grip before the 1/4 mile dash.
Tires ready, the driver would slowly crawl to the line, waiting for two white lights at top of the Christmas Tree to confirm the car was in position. Once both cars ready, drivers would be ready to launch, dropping the clutch at the flash of the green light.
From that moment on, it would be all about perfect gear shifts, keeping the car as straight as possible, and having your foot to the floor whilst you traveled 402 metres in less than a dozen seconds. When you crossed the line, deploying the parachute and getting the car to a stop again would be of main priority. An adrenaline rush no doubt.
The fastest and overall winner of the day was this Pro Stock Mustang, that ran an 8.00 down the quarter-mile. A blistering fast time that dropped jaws. Blink, and you would have missed it.
After experiencing my first taste of Drag Racing, it isn't as straightforward as you might think. There is so much reparation that goes into these cars before a run, and once a car gets to the burnout box, the pre-stage preparations and the run down the strip is gone in a flash.
Drag racing is a high horsepower, high stakes and - by the excitement from the teams when a car won or broke a personal record - a high satisfaction form of motorsport.
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