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McMillin turns to nitro!

25 November, 2015

 

NZV8 columnist, and well-known drag racer, Morice McMillin has driven some fast cars during his drag racing career, but last Sunday the Hamilton-based driver had his first taste of nitro whilst completing licensing passes at Sydney Dragway, and, for him and his crew, the Aeroflow Triple Challenge can’t come soon enough.

When quizzed about how the ‘One Bad Kiwi’ nitro funny car compared to other cars he had raced, McMillin beamed with excitement. “Honestly, it’s like nothing I can compare at all, there’s just no comparison.
 
“If I had to put it into words – I suppose one is a bit of hail and one is a thunderstorm. It’s just the whole experience; the noise, the smell — the whole experience is just amazing!

“As soon as I sat in the car at the race shop, it just fit like a glove, everything was set up perfectly and it was just perfect for me.”
 
McMillin took his own crew with him so that they could also get to know the new car.
 
“For us, it’s a steep learning curve but the boys picked it up quickly under the guidance of Aaron Hambridge and the boys in the Aeroflow race shop — it was a great day.”

It was also the team’s first trip to Sydney Dragway, the venue for the massive December 12 event where the team are set to make their competition debut.
 
Morice added, “To race on a world-class facility is like nothing that you dream about. It will be great to see the huge field of funny cars all lined up in the staging lanes for the event.”
 
After the licensing, McMillin and his crew returned to the race shop to get the car ready for competition.

“We went back to the shop and serviced as much as we could today. Now we get the logistics in place for the event and make sure everything is good to go. Oh, and we will nervously wait,” he laughed.
 
But McMillin is not making the trip for enjoyment alone, he is looking for fast passes and win lights.

“Driving a funny car for Graeme Cowin was amazing, to run my first five is something you can’t put into words, but to race against the best in the business at the best funny car event you could imagine – we’ll that will be the dream come true!”

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.