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New Zealand Nationals

Originally sanctioned by the New Zealand Hot Rod Association (NZHRA), the Nationals were first run in the 1966/67 season. They were conducted on a clay surface at an open cast coal mine at Kopuku, south of Auckland. 1969/70 saw the Nationals conducted over a 3/16 mile course at Matahina after the Kopuku site was eaten up by the expanding coal mine. The following seasons meeting was on a sealed road in a new industrial subdivision at Wiri, also south of Auckland. The following two seasons did not have any Nationals.

Easter 1973 saw Champion Dragway open at Meremere, south of Auckland once again. The Nationals had a new home. Thunderpark opened in 1976 at Hastings and the Nationals were held at Champion or Thunderpark until Thunderpark closed in 1997. They were then held at Champion Dragway until 2007. The 2008 Nationals were held at the Masterton Motorplex in Masterton. The following year they returned to Fram Autolite Dragway in Meremere, where they have been held since then. With Fram Autolite Dragway opting to run under IHRA sanction for 2012, FAD held the IHRA Nationals and Taupo International Dragway the NZDRA Nationals.

In 2004, an errant street bike got out of control and collected the christmas tree at Champion Dragway. The tree was badly bent and the electrical carnage extended to the timing computer in the control tower. With the added problem of rain showers the meeting was abandoned. With the start of winter imminent the decision was made to abandon the 2004 Nationals and not rerun the meeting. The 2006 Nationals were also abandoned, after two attempts at running the meeting, due to rain.

In April 1994 the drag racers split from the NZHRA and formed the New Zealand Drag Racing Association (NZDRA), which now sanctions drag racing in New Zealand.

In 2011 the major tracks split from the NZDRA and formed a New Zealand branch of the American IHRA. This body now sanctions the majority of drag meetings in New Zealand. Both IHRA and NZDRA now hold Nationals events.

The New Zealand Nationals Winners

              1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018