AFTER 25 years in the sport, Warwick District Drag Racing Association member Mark Stewart took on event organisation in 2008 when he and wife Lyn organised the first 6 Banger Nationals in Warwick.
Lyn said quite a few six-cylinder vehicles raced at the drags.
“We went to a VW meeting at Warwick Dragway and Mark said to me if they could have a VW meeting, why can't we have a six-cylinder one,” she said.
The Stewarts then organised the inaugural event in 2008, which attracted 65 drivers, and numbers increased last year to 80.
The third 6 Banger Nationals is this weekend.
Mark said he liked six cylinders because they sounded so sweet.
“We prefer them over the V8s, absolutely,” Mark said.
He isn't a trained mechanic but has built many six-cylinder motors for drag-racing vehicles.
Mark is accustomed to sitting in small seats as he operates a bobcat during the week and a drag-racing six cylinder at the weekends.
Being the main organisers doesn't stop the Stewarts competing and last year both were section winners.
Like hundreds of members of Southern Downs sporting clubs, the Stewarts are heavily involved in Warwick sport despite living away from the Southern Downs.
They hail from Westbrook near Toowoomba and never miss a meeting at the Warwick Dragway. Lyn is the only driver to win four track championships in four successive years with consistent performances in the super street class.
Anyone who is worried about the cost of the sport should talk to Lyn.
“I have made 820 passes (1/8 mile runs) in my Holden Gemini station wagon in four and a half years with the same motor, same gearbox and also drive my Gemini around the streets of Westbrook.
“In that time, the only cost has been fuel and regular oil changes.”
In contrast, Mark has had an expensive year after twisting the chassis of his six-cylinder Blown Altered when it landed heavily after a wheel stand at Roma this year.
It will take some months for Mark and son Norm to rebuild the chassis so he will be racing in a 1964 EH Holden this weekend.
“Warwick is our home track and we always help out at club drag-racing meetings,” Lyn said.
“Everyone in the club in Warwick is friendly, down to earth.
“We love it at the Warwick drags. Everyone talks about the country atmosphere.”
Gates open at 9am today and tomorrow. Qualifying is at noon today and 10am tomorrow and racing is from 12.30pm tomorrow.