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The Australian Nationals

Initially run under the auspices of the Victorian Hot Rod Association, the Nationals were first held in 1965. They were conducted at the Riverside dragstrip, behind the Holden plant at Fishermans Bend, in the Melbourne port area. Sanctioning then switched to the newly formed Australian Hot Rod Federation (AHRF). They have since been held at Castlereagh International Dragway (Sydney, New South Wales), Surfers Paradise International Raceway (Surfers Paradise, Queensland), Calder Park (Melbourne, Victoria), Adelaide International Racway (Adelaide, South Australia), Heathcote Park Raceway (Heathcote, Victoria), Willowbank Raceway (Ipswich, Queensland), Ravenswood International Raceway (Perth, Western Australia) and Sydney Dragway (Sydney, New South Wales).

The drag racers split of from the AHRF and all Nationals starting with 1974, have since been sanctioned by the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA). Motorcycles were added for the first time in 1970. Problems with the Auto Cycle Union saw the bikes compete at their own Nationals from 1973 to 1978, before rejoining the cars in 1979.

The Nationals were rained out in 1982 and 1983. Rain has caused some Nationals to be completed at another date and sometimes at another track. In 1987 the Nationals were due to be held at Surfers Paradise. The track however was sold beforehand, in September, to the neighbouring golf club and closed because of noise. As a result the Nationals were not held in 1987.

The Nationals were scheduled to be run at Calder Park in 2001. The Calder management however, declared in January that they would not be promoting the meeting. The sanctioning body (ANDRA), with the help of the drag racing community, stepped up and promoted the meeting and hired the track. The weather then played havoc, causing the meeting to be abandoned. With the exception of three brackets, all winners were decided at other tracks later in the year. The following year Willowbank picked up the Nationals and they continued to be conducted there until they were moved to Sydney in 2008. After not being held in 2015, the Nationals returned to Calder in 2016.

The Australian Nationals Winners

        1964 1965 1966 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 2003/4 2004/5 2005/6 2006/7 2007/8 2008/9
2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013 2014 Not held 2016 2017 Not held