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Daredevils tackle Drag and Drift event

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  • by Mike Wade
 

The Pokerstars 2014 Drag and Drift event took place at the Jurby race track at the weekend, organised by the Manx Drag Racing Association (MDRA) in conjunction with Straightliners sprint team.

And featuring was none other than the world’s fastest coin operated children’s ride, in the shape of the Postman Pat van.

Up against the likes of souped-up Mustangs, Lamborghinis and specialist drag racers, the tiny van looks exactly what it is – a genuine coin operated child’s ride, the sort seen outside supermarkets with a child hanging from the side of it.

However, there are one or two modifications made to the van, such as the addition of a 500cc engine that can propel the van and its driver, Ben Rushworth, to speeds exceeding 100mph.

In fact, the van hit 106.4mph in a head-to-head battle with the world’s fastest mobility scooter down the length of the one quarter mile track at Jurby runway. The Anderson Bodyshop of Ballasalla mobility scooter also smashed its own world record, raising its highest recorded speed from 84mph to 107.3mph.

Also on display was a range of dragsters and other powerful high-speed vehicles, such as the Pokerstars 1939 Fiat Topolino, driven to victory by Ian Merryweather in the 12.30 class, and the eye-catching bright red 149 Ford Pop ‘Problem Child’, driven by 66-year-old Jean Tidswell, who completed the length in a time of 10.2sec at 128mph, and won in a race against Malcolm Forbes, from Sulby, in the slingshot Dragster in the Top Car class.

Alongside the range of cars, there were a number of bikes all attempting to get down the straight as fast as they could.

There was a surprising number of budding young riders, keen to get a taste of the track. Riders such as Thomas Neale Burnett, riding a VFR400, who won the Junior Sprint title after a close battle with Elliott Stutt.

The youth element of the sprint race is something that the organisers are keen to encourage.

Organiser Ian Merryweather said: ‘There are lots of the island’s younger drivers who the MDRA want to keep coming along to these events and hopefully that will encourage them to keep the racing on the tracks, and not on the public roads.’

Also on display was the Manx Drift Corporation, who put on a display of high-speed controlled driving.

The event has been hailed as a success by the organisers, who say there were as many as 3,000 spectators through the gates over Saturday and Sunday.

The event is jointly run by the Manx Drag Racing Association and Straightliners and was free to take part in and to spectate.

Organisers thanked sponsors Pokerstars, JCK, Raymotors of Ramsey, Target Tools and the Department of Economic Development.

 

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