In Early May, Australian Pro Stock ace Peter Ridgeway forever cemented himself into the record books in the “land down under” when he laid down the first official six-second pass in the history of the category at the ANDRA Pro Series Nitro Champs meet in Sydney.
A half a world away from the drag racing epicenter of North America, Ridgeway’s feat didn’t quite earn the global recognition that it deserved, but those familiar with the category and the long, tireless chase for that magical six-second zone have certainly realized how substantial the run was and what it meant for the Ridgeway team.
Last summer, fellow Aussie Pro Stock racer Dave Newcombe recorded the first six-second run ever by the ANDRA version of a Pro Stock car when he reeled off a 6.994 elapsed time at 198.4 mph at Willowbank Raceway outside of Brisbane in his Ford Mustang. But Newcombe turned the trick under testing conditions and not during official competition, thus negating it as an officially recognized six-second lap.
Less than a year later, however, Ridgeway finally broke the elusive barrier, lighting up the Sydney Dragway scoreboards to the tune of a 6.997 at 194.77 mph in his Holden Monaro (the Australian twin to the Pontiac GTO).
Unlike the Pro Stock cars that we’re accustomed to here in the states that range from the 500 cubic inch machines in the NHRA on up to the 800-plus inch mountain motor cars in the ADRL and formerly of the IHRA, the Pro Stock cars in Australia are limited to a maximum of 400 cubic inches and must weigh 2,300-pounds with driver. That’s right…they’re small blocks.
The 400-inch powerplant in Ridgeway’s Monaro features components from the famed Patterson Racing engine shop in Kansas.
The folks at Holden Motorsport, the racing wing of the General Motors-owned auto manufacturer, recently launched a video to recognize Ridgeway’s feat, complete with footage of the historic run and interviews with Peter himself.
As you’ll see, Ridgeway went on to win the event, but it’s fair to say that wasn’t really the highlight of the weekend.