Legends could be made at Nitro Champs next weekend

At next weekend’s Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs – shaping up to be one of the biggest nitro-fuelled drag racing events in Australia across May 3-5 – two rounds of Top Fuel, the XPRO Nitro Funny Cars, Top Doorslammers, Pro Stock and FuelTech Pro Mod will be joined by two championship rounds for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.

One of the many sportsman racers lining up to do battle in two back-to-back championship events over three days is Sean Maher, who is currently leading the way in the Eastern Conference points for the Super Sedan bracket.

“Of course, to win one or both rounds at the Nitro Champs would be amazing – any national-level meeting is so important. The Gold Christmas Trees are what we all want and if you were to win both meets in the one weekend, that’s how legends are made I think,” said Maher, who races aboard a full chassis 1969 Torana which boasts a personal best of 9.04 seconds at 148 miles per hour over the quarter-mile.

Maher currently leads the points standings for Super Sedan in the Eastern Conference over Ace Edwards, Daniel List, Tony Miskelly, Chevy Taylor, Ned Karanovic, Martin Mirco and Patrick Barron, but with two rounds to be run at the Nitro Champs ahead of the Eastern Conference final in June at Willowbank Raceway, he knows anything could happen. 

Sean Maher (Cackling Pipes)

“I have raced for long enough to know how humbling and brutal this sport can be. I am going to give it my all and race the way I race,” Maher said.

“To win the Eastern Conference would certainly be special as this is the first ever conference type racing – being the first to win it would have a special place in history.”

Maher sits atop the points in part thanks to a win at Dragway at The Bend’s Festival State Nationals, held in January.

“Winning a Gold Christmas Tree at Dragway at The Bend was definitely a highlight,” said the fitter and turner.

With so many valuable Eastern Conference points on the line in Sydney, Maher has some strategy in mind.

“There are a couple of Queenslanders just behind me on points, so it would be good to play blocker to them,” he smiled.

“Since the Eastern Conference final is at their home track (Willowbank Raceway’s Winternationals, June 6-9) it would be nice to have a points buffer over them leading into the conference final.”

While looking forward to the event himself, Maher is quick to encourage race fans to head out and check out all the action as well.

“I personally love these big meets, the atmosphere and crowd really gets the adrenaline going,” said the 52-year-old.

“I really encourage all the spectators to come out – there is not many opportunities in Australia to see Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Cars at the same event after all!”

Maher has been racing in Sydney for a very long time and is a great fan of racing at home.

“In my late teens early twenties, I was into the street machine and tuff street car scene and in 1995 I purchased a street registered LJ Torana with a 350 SBC, which was a tuff street car,” he explains.

“I decided to take it to the old Eastern Raceway to see how it would go, and then I was hooked!

“The main highlight for me is that every race meeting that I attend, I do so with my family there.

“To me there is something special about having three generations together for a common goal.

“My four Gold Christmas Trees and having won the Sydney Dragway Track Championship in 2022 have also been some big highlights – hopefully I can add to my Tree collection at the Nitro Champs,” he concluded, while thanking his family and crew – Poppy, Sara, Hannah and Sam – as well as Terry, Yaiyui, and Brad; Brett, Louise, and Geoff McNiff from St Marys Engines; Martin, Al and Mark from Powerplus Fuel NSW; and Dennis from Rocket Industries for their support.

Sean Maher (Cackling Pipes)

The National Drag Racing Championship is taking the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs (May 3-5) to new heights in 2024, in what is shaping up to be Australia’s biggest nitro fuelled drag racing event.

Tickets are available now at ndrc.tv with kids aged 10 and under gaining free access with a paying adult. General release ticket prices end at 11.59pm Tuesday 30 April, after which final release pricing will be on offer.

Related Posts

Xiberras goes back-to-back at Sydney in history making nitro fuelled weekend 

Xiberras wins as nitro history made in Sydney, with more to come Sunday

Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship continues to deliver at Nitro Champs

500kph+ test foreshadows mega nitro show this weekend

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