by Greg Stokes. — The end of an era for the Top Fuel dragsters at Meremere.
As one can imagine – these cars aren’t for the faint hearted from a driver’s perspective or from the perspective of the car owner. Enter the father and son team of Tony & Anthony Marsh or Marsh Motorsport. A few years ago they embarked on the most thrilling campaign New Zealand drag racing has ever seen. Already campaigning their A/Fuel dragster, with the generous support of Mount Shop, they stepped up to Top Fuel to race Reece Fish who at the time had recently purchased his Top Fuel dragster. To give further perspective, this level of racing is a professional motorsport in the USA costing millions of dollars to professionally campaign all year.
New Zealand’s can do attitude and number 8 wire philosophy is what keeps this totally real. Simply put, Tony & Anthony Marsh campaigned their Top Fuel dragster in New Zealand and succeeded running the first four second pass in New Zealand as well as the first pass cracking 300mph. The commitment from the Marsh family, friends, team members and sponsors was second to none as they currently hold the New Zealand record for the quickest and fastest car in New Zealand with a personal best of 4.78 seconds at 315.12 miles per hour. Nothing is forever however and the team have sold the Top Fuel car and all the spare parts and mechanicals off shore and will continue to run their A/Fuel dragster this coming season at Meremere Dragway.
While this news comes as a blow to New Zealand drag racing fans, the Marsh/Mount Shop team felt they achieved all they could with the Top Fuel dragster. It is felt that they could not make any more power with the car that the New Zealand tracks could hold so another option would have been to campaign the car overseas which wasn’t financially viable. To sum things up, it’s the end of the Top Fuel era as we know it but all is not lost as the A/Fuel dragster will continue to run in the excitingly competitive Top Alcohol class at Meremere Drag way. The A/Fuel classification denotes that nitromethane is used but not mechanically supercharged as per the Top Fuel car had. The A/Fuel personal best for the team is 5.37 seconds at 272.45 miles per hour.
So it may be farewell Top Fuel but Meremere Dragway will still be the best place to race this season which already kicked of back in November. Pukehina drag racer Karen Hay – NZ’s quickest and fastest drag racing lady became the first lady in the five second club as she pedalled the RC Motorsports dragster into the 5.99 second zone. If that’s not enough, the fiercely competed Top Doorslammer class is also chasing the elusive five second zone too! For further information and race dates please get along to www.meremeredragway.co.nz
To conclude, special thanks must be offered to Tony & Anthony Marsh, the team, family and sponsors including Mount Shop for their significant contribution to New Zealand drag racing.