12 Jan 2024

Drag racing and Funny Cars provide summer spectacle at the Bend


Locals and visitors to the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region will be treated to a weekend of excitement as the Shell V-Power Motorsport Park at The Bend hosts the Nitro Funny Cars and Festival State Drag Racing Nationals.

The State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission partnered with The Bend to secure three major races on the National Drag Racing Championship calendar; this is the first major January Drag racing event for Australia’s newest Dragway.

The family-friendly two-day event has attracted Australia’s top drag racing talent who are chasing records at speeds of up to 530 km/h at the Dragway, at Tailem Bend.

The Nitro Funny Car Championship is the headline act, with the category returning to South Australia for the first time in over 20 years.

The Nitro Funny Cars reach speeds in excess of 500 km/h in under five seconds, shooting flames as they speed past the thousands of spectators who will flock to the region.

There are plenty of activities off the Dragway with a huge range of food options, a live DJ and a V8 racing simulator as well as a Kids Zone featuring drag racing challenges, simulators and a multiplayer live video game station.

Children under 15 are free and The Bend is running free buses from towns throughout the region.

With The Bend leading a resurgence in interest in Drag Racing across South Australia, it is expected that more 60,000 people will attend the three rounds of drag racing.

The South Australian Government backed the construction of the Dragway with a $2 million investment.

The drag racing adds to the growing list of motorsport events in South Australia.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said tourism in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region is worth more than $300 million annually.

"The Shell V-Power Motorsport Park at The Bend is one of our state’s premier sports and entertainment precincts that continues to attract blockbuster events, just like the National Drag Racing Championships, driving tourism and employment in the region," Minister Bettison said.

"South Australians love motorsport and this event this weekend is expected to attract thousands of spectators both locally and from interstate, helping drive visitor spend in the region.

"This is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region, and to have a major drag racing event on for visitors is exciting."

The Shell V-Power Motorsport Chief Executive Officer, Alistair MacDonald said to host the National Drag Racing Championship at the Dragway at The Bend at one of the best times of the year for the Murray River Lakes & Coorong region is a huge win for The Bend and for South Australia.

"The 500 kilometre per hour Nitro Funny Cars will put on a spectacle on the track and free transport options will enable people holidaying throughout the region to come and enjoy everything that major events at the Shell V-Power Motorsport Park has to offer," Mr MacDonald said.

"With free entry for kids under 15, we look forward to welcoming everyone to enjoy what is set to be one of the biggest spectacles of the summer school holidays."