Few would argue that nitro racing is an American institution, born in the Southern California region in the very infancy of our sport, which in itself was a byproduct of the heated competition on the dry lake beds and salt flats in the post-World War II era. But for nearly as long as there have been nitro cars in the states, there have been pipes cackling in other regions of the world, as well, from Australia to Europe, Canada to Asia.
Not surprisingly, in the 1980s and 90s, long after the rest of America had collectively supplanted SoCal as the hotbed of nitromethane-fueled racing, its natives became largely responsible for the nostalgia racing movement, which has likewise permeated its way around the globe. These days, you’ll find some pretty passionate (and very legitimate) nostalgia nitro racers, race cars, and fans in areas far removed from Bakersfield and Pomona, that are carrying the torch of old school-meets-new school racing.
Australia, in particular, boasts a fledgling organization, the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series, that’s carried by some rather impressive nostalgia floppers with all of the looks, the character, and the entertainment of the cars in the United States. And not only are they quick, but with 15-20 cars and drivers active at one time or another, there’s plenty of competition, as well.
At the recent season opener at the Sydney Dragway, said racers clicked off high 5-second runs in droves, led by a national record run of 5.58-seconds at 258 mph by Rick Gauci and his awesome Nitro Express fuel-burner draped in a classic 1957 Chevrolet body. That run is on-par with the all-time quick runs in the states; but for the sake of fairness, the Aeroflow series does grant greater concessions to their racers — namely larger volume fuel pumps, and more than 30 percent more blower overdrive compared to what the NHRA Heritage series allows.
The crew at Fast Performance Videos caught all of the Outlaw Funny Car action at Sydney earlier this month, and have compiled all of the runs into one awesome 13-minute video. If you want to check out Gauci’s record-setting run, fast forward to the 4-minute mark and turn up your speakers.
Video credit: Fast Performance Videos