7th June 2016 - Television Feature
11th April 2016 - Masterton Drags
28th March 2016 - Nelson Drags
Clearly drag racers do not suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). After a huge turnout at the Nelson Drag Racing Association's February meeting, it was back to more familiar scenes in Motueka on Saturday with small fields for the Keith Whiting memorial meeting.
And, to those who stayed away due to late-season budget blowouts and event clashes, bad luck. The Rock 94.4FM raceway at the Motueka airfield was at its sticky best with a swag of personal best times posted in the early autumn sunshine.
At the forefront of those was the Rivers Racing Team of Whanganui's Grant and driver Adrian (Swanny) Rivers. With dad on the spanners and son at the wheel, the supercharged dragster posted a pair of 6.6sec passes, the fifth and sixth quickest ever in Motueka. Their last run also came at better than 300kmh, bold stuff on a drag strip with a short braking area.
Rivers' runs helped the North Island to a 9-5 win over the south in the battle for the Whiting Memorial, although the other islanders had to co-opt some help from Nelson club members to make up numbers.
There wasn't such good news for the driver of the other supercharged car in the field, Southlander Bruce Smith withdrawing with gear selection issues after a 7.48sec run but there were wide grins from the likes of Steve Bennett (first 9sec pass in his Ford Prefect), Sean Gourdie (mid 10s, Holden Commodore) and Troy Appleton, who had a great day on his Proper Crisps race bike, dipping into the nines.
Best match ups were Bennett's ongoing duel with Adam Thompson's Ford Anglia van, Ross Wood running 10.4 in his Holden one-tonner to beat Mike Wilson's Capri and some nostalgia drag bike racing from Spike Lauria and Brian Reece. Brady Taylor-Jones also has some changes to make to his wickedly quick Skyline if he continues to nudge the 10sec bracket.
The Nelson Drag Racing Association has regained lost ground through summer and, with new race machinery being finished over winter, will look ahead to start of another four-meeting season in November.
North Island vs South Island
Super Sedan Class
Best Burnout in a car
Best Burnout on a Bike
21st 2016 - NZDRA 2016 Nationals
Sunday started off looking good but light drizzle came in and just stayed around forcing the NZDRA to cancel the meeting.
Dean Scott has been declared the Winner of the NZDRA Super Sedan Class. This is Deans first National Championship and is a credit to his consisantcy this Season that saw him score enough points to secure the Championship.
Adrian Rivers has secured Second place in the Competition Class on points countback through out the season. The car has performed well all year and hopefully next season if the Car makes all the rounds we might get a shot at the No1 Title..
Dean Scott in his Holden Ute Super Sedan had 3 good runs
on the Saturday
29th February 2016 - 30th Wanganui Street Drags
More than 70 cars, vans and motorbikes were entered and a bumper crowd enjoyed the engines roaring and tyres smoking, with even the weather co-operating as after a little midday drizzle, the expected rainfall stayed away.
As a spectacle, the event was everything the Road Rodders could have hoped for. The drags are their main fundraiser to keep the club going.
Even Taranaki's Americarna showcase moving to an annual event did not split the potential motoring audience, with the 30th anniversary of the drags pulling in more spectators than 12 months ago.
"We always clash [with Americarna], it's our weekend and it's their weekend. Locals come to support locals," said club spokesman Grant Rivers.
"Great support from the public, just a magic day.
"Thirty years - that's one milestone and we're very proud of it."
While the fans may not have been aware, the finishing times on the races did not break until the 6.5-7.5s range, being slightly slower even than last year when the Taupo Quay road was still recently resealed chip.
"Traction was a bit of an issue," said Rivers. "It was just a wheelspin the whole length of the track."
While some sunny weather may have helped as the rubber from the vehicles went on to the track, Rivers was still surprised by the slower times, because it was the drivers who had little in the way of superchargers but good horsepower who saw the most success.
"To walk on it, it was sticky, but there still wasn't any traction."
This year's Ivan Jones Memorial Trophy was won by Simon Carson, a recent club member whose 1962 Commer Cob put down a 7.929s run.
Sitting in his 1982 Kingswood truck with a 671 supercharger along with the 454 Chev engine, five-year club veteran John Hooper said it was hard to get up to personal best speeds.
"I'd like to do a 7s but we won't. We'll wheelspin ... It's a good adrenaline rush and I like doing big skids."
Dashing down the quay, Hooper had to correct often to avoid fishtailing by the end of the quarter-mile.
"There's a lot of turns in a straight road," he said.
Having pulled a burnout for the fans, Hooper predicted a lot of the drivers would "go crazy" for the final races of the day, the Grudge Shootouts, and so it proved as the tyres were smoking and then the contestants would have to reverse back through their own smokescreens to meet the starting lights.
Whanganui's Arron Jackson in his 1974 Holden Torana, with its Craig Wilson-built motor, is usually one of the top competitors but could only manage 8s runs.
"I just can't get the traction on the ground." The car was too powerful "for today", he said.
Nonetheless, the Naki Nitro-sponsored car remains a featured attraction and Jackson pulled some burnouts for the crowd in his labour of love.
"It hasn't really stopped having a makeover. Had it for 10 years. Ballpark figure of $60k spent.
"It's a big event, eh. There's only two street events left in the country."
The other is the Wellington Port Rd Drags, run by the Cam County Inc Hot Rod Club, who as usual arrived in Whanganui in numbers to support their small-town cousins, for which the Road Rodders will reciprocate next year for the 50th anniversary of the Wellington event.
There was one minor spill which alerted everyone that they should treat the road with respect as Todd Hall's Mustang - which won the Best Staging prize - fishtailed near the end of the straight and spun 360 degrees, breaking a balljoint on the front end when it struck the curve, but with no other damage or injury.
Craig Wilson's Holden also leaked a little transmission oil at the start of the event, forcing a 30-minute delay, but Rivers said they had started early anyway because of the prospect of rain, so everything finished right on schedule.
There were no issues with the lighting or timing equipment as seen last year.
"We were very lucky," Rivers said. He predicted the evening prizegiving back at the clubrooms would be an emotional affair for the longtime clubmen as they celebrated 30 years of their favourite day.
"It's going to be very cool tonight, a few speeches."
Among the other major awards, Alan Smith's 'Hot Wheels' Camero was the Best Presented Car, while Euan Mark's T Bucket, which had not been in Whanganui since the 1990s when it was the fastest street car around, was Best V8.
- Wanganui Chronicle
By Jared Smith
12th February 2016 - Dean Scott wins at Nelson
The Whanganui racer beat more than 40 competitors in the class, which is based on self-nominated times over the traditional quarter-mile track.
Scott's best run was an 8.85 second dash over the quarter-mile, clocking a 252.67km/h top speed.
"We had a bit of luck go our way for a change," Scott said yesterday.
"I was the only competitor from Whanganui, but there was plenty from the North Island. Super Sedan is a popular class and there were more than 40 entered on Saturday."
Scott, a mechanic at Whanganui-based Rivers Speed and Spares, built the motor at work and while able to be driven on the roads, he is forbidden with racing slicks fitted.
"All it would take is a change of tyres to make it street legal, but I can't use it on the road with slicks on.
"However, I will be doing a couple of demonstration runs at the annual Wanganui Hot Rodders Club Street Drags on Taupo Quay on February 27," Scott said.
- Wanganui Chronicle
December 2015 Summer Nationals
June 2015 Targa Bambina
April 2015 NZDRA Nationals Maserton Dragway
February 2015 - 25 Years in Business
November 2014 Opening Weekend at Meremere Dragway
April 2014 - NZDRA #1NZ
24th February 2013 - Wanganui Drags
picture/video gallery's to follow asap
Seconds and Over
Jones Memorial Trophy
November 2012 - Spring Nationals at Meremere
September 2012 - Wellington Hot Rod Show
August 2012 - Wellington Hot Rod Show
July 2012 - Dyno Room You Tube Clip Test
Video clip of a 454 being put through its paces in the Dyno Room
The Dyno Room has been a great addition to the workshop and is well utilized
March - Wanganui Swartz Tyres Burnout Comp
saw the Second running of a Burn out Competition at the Tartek Asphalt
February - Wanganui Street Drags
Day in the City Today. The Street drags were will attended by the
public. 58 cars 6 bikes and 2 Junior Dragsters were there to do runs
down the track and entertain the crowd.
25th September - Tararua Hot Rod Show
The Rivers Speed & Spares Workshop was front and centre at the Levin Hot Rod. Grant Rivers had 6 of the Hot Rods / Race Cars he has built and worked on for his customers over the years as well as the Grand Prix Hydroplane "Annihilator Race Boats". Two dragsters running Grant Rivers Engines wee on hand as well. Also in Attendance was the Dallas Rowan Junior Dragster and the Rowan/Rivers Funny Car.
The Funny Car did
3 engine fire ups during the day to impress the crowd many of whom
had probably never been tha2600hp engine before. The warm ups by all
the big engine race cars were well received by the crowd.
27th April - Motueka Drags
The Rowan Rivers Drag Racing Team went to Motueka in the South Island For what they hoped was a final run for the Season sadly the weather had other ideas and the Rain on both Saturday and Sunday put paid to what could have been an enjoyable Event. The Rivers Team however enjoyed the time socializing and will endeavor to return to the track next year if dates permit.
The Dragster and Funny Car have had both Engines run down and put to bed for the Winter.
17th April - Wanganui Road Rodders Street Drags
There was a lot of concern this weekend as to what the weather would do Today for the Drags. Torrential rain on Saturday saw a number of cars stay away and not travel thinking the event would not get going. A few showers early in the morning and a very wet first round followed by one last small shower, but things soon dried up and it was only the gremlins with the Lights that held things up ironically to begin with it was the suns Glare making the staging lights hard to see that caused the first problem . Delays with the lights resetting after runs and the Light Tower itself blew over meaning a few new bulbs which were on hand. The Crowd understandably was down in previous years but grew quite quickly once things got underway.
The Club decided not to run eliminations and just gave everyone as many runs as they could handle. They did line up a Torana V8 and Mazda Rotary for the battle that everyone likes to see and the Rotary managed to win after the Torana Red Lighted. A quite enjoyable day in the end and I'm sure those attending would have enjoyed it as well.
Grant Rivers Gave the Dragster a couple of skids for the crowd Next week they travel to Motueka for the Easter Drag meeting.
Picture Gallery Link From the Drags today.
You Tube Video Page will have videos added during the week.
11th April - Masterton Motorplex Nostalgia Drags
The Rowan Rivers Drag Racing Team went to Masterton on the weekend to have a fun wind down to the end of the Drag Season. The Team took the Blues Brothers Dragster but have stepped up to the Supercharge Outlaw Class. The Supercharge Outlaw Class operates on a first past the post System thus eliminating the need to Nominate a race Time. If they stayed in the C3 Modified class they could be facing a competitor half the speed and time and sitting on the tree for up to 5 seconds after your competitor has left can be a bit of a mind game and result in red lights.
There were 4 Supercharge Outlaws at Masterton and the Dragster qualified Number 1 setting the fastest time and Speed of the Weekend with a 7.28et at 189mph. The Team Took the Honors of beating the Australians as well with the fastest Time and Speed which was a pleasant Bonus and a great end to the Weekend
Adrian also ran his race car at masterton faced with 60 competitors Adrian made it into the Quarter Finals before he eliminated himself with a 12.90 run having set a dial in of 13.0.
Rowan Finished 3rd in the Junior Dragster which surprisingly caused
quite a few dramas with the engine needing to be remounted on the Sunday
Luckily There were some track delays and the lunch break , and some
hard work put in by Adrian meant Dallas didn't have to miss a round
23rd March - Meremere Drag Nationals
The Rowan Rivers Drag Racing Team went to Meremere on the Weekend for the 3rd and Final round of the NZDRA Nationals
The Blues Brothers Dragster was Raced by Adrian Rivers and he got in 5 runs including an Official Record run in the C3 Modified Class for both ET of 7.273 seconds and Top Speed 185.79 blitzing the old record and backing up the unofficial time set in January. Adrian lost in Round two of the Championship to Andy Chapman when he red lighted the Start.
grant rivers Ran the Funny car for the first time this season after rebuilding the Engine and having a new cam fitted. The intention was to just give the car a shake down and see how things went with a half pass in the first run. In the Second run a big Tyre Shake caused a few problems and while trying to drive out of it the car leapt in the air over one of Meremere's notorious bumps causing an over rev of the engine. Grant added a bit more power for round three but in the burnout something was amiss with a dropped cylinder so the car was shut down to avoid further damage. The runs and data from the computer were enough to be able to get the Clutch setting reset so next year should see some big improvements in the car.
The Funny Car will go into storage for winter, but the Dragster will make a final appearance at Masterton Motorplex April 9th & 10th where both Adrian and Nicole will drive.
23rd January - Wanganui Anniversary Drags
Sadly today's 25th Anniversary Drags have been Cancelled due to persistent Downpours that shows no sign of stopping. See the image and Video links below for some of the action from the Burnouts Yesterday.
Picture Gallery Link From the Burnouts.
You Tube Video Page have 3 Videos up.
22nd January - Wanganui Anniversary Burnouts
Dean put the Ute in the Burnout Comp, This is a 140mph car on the quarter mile and for 30 seconds it chewed through a set of good tyres and made plenty of noise.
It was a good crowd turnout at Wanganui Road Rodders first ever Burnout Comp today.
While it was a bit windy this helped to disperse the smoke from the burnouts quite quickly. There were 14 entries , each car got 3 runs with the best two runs counting for the score. A time limit of 1.30 was set but the big V8's didn't need that long to destroy a set of tyres. Some of the smaller Jap imports had a hard time getting to grips with the sticky track.
The Street Drags are on Tomorrow hopefully the weather plays its part and a good day will be had with a full field of street legal cars competing.
Picture Gallery Link From the Burnouts.
You Tube Video Page have added one of Raj in the Ford Falcon.
9th January - Drag Racing Masterton
Adrian Rivers running 7.33 at 187mph an unofficial Record Time and Speed in NZ for the Class.
It was a very overcast day with quite a strong chilly cross wind. The Dragster got in 3 runs today with the track in the morning proving to be too cold and not a lot of traction. after the lunch break and some more track preparation Adrian went out and did a blistering run which looked shaky at the end as the wind caught the car but it was a great time and speed with which the team are happy with.
Picture Gallery Link From the Meeting.
You Tube Video Page.(only one at the moment will add more during the week)
8th January - Drag Racing Masterton
Nicole and Adrian Rivers are running the dragster at Masterton Motorplex this Weekend.
Yesterday things did not go well when on the first run the transmission snapped the Input Shaft and lost drive. However the Team managed to find a replacement shaft and put the transmission back together overnight.
Sunday Morning looks to be overcast and should bring some good times, hopefully the Adrian and Nicole can get in two runs each if things go well.
Last weekend at the Opening round of the Jet Sprint Season saw the two Rivers Speed built Superboats of Duncan Wilson and Pat Dillon finish second and third overall. Some very good lap times on a fast course in front of a big crowd were put in by all the boats.
Grand Prix Hydroplanes World Champion
Warwick Lupton in the Rivers Speed & Spares Annihilator Race Boat.
Late last year at Yarrawonga, Australia the 3 boat Annihilator Team competed in the World Championships. A lot of racing saw plenty of damage to all of the 9 boats entered but David Alexander in the white Annihilator 2 Boat came home 3rd and Warwick Lupton showed that finishing every race and taking good points is what it takes to Win
24th August 2010 - New Dyno Room Test
Grant Rivers mans the Controls as they take the First Engine up to speed in the newly Completed Dyno Room. The Machine combines the Old and the New very well with an Older Style Control panel hooked up to State of the Art Computer Graphics which displays a multitude of various Data and Graphs and gives all the Information needed to get the best out of the Engines.
Dean in the Control Room
Grant hooks up the Ignition plug. The Test Engine is a Holden 308. The Exhausts are hooked up to a Baffle System that meets Noise requirements by the Council making the Running very quiet. Water is supplied through a large Header Tank. Everything is running Smoothly and Grant will be putting all his Race Engines through the Dyno prior to sending on to the Customers.
9th June 2010 - Jet Sprinters Finish Strongly
Pat Dillon Finished the Championship in 2nd Place
The Ford Supercharged Powered Hulk Had a slow start t the Championship Season with a Huge Crash at Round 1 but improved as the season went on. Pat took his first ever Round Win at the Final event at the Featherston Track. Grant Rivers took over the Building of the Ford this Season and the resulting Improvement was welcomed by Pat Dillon.
Duncan Wilson in Lethal Injection had perhaps a disappointing season the Current 2NZ was hoping to improve and Win the Championship but faced stiff competition. A couple of Crashes during the Season would prove costly in the Points Race and Duncan had t settle for 4th place overall.
8th June 2010 - Rotorua Targa Rally
Grant and Adrian Rivers spent the weekend running around the Rotorua Roads in the Targa Rally.
A very cold and slippery start on Saturday Morning saw many cars taking it easy on the roads. The Mustang was seeded to start in number three position which was way t high up the order for Grant and he caught and passed the first two cars on Stage 1. On Stage 2 the Mustang caught up to the Zero Car which had a 3 minute start and is the last of the Stage warning cars letting people know that the race cars are on the way. A bit of debate between Adrian and Grant about weather they are allowed to pass the car ensued before the Zero car pulled to the left and waved them by.
Stages 3 and 4 were a repeat of 1 and 2. with a bit of drama at the end of Stage 4 for Grant with the Alternator failing and the Battery flat a push start saw them make there way back to the Rotorua Pitstop with the Car leading its Class and in the Top 5 of overall Classics. Stage 5, a long winding Stage saw a major Error on Grants part as they approached what was supposed to be a Sweeping Right corner according to the pace notes but in fact was a Right angle Intersection. Grant missed seeing and hearing the call of the Marker sign indicating the Sharp Right turn and arriving way to fast was hard on the breaks and looking for a soft place to Crash not having too many options with a few trees (one of which had the Emerson Holden Commodore Buried in it) It was through the Fence and into the Paddock for the Mustang. Very minor Damage a broken Aerial a few scrapes on the Paint. 5 minutes were lost while cutting the wire away from the Diff and they opened a nearby gate and continued on the way. Stage 6 was a repeat of the previous stage but now Grant was last in Class and 20th in the overall Classics, Grant drove the Mustang hard to set one of the faster times in the Stage and start the long hall back up the time sheets.
Sunday saw Warmer Weather but a bit more Rain throughout the Day. Some Very tight and Twisty stages saw the Mustang struggle to make up time on the second placed Volkswagen Beetle, This Beetle is fully raced prepped and has well over 200HP under the Boot and was holding its own on the short Stages. To make matters worse the Intercom in the Mustang was almost unusable and Grant was not hearing the instructions from Adrian. Despite these minor setbacks the Team did eventually catch and pass the Beetle and finish 1st in their Class, They also clawed there way back up to finish 11th overall in the Classics Section and without the mishap on Stage 5 would have finished in the Top 5 of Classics.
This was the first time in the Mustang has finished each and every Stage in the Rotorua Targa breaking a 4 year long Curse.
1st June 2010 - Masterton Drags Final Race Meeting and Awards
Ardian makes a Speech at the National Drag Racing Association Awards Ceremony as Nicole looks on while Accepting the Second Place Trophies for the C3 Modified Division. They are the most Successful Pairing to compete in the Championships. This year they competed in most of the rounds Alternating the drives at each round. They took the fight to Eventual winner Andy Chapman right to the last round.
Ardian in his Nissan and Nicole in the Mustang go Head to Head in a Grudge Match at the Final event of the Season. The Dragster was also taken to Masterton but this time Grant put on a Blower which certainly made the Car Handle differently with a great deal more Power. No pictures available at this time.