2017 ANDRA Nats Modified Bike – Calder Park
Words and images by Colin Rosewarne
The 2017 Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) Nationals were held at the aging but iconic Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne last weekend. With promising crowds in attendance both days, hopefully indicating a return of support for competition drag racing in this country.
The presence of four top fuel dragsters and the highly publicized return to racing by drag racing legend Victor Bray, were huge draw cards and no doubt bolstered the spectator numbers. Melbourne’s fickle weather turned on frying pan conditions in the mid-thirties that saw some great racing and only one notable, serious injury free incident.
14 contenders raced for the 2017 Modified Bike Division championship, which was the only class contended at this year’s event, with other classes opting make the trek over the Nullarbor to race at Perth’s Kwinana Motorplex in a fortnight.
All of the big four Japanese marques ranging in capacity from 600 to 1500 were represented along with three Harley Destroyers and a sole highly competitive BMW. The heats saw quite a bit of clutch fluffing off the line early on, however riders still recorded some pretty respectable times over the weekend.
The AA/MB ZX11 1500cc Kawasaki of local Rob Cassar was eliminated fairly early culminating in the 1300cc Harleys, the potent Mallis 999cc BMW and a sole 600cc Kawasaki racing for the semi-finals. The eventual winner was Western Australian Gordon Crawford on a Destroyer defeating Victorian racer Brendan Sanders on his demure yet very quick F26 Yamaha in the final.