There are a lot of people make a living playing golf, tennis, baseball,
or cricket. There are also many people make a living involved with F1 or
other world championship motorsports. I don't play any of the ball sports
and if you are reading this, I bet neither do you. For me, Championship Drag
Racing is no hobby and if all you want from drag racing is a hobby then stop
reading right now because none of this applies to you. If you want to make
Championship Drag Racing your career then this is very important to you.
A World Drag Race Championship series would be good for the manufacturers
and the competitors. This is a marketing opportunity begging to be used.
Unlike other motor sports, where they have a small number of competitors
(manufactures customers) drag racing is the world leader in competitor
numbers. To sell more products you need more competitors so why not go to a
marketplace that is an untapped resource and promote your products and the
environment to use them in? It is these new markets where the WDRC will
concentrate its efforts because the WDRC must produce good results for the
manufacturers. If we don't, the manufacturers will not continue to support
Will the WDRC series produce results for the manufacturers? History has
already proved that it will. What made drag racing grow to Championship Drag
Racing in the US was Wally Parks and the NHRA guys taking a Plymouth station
wagon and a trailer traveling through the country holding local drag races
with the NHRA Safety Safari. Within a few years -- from 1955 to 1960 -- the
growth of drag racing in the US was phenomenal. Hundreds of manufacturers
sprung up to supply the growing industry. Names today that are the
foundation of our sport started as small back yard businesses. Hilborn and
Edelbrock are only a couple of the pioneers that started supplying a
Today, how would a manufacturer like to be the first with his foot in the
door to a new market? Any manufacturer or distributor who knows anything
about advertising will see the power of this opportunity. Who would not jump
at the chance to become the first name a new customer would hear as a
product supplier? When this customer decides to purchase, whom is he going
to call? Someone he knows something about.
The World Drag Racing Championships (WDRC) will create a marketplace of
We will select up to 30 manufacturers to be WDRC exclusive sponsors. In
exchange for their sponsorship of the WDRC, they get an exclusive marketing
right to the particular product they want to sell to the new market.
When was the last time they got a chance to be not only the first in the
market but to be the only product of that type displaying in the market?
Naturally, we will have a manufacturer's midway at all races to support
the manufacturers who are supporting the WDRC. The WDRC is going to be the
"Safety Safari" of the next millennium. New markets means new
sales new opportunities.
Manufacturers in low population countries like Australia have a problem
developing satisfactory sales levels due to the small population base. Why
not go where the customers are?
Manufacturers in the US have a problem because the marketplace is so
congested with competition.
Why not go where there is no competition?
The answer is the World Drag Race Championships – WDRC.
If you are a manufacturer and want to be part of this golden opportunity,
please contact me now so you can lock in your product as the exclusive for
the WDRC. The WDRC will support up to thirty single products as part of its
marketing structure. There will be no competing products displayed in the
What class structure will the WDRC have? A world drag racing championship
is not a new idea. It has been a dream of many racers over the last 20
years. Most racers would like to compete on a world level. What is missing
is the structure to support it.
Some of the problem is that most racers want to race the particular class
they are currently in. We all have a soft spot for our particular class of
race cars; after all, that is why we race that class isn't it?
I want you to think outside the square for a little bit. Lateral thinking
is what it's called. What is being proposed may not be what you would
particularly like to do, but it is a terrific spring board unique to drag
A true world championship in drag racing is not a new idea. It has been
discussed many times before, but barely went past the discussion stage. Why?
Several reasons. Most drag racers want to promote "their" class
structure: Pro Stock, Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, etc. Initially, the logical
decision was to contest the top of the performance field in drag racing, the
Top Fuel dragsters. Although it seems like a good idea at first, when you
examine all the problems it soon starts to fall apart. At the top of the
list is cost. Anyone who knows Top Fuel from the inside will attest to the
costs. Top Fuel also requires carefully prepared surfaces that not everyone
in an international environment can provide.
The biggest factor in the decision not to contest Top Fuel as an
eliminator is the future participation factor of the spectators. Every racer
today was a spectator before he was a racer. If none of the spectators in
the stands think they could be successful doing what they are watching, they
will never participate. Future participation is the key factor in the growth
of Championship Drag Racing. So, let's say at this point the possibility of
running Top Fuel in a World Championship Drag Racing circuit is not an
option. Top Fuel as Exhibition vehicles to assist in promoting the show is a
good idea but they cannot "carry the package" to achieve what the
manufacturers need and it is the manufacturers' needs that must be met.
The next idea was Top Alcohol (Supercharged Methanol) (Dragsters and
Funny Cars both have been considered). Much more financially viable than the
fuel classes, but still no small financial challenge. The problems with
Alcohol are that you still need high quality track preparation and the
transportation challenge of both long cars and all the spare parts that you
need. Supercharged Methanol could become the leading edge of the World
Championship Drag Race promotions when the time is right.
Throw out all your prejudices. Lock away your personal likes and dislikes
and consider something. (Lateral thinking). To generate interest around the
world, you need a level playing field for all the competitors, where anyone
with driving and tuning skill can win.
Dial Your Own is the answer. Open bracket racing is the answer to
starting the World Drag Racing Championship series. It works for the racers
and works for the manufacturers.
Local racer participation is the key to success of the WDRC and selling
more products. Remember, we must make this good for the manufacturers who
are supporting us. Dial Your Own is the only format where a local can have a
real shot at winning a championship round.
The thought about starting the WDRC with DYO cars is only to create a
level playing field initially. After the WDRC is a few years old, has some
growth, and has stability, we could introduce heads up Pro type cars as
headliners. But not at first, as some of the places the WDRC is going to
race don't have the local racers to compete at this level. The local
racers are the backbone of this concept.
Remember the manufacturers have to have someone to sell their products
to. This is what the WDRC is all about --creating a format for the growth of
drag racing throughout the world by using the marketing opportunities the
new markets represent. If it costs less to race then when you win, you get
to keep more money. A suggestion was made to make the international
transportation of race vehicles for the WDRC more efficient.
The most efficient vehicle for shipping is the dragster. It has been
worked out how to package four cars/teams to a container and the packing
system allows the cars to be removed from the container in a few minutes and
ready to race in less than an hour by a crew of just one person per vehicle.
No other type of vehicle provides this opportunity. Four teams sharing
transportation costs per container drastically reduces the cost to each
There is nothing that says you must have a dragster to compete in the
WDRC -- it is just that a dragster stacks and packs more easily. You could
get two Funny Cars, Pro Stocks, or similar cars in a 40' container as well.
Shipping one 20' container is not 1/2 of a 40' but more like 70% of a 40',
so therefore a 40' is much better value, if you fill it with race cars and
The standard DYO car would be inexpensive enough so that almost everyone
could afford one and some could afford two or more. They could have one
"on the water" going from race to race and one at home for racing
between WDRC events. How many Fuel or Alcohol teams could do this with their
current cars? None? One or two? Therefore, it is not viable. A WDRC car
would cost them less than they have in a spare engine. The DYO format levels
the playing field to where even countries where drag racing is new have a
real chance at winning the championship and if they don't, its not the
money, its the skill and preparation that will win or lose the race for
Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and anyone
else who wants to participate would all be eligible. No other format is
financially viable and this is the best way to introduce countries to
Championship Drag Racing, not just racing street cars on a bit of asphalt
somewhere. This is a level playing field where anyone with driving and
tuning skill can win and anyone can practice at his or her local track every
weekend. This makes the WDRC good for the local race promoters as well as it
encourages local weekly participation. Besides, we may hold a WDRC event at
their facility some day. A set of plans to accurately construct the
stackable shipping carton would be provided so everyone could build their
own shipping carton.
For drag racing developing countries, a recommended chassis design could
be provided and both of these [chassis and shipping carton] would be made
available to anyone who wants a set of plans and even to the local
automotive publications for reprinting. A "how to" video could be
provided as well. Locally available engines would power many of the cars,
keeping the racer/builder in their comfort zone, thus encouraging
Events with this international scope can be marketed and sold to
international companies to create the prize money to drive the WDRC
competitors. Sharing a quarter of the cost of a container in many situations
would be equivalent to the cost of fuel in driving to Adelaide or Perth but
this would be for World Championship Points and money.
In drag racing, we are so focused on quicker and faster that we overlook
the opportunities right on our doorstep. Sometimes you have to take a step
back to look for new opportunities. Drag racing has the quickest, fastest,
and most powerful race cars in the world. Obviously, power alone does not
make us successful. Indy car, Formula One, NASCAR, and Group A all pale by
comparison when it comes to making horsepower compared to drag racing. Every
one of the above mentioned types of racing generates more money for the
racers than drag racing does. Why is that?
It is marketing and packaging that makes success. Drag racing needs some
of this success. The WDRC was created to generate that type of success.
There have been several current Professional class racers interested in
participating in the WDRC for all the reasons that make sense. They would
keep their current car for racing in their home country and keep a WDRC car
on the road (water) going from race to race. The WDRC race in their home
country would not be scheduled to conflict with domestic championship race
Once the WDRC is operational with DYO type of racing, the new countries
will grow to where they can support supercharged alcohol as an exhibition
class. Then supercharged alcohol funny cars, dragsters, and altereds could
become the main event in a heads up race environment. The old adage applies:
"You must walk before you run."
The current proposed structure of the WDRC would be a board of directors
with two people representing each country. Today the Internet and email make
this a piece of cake. Occasional conference calls will be arranged to keep
everyone in contact with each other.
The WDRC will travel with its team of racetrack professionals who know
how to operate a race from track prep to timing. The WDRC would have its own
clocks, lights, and track spray. We would instruct locals on how to operate
a race track and prepare the facility. There will be a list of equipment
that the local promoter will have to provide to run the race. This will
create the environment for the introduction of supercharged cars in the
Current proposed race structure plan
The race structure currently on the table is:
Sixteen car fields with 25% of the qualifying spots held for contestants
from the host country. The host country will have a series of race events
with points awarded to determine who will compete in the local international
race (WDRC). The top four "host nation" cars will be seeded into
the qualified field based on performances on the day of qualifying. If a
"host nation" top four car cannot compete then the next highest
points earner will take its position.
As many "non host nation" cars / teams that want to contest the
international event are welcome to attend.
Race Format: Main race
From qualifying positions Standard ladder 1-8 races 9-16
Three World Championship point per round
One World Championship point for low qualifier
One World Championship point for top speed.
Qualifying and points explanation
Qualifying based upon elapsed time. Should there be an identical time
recorded then the tie is first determined by miles per hour and if that is
identical then it is done based on which competitor performed the time
To encourage quicker cars we award one World Championship point for each
position you qualify.
Low qualifier gets 16 + 1
Number 2 gets 15
Number 3 gets 14 and so on down to the 16 qualified car gets 1+1
Lane choice is determined by qualifying time or ET from previous round.
Duplications are determined first by MPH but if that was identical as well
then by whom ran the number first.
Disqualifications are based on first or worst.
Last chance race All the racers who lost first round use their ET for the
losing run as a qualifying position for the "Last Chance" race.
Standard ladder 1 - 4 races 5 - 8
One World Championship point per round
It has been suggested that "non host nation" cars get a
traveling allowance to offset travel expenses. That will probably happen
based on certain performance levels. Either a certain non-qualifying
position or a minimum performance level. There might even be a points
program incentive for non-qualifying travelers.
World Championship pay out at the end of the year would be determined by
points. The total contested purse divided by the total number of points and
then pay for each point earned.
No bye runs break rule in effect. If you win your round and cannot return
you get the points but the racer you defeated gets back in with a chance at
the next round.
Money, travel, and time.
The WDRC will work once the money is right. This is not a hobby venture.
This is full time professional racing. This means payrolls and overheads
must be covered. The sale of the naming rights to the series and each race
will create some money but the real power is with the promotion and
marketing of the race teams and vehicles. In this format, the ad space on
the car will be valuable and if a team sells their soul for $10,000
annually, they will be working for much less than the value of the space on
It has been suggested we create guidelines that set up minimum values for
the teams to market their services for. Obviously, if the team does well it
is worth more. If the team manager is a better salesman then he deserves it.
Don't scoff at the money that is being proposed. We have to take
ourselves seriously before anyone else will. One thing for sure, if we don't
try to make it happen it never will. Race winning pay out is separate from
the World Championship payouts. Race pay out structure is yet to be decided
but the current consideration is $20,000 win down to $2,000 if you lose
first round. I know this looks like a lot of money but I feel this is where
we need to be if we are chasing World Championship points.
The value of the naming rights for the World Drag Racing Championship
series is under consideration at this time. We have been consulting various
sources to ensure we do not undersell the value of the product. Current
considerations set the value at $100,000 dollars. The value will increase as
it grows. Host countries for the World Championship would be determined by
the promoters in that county's ability to sell the advertising for naming
rights to the World Drag Racing Championship in that country. The value of
the naming rights to the race is $10,000.
Which countries do we race in?
Any country that can provide the "entry fee" into the WDRC is
eligible to be considered as a WDRC points race venue. Sales of the naming
rights to the event can be sold to generate the entry fee for the host
country to the WDRC. Fifty percent of the host country's entry fee must be
paid to get on the race schedule.
Pre-race promotion can be made available to support the host nation race
promoter. Heavily sponsored racers would want to make Transportation /
shipping containers. The race schedule would be set up to suit current local
championship races, as well as the weather in some of the countries. The
schedule also could coincide with shipping discounts for shipping on back
load routes where ships sometimes carry empty containers in one direction.
I can see an international airline giving discount airfares to the
participants to get to and from the races. Currently we are talking to an
airline that is interested in being the WDRC designated airline in exchange
for free tickets for race drivers and crew.
With good planning, we anticipate crews to be gone one week per
championship event. It takes that much to make a race in Adelaide if you
live in Brisbane and the shipping cost would equal the cost of fuel to drive
to Adelaide. This for a World Championship event in another country!
Shipping Container Specs
SSC is a stackable shipping container long enough to hold the car and
some tools, parts, and accessories.
SSB is a stackable shipping box made long enough to use the remaining
space in a 40' container after the SSC is loaded. Large items could be
placed in the SSBs such as extra wheels, engines, and transmissions or
SSC - 1100 mm wide x 1100 mm tall x 8 meter long
SSB - 1100 mm wide x 1100 mm tall x 3.5 meter long
Current consensus is to make the SSC (stackable shipping containers) 8
meters long so later a TAD car will fit inside. When the organization grows,
we can move up to class cars without having to remake the SSCs. Each team
would have an SSB (stackable shipping box) to house the larger spare parts.
The total combined lengths of the SSC and the SSB will just fit inside a 40'
container. Therefore four cars / four teams per one container and one
shipping price per container. Divide the shipping costs by a quarter for
just one car (SSC) and one parts box (SSB).
For example, it is reported that one Top Fuel team used one 40-foot
container to ship their car and parts to Japan and back for $4000.00. This
is a lot of money for one car but dirt cheap for four cars. The round trip
took eight weeks. During this time, they had no race car at home to
participate with in other events. With an economical DYO car, you would have
an extra car at home to race with.
It has been suggested that it would be smart to purchase a used 40'
shipping container for about $3000 dollars since it is always going to have
to be shipped back to me with the cars in it as opposed to renting/leasing
SSC plan A
The stackable shipping cartons would have fork lift slots in the bottom
of the sides so they could be picked up with a fork lift and then the car
lifted out by putting the forks under the chassis and picking it up and
putting the wheels on the car. Stick the headers on and you are ready to
SSC plan B
If you remove the rear wheels on the dragster and replace them with
34" tall cast aluminum wheels 2" wide (no tires) and then remove
the headers the car is only as wide as the front axle. On KLRC cars, this is
900 mm and this leaves enough room to roll the car into the SSC from one
end. Block the car up and clamp the chassis down and it is ready to
transport anywhere. The space above the car in front of the driver could be
made into a shelf to store the tires and headers and possibly some spare
Most racers who have considered the WDRC have preferred plan B.
Today you may have a Top Fuel, TAD, or a Pro Stock car at home but you
race for the world championship in a reasonably inexpensive DYO dragster. In
a few years, after the WDRC is solid, then heads up cars go on the circuit.
A driver who has had experience in an ANDRA Pro car must surely do well in a
simple DYO dragster. Winning is winning -- in a Top Fuel, TAD, or a DYO car;
it will be a World Championship. Give it some thought if you want to be a
Is there support for the WDRC?
I have sent this via email to 150 people and organizations around the
world. There are a few who are not interested, though most expressed
interest in participating. Let me know what you think. Give me your ideas on
the format and structure of the events and the series. I want everyone's
opinion and ideas.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone / fax on Australia 7-5573 4535 or 0411-699 535
NOTE: If the name Ken Lowe sounds familiar, you are right. Ken was a
highly competitive Top Alcohol dragster racer in both NHRA and UDRA
competition before moving to the sunny Gold Coast of Australia to start a
chassis business, drag racing school, and now, the WDRC. bp